In Health News, we look at how our brains are affected by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and cocaine.
First in Health, a new study suggests the brains of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome don’t respond to rewards in the same way as the brains of healthy people.
Researchers performed Functional MRI Scans on 18 people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and 41 healthy volunteers.
They found chronic fatigue patients experienced less change in blood flow to the region of the brain associated with motivation.
Previous research has shown the brain region known as the Basal Ganglia, which is affected in diseases associated with fatigue.
Study authors note they don’t know if these changes are involved in causing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Or if they are found as a result of it.
They are scheduled to present their results at the Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego.
Also, cocaine may speed up the aging of the brain.
As the brain ages it inevitably loses gray matter, which is linked to memory problems and cognitive decline.
Researchers used MRI’s to measure gray matter volume in the brains of 60 adults with a cocaine dependence and 60 without substance-use issues.
They found the cocaine dependent adults showed twice the gray matter loss as their healthy counterparts.
Results held true even after the team removed the cocaine users who were also addicted to alcohol from the analysis.
They say this points to the drug as a cause.
Findings appear in the journal “Molecular Psychiatry.”
Reporting on Health Matters, I’m Jessica Solis.