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Mitochondrial dysfunctions in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are characterized by persistent pain and fatigue. It is hypothesized that a disruption of mitochondria (the power plants of the human body cells) can be involved in muscle pain and the hypersensitivity of the central nervous system.
The present overview article shows that mitochondrial dysfunction has indeed been shown in blood cells of CFS patients and in muscle cells of FM patients, which could explain the muscle pain.
There is up to now, however, no firm evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction in neural cells, which could be related to hypersensitivity of the nervous system and chronic widespread pain. Targeting possible mitochondrial dysfunctions (by drugs and food supplies eg.) could offer a solution for the chronic pain in these patients. The role of exercise therapy in restoring mitochondrial dysfunction remains to be explored.

Mira Meeus

The role of mitochondrial dysfunctions due to oxidative and nitrosative stress in the chronic pain or chronic fatigue syndromes and fibromyalgia patients: peripheral and central mechanisms as therapeutic targets?

Meeus M, Nijs J, Hermans L, Goubert D, Calders P.

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2013;17(9):1081-9.