From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history
In 2004, Dr. Kwiatek was a member of ME/CFS GP Guidelines taskforce which wrote a physician guidebook: "ME/CFS Guidelines Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Management Guidelines for General Practitioners"
- 2016: Autonomic correlations with MRI are abnormal in the brainstem vasomotor centre in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Autonomic changes are often associated with the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), but their pathogenetic role is unclear and brain imaging investigations are lacking. The vasomotor centre and, through it, nuclei in the midbrain and hypothalamus play a key role in autonomic nervous system regulation of steady state blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR). In this exploratory cross-sectional study, BP and HR, as indicators of autonomic function, were correlated with volumetric and T1- and T2-weighted spin-echo (T1w and T2w) brain MRI in 25 CFS subjects and 25 normal controls (NC). Steady state BP (systolic, diastolic and pulse pressure) and HR in two postures were extracted from 24 h blood pressure monitoring. We performed (1) MRI versus autonomic score interaction-with-group regressions to detect locations where regression slopes differed in the CFS and NC groups (collectively indicating abnormality in CFS), and (2) MRI regressions in the CFS and NC groups alone to detect additional locations with abnormal correlations in CFS. Significant CFS regressions were repeated controlling for anxiety and depression (A&D). Abnormal regressions were detected in nuclei of the brainstem vasomotor centre, midbrain reticular formation and hypothalamus, but also in limbic nuclei involved in stress responses and in prefrontal white matter. Group comparisons of CFS and NC did not find MRI differences in these locations. We propose therefore that these regulatory nuclei are functioning correctly, but that two-way communication between them is impaired in CFS and this affects signalling to/from peripheral effectors/sensors, culminating in inverted or magnified correlations. This single explanation for the diverse abnormal correlations detected here consolidates the conclusion for a brainstem/midbrain nerve conduction deficit inferred earlier (Barnden et al., 2015). Strong correlations were also detected in isolated NC regressions.
- 2016, Progressive brain changes in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: A longitudinal MRI study
"Abstract: Purpose - To examine progressive brain changes associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Materials and Methods - We investigated progressive brain changes with longitudinal MRI in 15 CFS and 10 normal controls (NCs) scanned twice 6 years apart on the same 1.5 Tesla (T) scanner. MR images yielded gray matter (GM) volumes, white matter (WM) volumes, and T1‐ and T2‐weighted signal intensities (T1w and T2w). Each participant was characterized with Bell disability scores, and somatic and neurological symptom scores. We tested for differences in longitudinal changes between CFS and NC groups, inter group differences between pooled CFS and pooled NC populations, and correlations between MRI and symptom scores using voxel based morphometry. The analysis methodologies were first optimized using simulated atrophy. Results We found a significant decrease in WM volumes in the left inferior fronto‐occipital fasciculus (IFOF) in CFS while in NCs it was unchanged (family wise error adjusted cluster level P value, P FWE < 0.05). This longitudinal finding was consolidated by the group comparisons which detected significantly decreased regional WM volumes in adjacent regions (P FWE < 0.05) and decreased GM and blood volumes in contralateral regions (P FWE < 0.05). Moreover, the regional GM and WM volumes and T2w in those areas showed significant correlations with CFS symptom scores (P FWE < 0.05). Conclusion - The results suggested that CFS is associated with IFOF WM deficits which continue to deteriorate at an abnormal rate."
- 2016, Regulatory T, natural killer T and γδ T cells in multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a comparison.
"Results: We observed significant increase in Tregs in the CFS/ME group (p≤0.005) compared with the healthy controls group. Total γδ and γδ2 T cells were significantly reduced in the MS patients in comparison with the healthy controls group. Conversely, CD4+iNKT percentage of iNKT, was significantly increased in the CFS/ME group compared with healthy controls and double negative iNKT percentage of iNKT significantly decreased compared with the healthy controls group. Conclusion: This study has not identified immunological disturbances that are common in both MS and CFS/ME patients. However differential expression of cell types between the conditions investigated suggests different pathways of disease. These differences need to be explored in further studies."
- 2015, Evidence in chronic fatigue syndrome for severity-dependent upregulation of prefrontal myelination that is independent of anxiety and depression
"Abstract: White matter (WM) involvement in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was assessed using voxel-based regressions of brain MRI against CFS severity scores and CFS duration in 25 subjects with CFS and 25 normal controls (NCs). As well as voxel-based morphometry, a novel voxel-based quantitative analysis of T 1- and T 2-weighted spin-echo (T1w and T2w) MRI signal level was performed. Severity scores included the Bell CFS disability scale and scores based on the 10 most common CFS symptoms. Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) depression and anxiety scores were included as nuisance covariates. By relaxing the threshold for cluster formation, we showed that the T1w signal is elevated with increasing CFS severity in the ventrolateral thalamus, internal capsule and prefrontal WM. Earlier reports of WM volume losses and neuroinflammation in the midbrain, together with the upregulated prefrontal myelination suggested here, are consistent with the midbrain changes being associated with impaired nerve conduction which stimulates a plastic response on the cortical side of the thalamic relay in the same circuits. The T2w signal versus CFS duration and comparison of T2w signal in the CFS group with the NC group revealed changes in the right middle temporal lobe WM, where impaired communication can affect cognitive function. Adjustment for depression markedly strengthened cluster statistics and increased cluster size in both T1w severity regressions, but adjustment for anxiety less so. Thus, depression and anxiety are statistical confounders here, meaning that they contribute variance to the T1w signal in prefrontal WM but this does not correlate with the co-located variance from CFS severity. MRI regressions with depression itself only detected associations with WM volume, also located in prefrontal WM. We propose that impaired reciprocal brain–body and brain–brain communication through the midbrain provokes peripheral and central responses which contribute to CFS symptoms. Although anxiety, depression and CFS may share biological features, the present evidence indicates that CFS is a distinct disorder.
- 2011, A brain MRI study of chronic fatigue syndrome: evidence of brainstem dysfunction and altered homeostasis
Talks & interviews
- Barnden, LR; Kwiatek, R; Crouch, B; Burnet, R; Del Fante, P (2016), "Autonomic correlations with MRI are abnormal in the brainstem vasomotor centre in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", NeuroImage: Clinical, 11: 530-537, doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2016.03.017
- Shan, Zack Y.; Kwiatek, Richard; Burnet, Richard; Del Fante, Peter; Staines, Donald R.; Marshall‐Gradisnik, Sonya; Barnden, Leighton R. (2016), "Progressive brain changes in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: A longitudinal MRI study", Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 44: 1301–1311, doi:10.1002/jmri.25283
- Ramos, S; Brenu, E; Broadley, S; Kwiatek, R; Ng, J; Nguyen, T; Freeman, S; Staines, D; Marshall-Gradisnik, S (20 March 2016), "Regulatory T, natural killer T and γδ T cells in multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a comparison", Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol, doi:10.12932/AP0733
- Barnden, LR; Crouch, B; Kwiatek, R; Burnet, R; Del Fante, P (22 February 2015), "Evidence in chronic fatigue syndrome for severity-dependent upregulation of prefrontal myelination that is independent of anxiety and depression", Nmr in Biomedicine, doi:10.1002/nbm.3261