Chronic fatigue syndrome and the central nervous system

J Int Med Res. Sep-Oct 2008;36(5):867-74. doi: 10.1177/147323000803600501.


An increasing amount of neuroimaging evidence supports the hypothesis that chronic fatigue syndrome patients have structural or functional abnormalities within the brain. Moreover, some neurotrophic factors, neurotransmitters and cytokines have also been evaluated in order to elucidate the mechanism of abnormal neuropsychic findings in chronic fatigue syndrome. In this review, we suggest that the focal point of chronic fatigue syndrome research should be transferred to the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / metabolism
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System* / anatomy & histology
  • Central Nervous System* / physiology
  • Central Nervous System* / physiopathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic* / pathology
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiology
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiology
  • Serotonin / metabolism


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Cytokines
  • Serotonin