Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 Oct;115(10):2372-81.  
Altered central nervous system signal during motor performance in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Siemionow V, Fang Y, Calabrese L, Sahgal V, Yue GH.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Lerner Research Institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether brain activity of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients during voluntary motor actions differs from that of healthy individuals. Methods: Eight CFS patients and 8 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers performed isometric handgrip contractions at 50% maximal voluntary contraction level. They first performed 50 contractions with a 10 s rest between adjacent trials-'Non-Fatigue' (NFT) task. Subsequently, the same number of contractions was performed with only a 5 s rest between trials-'Fatigue' (FT) task. Fifty-eight channels of surface EEG were recorded simultaneously from the scalp. Spectrum analysis was performed to estimate power of EEG frequency in different tasks. Motor activity-related cortical potential (MRCP) was derived by triggered averaging of EEG signals associated with the muscle contractions. Results: Major findings include: (i) Motor performance of the CFS patients was poorer than the controls. (ii) Relative power of EEG theta frequency band (4-8 Hz) during performing the NFT and FT tasks was significantly greater in the CFS than control group [Formula: see text] (iii) The amplitude of MRCP negative potential (NP) for the combined NFT and FT tasks was higher in the CFS than control group [Formula: see text] (iv) Within the CFS group, the NP was greater for the FT than NFT task [Formula: see text] whereas no such difference between the two tasks was found in the control group. Conclusions: These results clearly show that CFS involves altered central nervous system signals in controlling voluntary muscle activities, especially when the activities induce fatigue. Significance: Physical activity-induced EEG signal changes may serve as physiological markers for more objective diagnosis of CFS.

PMID: 15351380 [PubMed - in process]