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Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

10 Chronic Diseases linked to mitochondrial dysfunction

Listed below are current articles and published clinical studies documenting the
strong link between Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Int J Clin Exp Med. 2012 Jun 15.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and the pathophysiology of
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).
The objectives of this study are to test the hypothesis that the fatigue and accompanying symptoms of Chronic Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Fatigue Syndrome are in part due to defects in energy provision at the cellular level, and to understand the pathophysiology of the defects so that effective medical intervention can be implemented. We performed an audit of 138 patients (ages 18-65) diagnosed with ME/CFS and attending a private practice. The patients and 53 normal, healthy controls had the ATP Profile test carried out on neutrophils from a 3-ml venous blood sample. This test yields 6 numerical factors that describe the availability of ATP and the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria.
Other biomedical measurements, including the concentration of cell-free DNA in plasma, were made. The results of the audit are compared with the controls and a previous cohort of 61 patients. We find that all patients tested have measureable mitochondrial dysfunction which correlates with the severity of the illness. The patients divide into two main groups differentiated by how cellular metabolism attempts to compensate for the dysfunction. Comparisons with exercise studies suggest that the dysfunction in neutrophils also occurs in other cells. This is confirmed by the cell-free DNA measurements which indicate levels of tissue damage up to 3.5 times the normal reference range. The major immediate causes of the dysfunction are lack of essential substrates and partial blocking of the translocator protein sites in mitochondria. The ATP Profile is a valuable diagnostic tool for the clinical management of ME/CFS.
Int J Clin Exp Med. 2012 Nov 20.
Targeting mitochondrial dysfunction in the treatment of
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrom(ME/CFS) -  a clinical audit.
We report on an audit of 138 ME/CFS patients who attended a private practice and took the ATP Profile biomedical test. The results revealed that all of these patients had measureable mitochondrial dysfunction. A basic treatment regime, based on 1) eating the evolutionary correct stone-age diet, 2) ensuring optimum hours of good quality sleep, 3) taking a standard package of nutritional supplements, and 4) getting the right balance between work and rest, was recommended for all patients. Additions to the basic regime were tailored for each patient according to the results of the ATP Profile and additional nutritional tests and clues from the clinical history.
Mitochondrial function is typically impaired in two ways: substrate or co-factor deficiency, and inhibition by chemicals, exogenous or endogenous. For the former, additional nutrients are recommended where there is a deficiency, and for the latter, improvement of anti-oxidant status and selective chelation therapy or far-infrared saunas are appropriate. We show case histories of nine patients who have taken the ATP Profile on three or four occasions, and a before-and-after treatment summary of the 34 patients who have had at least two ATP Profile tests separated by some months. Finally, we summarize the results for the 30 patients who followed all aspects of the treatment regime and compare them with the 4 patients who were lax on two or more aspects of the treatment regime. All patients who followed the treatment regime improved in mitochondrial function by on average a factor of 4.
J Transl Med. 2010 Oct 11
Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome performed worse than controls in a
controlled repeated exercise study despite a normal oxidative phosphorylation capacity.
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility that a decreased mitochondrial ATP synthesis causes muscular and mental fatigue and plays a role in the pathophysiology of the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME).
METHODS: Female patients (n = 15) and controls (n = 15) performed a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) by cycling at a continuously increased work rate till maximal exertion. The CPET was repeated 24 h later. Before the tests, blood was taken for the isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), which were processed in a special way to preserve their oxidative phosphorylation, which was tested later in the presence of ADP and phosphate in permeabilized cells with glutamate, malate and malonate plus or minus the complex I inhibitor rotenone, and succinate with rotenone plus or minus the complex II inhibitor malonate in order to measure the ATP production via Complex I and II, respectively. Plasma CK was determined as a surrogate measure of a decreased oxidative phosphorylation in muscle, since the previous finding that in a group of patients with external ophthalmoplegia the oxygen consumption by isolated muscle mitochondria correlated negatively with plasma creatine kinase, 24 h after exercise.
RESULTS: At both exercise tests the patients reached the anaerobic threshold and the maximal exercise at a much lower oxygen consumption than the controls and this worsened in the second test. This implies an increase of lactate, the product of anaerobic glycolysis, and a decrease of the mitochondrial ATP production in the patients. In the past this was also found in patients with defects in the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. However the oxidative phosphorylation in PBMC was similar in CFS/ME patients and controls. The plasma creatine kinase levels before and 24 h after exercise were low in patients and controls, suggesting normality of the muscular mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation.
CONCLUSION: The decrease in mitochondrial ATP synthesis in the CFS/ME patients is not caused by a defect in the enzyme complexes catalyzing oxidative phosphorylation, but in another factor.

Int J Clin Exp Med. 2009
 Chronic fatigue syndrome and mitochondrial dysfunction
This study aims to improve the health of patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) by interventions based on the biochemistry of the illness, specifically the function of mitochondria in producing ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy currency for all body functions, and recycling ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to replenish the ATP supply as needed. Patients attending a private medical practice specializing in CFS were diagnosed using the Centers for Disease Control criteria. In consultation with each patient, an integer on the Bell Ability Scale was assigned, and a blood sample was taken for the “ATP profile” test, designed for CFS and other fatigue conditions.
Each test produced 5 numerical factors which describe the availability of ATP in neutrophils, the fraction complexed with magnesium, the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation, and the transfer efficiencies of ADP into the mitochondria and ATP into the cytosol where the energy is used. With the consent of each of 71 patients and 53 normal, healthy controls the 5 factors have been collated and compared with the Bell Ability Scale. The individual numerical factors show that patients have different combinations of biochemical lesions. When the factors are combined, a remarkable correlation is observed between the degree of mitochondrial dysfunction and the severity of illness (P<0.001).
Only 1 of the 71 patients overlaps the normal region. The “ATP profile” test is a powerful diagnostic tool and can differentiate patients who have fatigue and other symptoms as a result of energy wastage by stress and psychological factors from those who have insufficient energy due to cellular respiration dysfunction. The individual factors indicate which remedial actions, in the form of dietary supplements, drugs and detoxification, are most likely to be of benefit, and what further tests should be carried out.
Med Hypotheses. 2008 Oct
Treating Chronic Fatigue states as a disease of the regulation of energy metabolism.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a physiological state in which the patient feels high levels of fatigue without an obvious organic cause, which affects around 1 in 400 people in the developed world. A wide range of causes have been suggested, including immune or hormonal dysfunction, viral or bacterial infection, and psychological somatization. It is likely that several causes are needed to trigger the disease, and that the triggers are different from the mechanisms that maintain fatigue over months or years.

Many treatments have been tested for CFS, with very limited success - a programme of combined CBT and graded exercise shows the most effect. I suggest that patients with CFS have a reduced ability to increase mitochondrial energy production when exertion requires it, with fewer mitochondria that are each more efficient, and hence nearer to their maximum energy output, than normal. A range of indirect evidence suggests that the renin-angiotensin system stimulates mitochondrial responsiveness and reduces mitochondrial efficiency: chronic under-stimulation of this system could contribute to CFS aetiology.

If correct, this means that CFS can be successfully treated with RAS agonists (eg angiotensin mimetics), or adrenergic agonists. It also suggests that there will be a positive link between the use of adrenergic- and RAS-blocking drugs and CFS incidence, and a negative link between adrenergic agonist use and CFS.


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