Chronic fatigue syndrome – a system under stress

Stress-response systems in people with chronic fatigue syndrome are signalling to the body that it is not safe to relax, creating a state of high alert that can be likened to post-traumatic stress disorder, new research suggests.

Researchersfrom UNSW have discovered for the first time that reduced heart rate variability – or changes in heart beat timing – best predicts cognitive disturbances, such as concentration difficulties commonly reported by people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This adds to the growing body of evidence linking autonomic nervous system imbalance to symptoms of this poorly understood disorder.


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