Chronic fatigue syndrome: Harvey and Wessely's (bio)psychosocial model versus a bio(psychosocial) model based on inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress pathways

Maes Clinics @ TRIA, Piyavate Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.
BMC Medicine (Impact Factor: 7.25). 06/2010; 8(1):35. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-8-35
Source: PubMed


In a recently published paper, Harvey and Wessely put forward a 'biopsychosocial' explanatory model for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), which is proposed to be applicable to (chronic) fatigue even when apparent medical causes are present.
Here, we review the model proposed by Harvey and Wessely, which is the rationale for behaviourally oriented interventions, such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET), and compare this model with a biological model, in which inflammatory, immune, oxidative and nitrosative (IO&NS) pathways are key elements.
Although human and animal studies have established that the pathophysiology of ME/CFS includes IO&NS pathways, these abnormalities are not included in the model proposed by Harvey and Wessely. Activation of IO&NS pathways is known to induce fatigue and somatic (F&S) symptoms and can be induced or maintained by viral and bacterial infections, physical and psychosocial stressors, or organic disorders such as (auto)immune disorders. Studies have shown that ME/CFS and major depression are both clinical manifestations of shared IO&NS pathways, and that both disorders can be discriminated by specific symptoms and unshared or differentiating pathways. Interventions with CBT/GET are potentially harmful for many patients with ME/CFS, since the underlying pathophysiological abnormalities may be intensified by physical stressors.
In contrast to Harvey and Wessely's (bio)psychosocial model for ME/CFS a bio(psychosocial) model based upon IO&NS abnormalities is likely more appropriate to this complex disorder. In clinical practice, we suggest physicians should also explore the IO&NS pathophysiology by applying laboratory tests that examine the pathways involved.

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Available from: Michael Maes, Aug 11, 2014
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    • "CD8+ T cell activation), other functions are downregulated in ME/CFS (CD19+ expression and CD4+/CD8+ ratio). Also these findings are in accor-dance with previous reports that ME/CFS is accompanied by simultaneous signs of immune activation and immunosuppression (Maes & Twisk 2010;2013c). It should be underscored however that the decreases in CD19+ cells and the CD4+/CD8+ T cell ratio are not clinically relevant. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: There is now evidence that specific subgroups of patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) suffer from a neuro-psychiatric-immune disorder. This study was carried out to delineate the expression of the activation markers CD38 and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DR on CD4+ and CD8+ peripheral blood lymphocytes in ME/CFS. Methods: Proportions and absolute numbers of peripheral lymphocytes expressing CD3+, CD19+, CD4+, CD8+, CD38+ and HLA-DR+ were measured in ME/CFS (n=139), chronic fatigue (CF, n=65) and normal controls (n=40). Results: The proportions of CD3+, CD8+, CD8+CD38+ and CD8+HLA-DR+ were significantly higher in ME/CFS patients than controls, while CD38+, CD8+CD38+, CD8+HLA-DR+ and CD38+HLA-DR+ were significantly higher in ME/CFS than CF. The percentage of CD19+ cells and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio were significantly lower in ME/CFS and CF than in controls. There were highly significant inverse correlations between the increased expression of CD38+, especially that of CD8+CD38+, and the lowered CD4+/CD8+ ratio and CD19+ expression. There were no significant associations between the flow cytometric results and severity or duration of illness and peripheral blood biomarkers of oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS, i.e. IgM responses to O&N modified epitopes), leaky gut (IgM or IgA responses to LPS of gut commensal bacteria), cytokines (interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor-α), neopterin, lysozyme and autoimmune responses to serotonin. Conclusions: The results support that a) increased CD38 and HLA-DR expression on CD8+ T cells are biomarkers of ME/CFS; b) increased CD38 antigen expression may contribute to suppression of the CD4+/CD8+ ratio and CD19+ expression; c) there are different immune subgroups of ME/CFS patients, e.g. increased CD8+ activation marker expression versus inflammation or O&NS processes; and d) viral infections or reactivation may play a role in a some ME/CFS patients.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Neuro endocrinology letters
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    • "The latter diagnosis was not only more liberal than the NIOF criterion, but also less specific with regard to IO&NS disorders. The clinical NIOF diagnosis is externally validated by IO&NS biomarkers showing that the neuro-psychiatric and physiosomatic-related symptoms are significantly associated with IO&NS pathways, which in fact may explain the pathogenesis of these symptoms (Maes & Twisk 2010; Morris & Maes 2013a; 2013b). Consequently, we showed that a simple algorithm may be used to make the diagnosis " NIOF " (Table 5). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is characterized by neuro-psychiatric (e.g. depression, irritability, sleep disorders, autonomic symptoms and neurocognitive defects) and physio-somatic (fatigue, a flu-like malaise, hyperalgesia, irritable bowel, muscle pain and tension) symptoms. New ME/CFS case definitions based on consensus criteria among experts are largely inadequate, e.g. those of the US Institute of Medicine . Objectives: The aim of the present study was to delineate a new case definition of ME/CFS based on pattern recognition methods and using neuro-immune, inflammatory, oxidative and nitrosative stress (neuro-IO&NS) biomarkers as external validating criteria. Methods: We measured the 12-item Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Rating (FF) Scale in 196 subjects with CFS (CDC criteria) and 83 with chronic fatigue. The "Neuro-IO&NS" biomarkers were: IgM / IgA responses against LPS of gut commensal bacteria (leaky gut), IgM responses to O&NS modified neoepitopes, autoimmunity to serotonin, plasma interleukin-1 (IL-1) and serum neopterin. Results: Cluster analysis showed the presence of two well-separated clusters with highly significant differences in symptoms and biomarkers. The cluster with higher scores on all FF items was externally validated against all IO&NS biomarkers and therefore this diagnostic group was labeled "Neuro-IO&NS Fatigue" or "Neuro-Inflammatory and Oxidative Fatigue" (NIOF). An algorithm was constructed which defined NIOF as chronic fatigue and 4 or more of the following 6 symptoms: muscle tension, memory disturbances, sleep disorders, irritable bowel, headache or a flu-like malaise. There was a significant overlap between NIOF and CFS although NIOF criteria were much more restrictive. Factor analysis showed two factors, the first a fatigue-hyperalgesia (fibromyalgic complaints) and the second a fatigue-depression factor.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Neuro endocrinology letters
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    • "Currently, fatigue science is a popular field of research, but the molecular mechanisms underlying fatigue are not well understood due to the complicated nature of its causes. Recent studies have suggested the involvement of oxidative stress and systems such as the endocrine, metabolic, autonomic nervous system, and immune system in fatigue (Jason, Porter, Herrington, Sorenson, & Kubow, 2009; Maes & Twisk, 2010). In particular, reactive oxygen species (ROS) cause oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA, and can contribute to functional disorders in cells and tissues with reduced levels of energy (Fulle et al., 2000; Jason et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Sesamin has anti-oxidative functions in vivo. Fatigue is caused in part by oxidative stress. We evaluated whether sesame lignans (sesamin/episesamin = 1/1, 10 mg) with vitamin E (55 mg of alpha-tocopherol) (SVE) could improve subjective statuses and anti-oxidative capacity in humans using questionnaires on fatigue, sleep and physical appearance, as well as low-density lipoprotein oxidation lag time. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group study was conducted with subjects experiencing daily fatigue. After a run-in period, subjects were administered oral SVE or a placebo (P) for 8 weeks. A questionnaire regarding fatigue, sleep and physical appearance was conducted at 0, 4, and 8 weeks. Plasma low-density lipoprotein oxidation lag time was measured as an indicator of anti-oxidative capacity. The per-protocol analysis revealed significant improvements in fatigue status at 4 and 8 weeks compared to 0 weeks in both groups (p < 0.01), and sleep and physical appearance at 8 weeks compared to 0 weeks only in the SVE group (p < 0.01). There were no significant differences observed between the groups. According to the 72-subject subgroup analysis (aged 40 and over), the sleep and physical appearance significantly improved compared to the P group (p < 0.05), and fatigue status showed a tendency for improvement compared to the P group. Anti-oxidative capacity in the SVE group significantly increased compared to the P group (p < 0.01). No adverse events relating to SVE supplementation were confirmed. These results suggest SVE supplementation could safely alleviate daily fatigue and oxidative stress.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Global journal of health science
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