ME – Study suggests malfunction of the autonomic nervous system

Besi Besemar July 2, 2019

A research team at Sussex University and Brighton Medical school have been conducting studies into ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia that suggests the illnesses involve a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system known as dysautonomia.

OVER recent months volunteers from the Sussex ME Society and people affected by Fibromyalgia have been taken through procedures including heart rate and blood pressure measurement, tilt table testing, brain scans, and blood tests.

The ongoing study investigates, for the first time, how an induced inflammation significantly impacts on mood, pain, physical and mental fatigue, and autonomic function.

Dr Jessica Eccles
Dr Jessica Eccles

Lead researcher, Dr Jessica Eccles said: “We have some interesting initial findings linking baseline fatigue and pain scores to autonomic and inflammatory responses and hope that the work we are doing will increase biomedical understanding of these diseases and help personalised management strategies in the future.”

Researchers have recently presented their preliminary findings at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology that was held in Madrid.

The medical team are now keen to recruit healthy volunteers to form a control group. The study involves three visits to Brighton and Falmer of about Five hours each.

Those interested should email the research team on or call Dr Kristy Themelis for further information on 01273 873121.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME that sometimes follows a viral infection or trauma affects over 4,000 people across Sussex many of whom are virtually housebound and in need of care including a number of LGBT+ folk.

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