Many patients are still told to seek psychiatric help. But two recent studies — one from investigators at Stanford a few weeks ago and another from a Japanese research team published earlier this year — have found that the brains of people with chronic fatigue syndrome differ from those of healthy people, strengthening the argument that serious physiological dysfunctions are at the root of the condition.
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Why is this important? Because this study indicates that something in this so-called “functional syndrome” has actually functionally gone very wrong–not with the central nervous system, but with the gut. IBS patients have faced the same bias – that IBS is mental–as have ME/CFS and FM patients. Studies do show that mind/body therapies can be helpful for some with IBS, but that doesn’t mean that something is not “functionally wrong” either.
Thursday, 20 November 2014
DWP’s Secret Death Reviews Spare Atos, 500k Sanctioned Claimants Disappear, Three Labour WCA Changes
Labour claims it will make three ‘crucial’ changes to the work capability assessment (WCA) if they gain power next May. But how ‘crucial’ are the changes in reality and will the promise make you more likely to support Labour at the general election? Give us your views and we’ll make sure they are passed on.
(Also, see below for how the chances of getting into the support group have been increased by the upper tribunal due to cahnges made to the WCA in 2010).
We can probably guess your views on the fact that an average of two benefits related deaths every month are secretly investigated by the DWP, many following a WCA. But the evidence from such reviews may not be being passed on to coroners courts. Moreover, the DWP are refusing to follow an official recommendation that a medically qualified person should always review Atos medical reports in these circumstances.
Claimant deaths are increasingly being linked both to WCAs and to sanctions. Two weeks ago Labour MP Debbie Abrahams told IDS in a Commons debate that “People are dying because of these sanctions!”. His reaction was predictably dismissive.
Meanwhile, two new reports reveal that welfare reform in general, and sanctions in particular, are fuelling ever greater levels of prejudice against unemployed and disabled claimants as well as causing the current massive rise in food bank use.
In addition, Oxford academics are due to report next month on what has happened to half a million jobseekers allowance (JSA) claimants who were sanctioned but who subsequently disappeared from official employment statistics.
A new test measures analytical thinking linked to depression, fueling the idea that depression may be a form of adaptation
Researchers studying the roots of depression have developed a test to measure analytical thinking and rumination, that are hallmarks of the condition, leading them closer to the idea that depression may actually be an adaptation meant to help people cope with complex problems such as chronic illnesses or marriage breakups.
Most Americans don't get the daily recommended amount of fiber in their diet, though research has shown that dietary fiber can cause a shift in the gut toward beneficial bacteria, reducing the risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases. A new study shows that two specific functional fibers may also have the potential to assist in weight loss when made part of a long-term, daily diet.
IT IS the total loss of my credibility and complete lack of support directly resulting from the ubiquitous disbelief that has been deliberately generated by political machinations of rich healthy Psychiatrists blithely working outside their field for financial gainYep, I'd second that statement.
What gets me down about having severe M.E. ...
The P2P Workshop represents an opportunity to get it right. It could address the problems that are holding ME/CFS research back. That may even be the intention of staff like Dr. Susan Maier, and it is certainly the intention of the ME/CFS expert members of the Working Group. But given the deeply flawed evidence review, the closed door selection of Panelists, the exclusion of many experts and important topics, and the inclusion of speakers who believe ME/CFS is a functional somatic syndrome, is it realistic to believe that the Workshop will start a new chapter and begin to make up for the stagnation of funding? What do you think?
Monday, 17 November 2014
Dieters lost modest weight in the first year on popular diets such as Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, and Zone. In longer term studies of Atkins and Weight Watchers, the weight dieters lost after the first year was partially regained after two years. Researchers conclude there is insufficient, and conflicting, data to determine if one of these popular diets is more beneficial for weight loss and heart health.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
We normally associate good self-control with an effortful process that requires conscious attention or deliberation. As a result, we believe that those who put in the mental effort to resist the snacking action have more self-control.
But here’s the twist: new research suggests that self-control around snacking can also be effortless.
The researchers call it ‘effortless inhibition’.
Let’s see how that’s even possible next.
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Doctors could ask for funding from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to ensure patients go back to work quickly, a top NHS England official has suggested, according to GP Online. Is this the next stage in Iain Duncan Smith’s war on the sick?
Friday, 7 November 2014
A “Fatigue” Disorder No More? – What Multiple Sclerosis Taught Us About Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients, on the other hand, immediately experienced increased levels of physical and mental fatigue and pain after exercise – which were still present 8, 24 and even 48 hours later.
Fatigue is obviously present in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but it’s more of a post-exertional malaise disorder. This study suggests Post-Exertional Relapse Syndrome would have been a better name for ME/CFS than Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
But what do the genes say? Would these differences show up in the gene expression results?
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
Documents leaked to the BBC last week, reveal that ministers are considering reducing the payment for work-related ESA to just 50p above jobseeker’s allowance, effectively abolishing the work-related activity component.
The documents suggest that this would only apply to new claims. But many will remember that the same was said about the one year cut-off for contribution based ESA, until the coalition changed its mind and made it apply to all existing claimants retrospectively.
Monday, 3 November 2014
Noise sensitivity can cause problems at work and in social situations, or just about any time we're in public. It might be the volume level alone, it might be a repetitive sound, or it might be a multitude of sounds -- no matter the source, it can cause anxiety, panic, and even widespread pain as the receptors in our brains become overwhelmed.
This Greek study was not particularly big – 46 FM patients – but it was a step in the right direction. It also included a significant subset (30%) of FM patients with autoimmune disorders in its cohort. They noted that SFN is the most common type of neuropathy in Sjogren’s Syndrome, a female-dominated autoimmune disorder (that may be underdiagnosed in ME/CFS and FM). As an added bonus they also examined Langerhorn cells and stained the skin biopsies for IL-6 in a small number of patients.
In the introduction the authors went straight to the immune system – cytokines and mast cells – as a possible cause for the increased rates of SFN found in Fibromyalgia.
Small Fiber Neuropathy Fibromyalgia Studies Mount : But Does SFN Cause Pain in FM?
Saturday, 1 November 2014
“I think resveratrol could help patient populations who want to exercise but are physically incapable. Resveratrol could mimic exercise for them or improve the benefits of the modest amount of exercise that they can do.”
The only bad news? Not-red wines don’t count (sorry, Chardonnay-lovers), and it only works with one glass — so chugging a bottle a week doesn’t equate to four to six gym sessions.
More credence has been added to a growing awareness of the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in neuromuscular disease by newly presented research. Vitamin D supplementation has been suggested to improve function in frail elderly patients at risk for falls, as well as individuals with myasthenia gravis and Parkinson's. The impact of vitamin D deficiency and supplementation on function in other neurologic conditions has yet to be explored.