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Cognitive impairment associated with fatigue in M.E./CFS

Action for M.E. awarded £24,832* in May 2012 to Prof Annalena Venneri, University of Sheffield, for her study Uncovering the biological correlates of cognitive impairment associated with fatigue in M.E./ CFS: a pilot study of cognition and functional connectivity pre and post-exertional malaise.

This pilot project focuses on clarifying the link between difficulties in speaking, finding words, remembering things, fatigue, pain, sleep disturbances and poor concentration experienced by people with M.E. It will look at abnormalities in connections between different regions of the brain, which could explain why M.E. patients struggle with everyday tasks and experience a higher degree of fatigue.

The findings of this project will increase our knowledge regarding the biological basis of M.E., clarify the extent of involvement of the brain and provide objective evidence that could help identify future treatment options.

A robust assessment of the effects of drugs or other nonpharmacological treatments, through techniques which might provide stimulation to certain areas of the brain, is of vital importance. We hope to identify such measurement techniques in this study.

*This funding was part of a £61,000 investment in research, announced during M.E. Awareness Week. The charity’s initial October 2011 call for proposals had stated that, thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous private donor, a research fund of £50,000 would be available. However, following independent scientific review, Action for M.E. decided to fund three projects at a total cost of more than £61,000, drawing on funds provided by our Supporting Membership for research purposes.


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