Association-Funded Study Published on Lactate
In a study published in the October 2008 issue of NMR in Biomedicine, researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York used a sensitive and quantitative brain imaging technique that revealed elevated lactate in the ventricular cerebrospinal fluid in people with CFS. The study—funded by a grant from the CFIDS Association of America—examined 14 people with CFS, 14 people with general anxiety disorder (GAD) and 15 healthy controls and found that only the CFS subjects had significantly raised concentrations of ventricular lactate.
The ventricles are structures of the brain with cells that produce cerebrospinal fluid – the fluid that “bathes” the brain and contains a number of substances important for energy production such as glucose and lactate. The brain can use both glucose and lactate as brain fuel.
In this study, investigators used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging (MRSI) and found that the mean lateral ventricular lactate concentrations were increased by 297% in CFS compared to GAD and by 348% compared to healthy volunteers. The size of the lateral ventricles was similar for the 3 groups indicating that some physiologic process rather than physical volume likely explained elevated lactate.
The reason for this elevated lactate is not clear but is consistent with evidence of decreased brain blood flow and oxidative stress in CFS. The investigators will extend their study to increase the numbers of CFS subjects and investigate possible explanations for elevated lactate.
Mathew SJ, Mao X, Keegan KA, Levine SM, Smith EL, Heier LA, Otcheretko V, Coplan JD, Shungu DC. Ventricular cerebrospinal fluid lactate is increased in chronic fatigue syndrome compared with generalized anxiety disorder: an in vivo 3.0 T (1)H MRS imaging study. NMR Biomed. 2008 Oct 21. [Epub ahead of print]
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