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Home Resource Library Research Maes M, "Inflammatory and Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress Pathways Underpinning Chronic Fatigue, Somatization and Psychosomatic Symptoms"
Maes M, "Inflammatory and Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress Pathways Underpinning Chronic Fatigue, Somatization and Psychosomatic Symptoms" PDF Print E-mail

Curr Opin Psychiatry 22(1) (2009): 75-83. PMID: 19127706

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this paper is to review recent findings on inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress (IO & NS) pathways in chronic fatigue and somatization disorder.

RECENT FINDINGS: Activation of  IO & NS pathways is the key phenomenon underpinning chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): intracellular inflammation, with an increased production of nuclear factor kappa beta (NFkappabeta), cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible NO synthase (iNOS); and damage caused by IO & NS to membrane fatty acids and functional proteins. These IO & NS pathways are induced by a number of trigger factors, for example psychological stress, strenuous exercise, viral infections and an increased translocation of LPS from gram-bacteria (leaky gut). The "psychosomatic" symptoms experienced by CFS patients are caused by intracellular inflammation (aches and pain, muscular tension, fatigue, irritability, sadness, and the subjective feeling of infection); damage caused by IO & NS (aches and pain, muscular tension and fatigue); and gut-derived inflammation (complaints of irritable bowel). Inflammatory pathways (monocytic activation) are also detected in somatizing disorder.

SUMMARY: "Functional" symptoms, as occurring in CFS and somatization, have a genuine organic cause, that is activation of peripheral and central IO & NS pathways and gut-derived inflammation. The development of new drugs, aimed at treating those disorders, should target these IO & NS pathways.

 
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