In what may be game-changing news for patients suffering from CFS, researchers at Stanford University have proof positive of physical differences between the structure of brains in CFS patients and healthy individuals. The study was published in Radiology and is likely to refute decades of skepticism about whether or not CFS is a real disease. CFS is estimated to affect somewhere between 1 million and 4 million Americans.
They expected to see a decrease in white matter, a part of the brain made up of long white fibers that serve like cables to connect nerve cells. But they also saw abnormalities in a bundle or tract of nerve fibers located in the right hemisphere. This particular nerve tract connects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It is known to play a part in language on the left side of the brain, but its role on the right side is as yet undetermined.
The researchers saw that the more abnormal this tract was, the worse the patient’s CFS was.
The images also showed other structural differences in the brains of patients with CFS, including larger ventricles and abnormal microstructures in the white matter.
For embattled patients who are fighting terminations and denials of disability insurance claim benefits, physical evidence that CFS is a real disease and one that can be seen in diagnostic images will give more ammunition to patients battling to protect their claim.