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How Walking and Thinking Don't Work for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

Discussion in 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Research' started by Cort, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Thiis study - which I hope to get - indicates that walking and thinking just don't go well together for many people wiith ME/CFS. I thiink it could tell us a lot about ME/CFS. Among other things it found that when asked to do simple subtraction most of the people with ME/CFS stopped walking in order to do. Very few healthy controls did....

    J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(7):805-814. doi: 10.1682/JRRD.2014.11.0293.Reduced gait automaticity in female patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: Case-control study.
    Eyskens JB1, Nijs J, Wouters K, Moorkens G.


    Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) report difficulties walking for a prolonged period of time. This study compares gait automaticity between women with CFS and nondisabled controls.

    The "stops walking with eyes closed with secondary cognitive task" test is based on the classic "stops walking while talking" test but compares walking with eyes closed while performing a secondary cognitive task in a female CFS population (n = 34) and in female nondisabled controls (n = 38).

    When initiating gate, 23.5% of patients with CFS looked toward the ground compared with only 2.6% of nondisabled controls. After 7 m, subjects were asked to close their eyes, and after another 7 m, they were asked, "How much is 100 minus 7?" Of the patients with CFS, 55.9% stopped walking compared with 5.3% of nondisabled controls. Less automated walking was observed in patients with CFS than in nondisabled controls (p < 0.001). The test-retest reliability is moderate for global stopping.

    This simple test observed reduced gait automaticity in patients with CFS for the first time. Dual tasking could be helpful to address the functional limitations found in this particular study.
    Sidney and ScottTriGuy like this.
  2. Beth from Oz

    Beth from Oz Active Member

    This must explain why I can't understand people when they are talking to me when I'm cooking. It takes me up to a minute or two to actually register that someone is even talking to me, and when I realise I'm being spoken to, I still can't really understand what they are saying. I literally have to stop what I'm doing and look at the person speaking in order to understand them. The kids get a bit mad at me for this, and I feel like I'm constantly telling them not to talk to me when I'm cooking, but they still do it.

    I find it extremely difficult trying to explain my cognitive limitations to my family. How can thinking make you tired? How hard is it to concentrate on what people are saying to you? Well, very hard, actually.

    For some obscure reason though listening is about a hundred times harder than reading. I can't think of the right word a lot of the time when I'm speaking, but I don't have the same problem when I'm writing. Sometimes in my verbal confusion I have to visualise the written word or a picture of the thing in order to say it.

    Anyway thank you for the article, it's very interesting.
    Sidney, Lissa, Tina and 1 other person like this.
  3. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    That's a great example Beth....I think our brains are trying to attend to so many things at once that it's just exhausting....One thing at a time please! :dead:
    Sidney likes this.
  4. Tina

    Tina Well-Known Member

    Cort, you state that you "hope to get" this study. Does that mean that this is a test that is available? I did not see that information. I know that I suffer from this. I highly suspect that it why I am now startled so easily. My brain just cannot compute all of the sensory coming at me as fast as it is happening.
    Sidney and Lissa like this.
  5. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    I think listening takes more work than reading...Just think of it - when someone says a sentence - you have to hold the first part of the sentence in your mind in order to understand the second part - while they are speaking. That's a lot harder than reading at your own leisure. Of course reading and cooking wouldn't be that easy either.
    Sidney likes this.
  6. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    I hope to get the published study and do a blog on it and in doing that check out that test...I imagine that it's something we could do....
    Tina likes this.
  7. Tina

    Tina Well-Known Member

    This thread reminded of my issues with my startle reflex. (I have issues with gaiting in my walk as well) Here is an oldie but good from Marco. He made an entry in January of 2013.

    "Marco proposes that other symptoms, none of which are in the Fukuda definition of CFS, may provide more insights into the causes of Chronic ‘Fatigue’ Syndrome than the fatigue its been so firmly linked with." and has a section titled Cocktail Party Syndrome, Seat of the Pants Phenomenon and the Startle Reflex

  8. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Thanks for the link - I knew it was in there somewhere. I'm pretty sure the startle reflex is going strong in me. :)
  9. Donna C

    Donna C Member

    I used to be able to have the television on and do something else but still know what was happening on the TV, like working from home with the TV on for "company". Now, if someone texts me or I get distracted for a minute, I have to go back a few minutes. Thank goodness for the DVR. Otherwise, I'd be completely lost. Lately, and this is scary, I sometimes can't remember an episode from last week in detail. The situation is familiar but the details are fuzzy. Being mostly housebound, the TV is my only companion. I never was a TV addict before ME but then I never was home alone almost all the time. On the other hand, when people call or very rarely visit, I find it exhausting and can't wait for it to be over. What a terrible disease this is. It robs you of your life. We just exist.
    Sidney and Lissa like this.
  10. Ladyliegh

    Ladyliegh Active Member

    Happens to me all the time... :confused: Donna.
    I will have to rewatch the last episode.
    Even with good friends, I get exhausted, I think it is because trying to pay attention for a few hours feels like work.
    The worst is when I wake up, it takes hours for my brain to engage, if anyone tries to talk to me, I just hold up my hand...:stop: