Chronic fatigue syndrome

What is CFS?

After a busy day with a lot of activity or a period with little sleep, it is normal to feel tired. Catching up on sleep can do wonders.

When fatigue does not disappear with sufficient rest, this may indicate an underlying disease process. That is why it is advisable to consult the general practitioner so that complaints can be properly investigated.

Fatigue symptoms can have various causes, such as a shortage of vitamins, an underlying infection, stress, sleep disorders, anemia, iron deficiency, depression, boredom...

The diagnosis of CFS is given to people who become severely fatigued after a slight physical or mental effort, and for which no cause can be found. People with CFS do not recover from fatigue by resting adequately. In addition to fatigue, physical complaints such as a sore throat, muscle aches, headaches, painful joints, etc. can also occur. Also emotional and cognitive disorders (memory disorders, word-finding disorders, etc.) are typical of CFS.

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between fibromyalgia and CFS because many symptoms are similar.

There is no univocal cause for CFS. Although there is a suspicion that viral infections (eg: the Epstein-Barr virus, the cause of glandular fever) may be a cause, yet most patients with the CFS diagnosis do not have acute inflammatory symptoms.

After all, it is not unusual for people to feel tired for a long time after they have cured a serious infection. The phenomenon of 'post-infection syndrome'.

In CFS there is a reduced activation of the 'Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis' (HPA axis). This HPA axis plays a role in, for example, stress regulation. In people with burn-out syndrome, this effect can also be disrupted, as a result of which they often suffer from complaints that resemble those of CFS and fibromyalgia.

Research suggests that CFS is the result of disturbed brain connections.

Further functional brain research, including with qEEG, will in the future, the brain function in people with CFS more mapping. This can lead to better and more focused treatments.

How can CFS be treated?

First the cause of fatigue must be checked and possibly treated. There is no point in applying neuromodulation when fatigue is caused by frequent and prolonged going out. When the cause of the fatigue cannot be found or treated, the treatment will focus on the symptom itself: the fatigue.

Influencing the functioning of brain regions and their mutual communication can reduce the fatigue symptoms. For this we use tES, TMS, HD-tES, sLORETA-Neurofeedback, etc.

A qEEG can help us determine which neuromodulation technique could have the most effect.