Post-Exercise Fatigue and Pain Correlate with Gene Expression Alterations in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Post-Exercise Fatigue and Pain Correlate with Gene Expression Alterations in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Researchers at the University of Utah published in the Journal of Internal Medicine their findings that moderate physical exercise can induce changes in gene expression that correlate with self-reported pain and fatigue in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The study is entitled “Gene expression alterations at baseline and following moderate exercise in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Syndrome.” CFS is a complex disorder characterized by extreme, remitting/relapsing fatigue that interferes with a person’s well-being and is not relieved by rest or recovery. Other symptoms include post-exertional malaise, muscle and/or joint pain, headaches, loss of memory/concentration, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes and unrefreshing sleep. Up to 70% of individuals experiencing CFS meet the criteria for fibromyalgia, a medical disorder characterized by widespread chronic musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, stiffness and numbness in certain parts of the body, headaches, sleep disorder and mood alterations. Fibromyalgia can affect people’s ability to conduct simple daily tasks, also compromising their quality of life. The research team had previously identified in white blood cells molecular receptors involved in sensory neuron signaling of muscle pain and fatigue. In this study, the team aimed at analyzing differences in messenger RNA (mRNA) expression for genes linked to signaling and modulating sensory fatigue and muscle pain in patients with CFS and fibromyalgia at two points, baseline rest and after moderate exercise for 25 minutes on a stationary bicycle. In total, 48 CFS patients with or without co-occurring fibromyalgia, 18 patients with fibromyalgia only, and 49 healthy controls were evaluated. Researchers assessed fatigue and pain a
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