Why Can’t We Think Well When We’re Sick?

This isn’t specifically about CFS/ME or FMS, but I found it interesting, and I think it makes sense.

Why Mental Lethargy When Sick

During an infection, humans typically experience a set of physiological and psychological symptoms, including fever, confusion, decreased motivation, depression and anxiety that are accompanied by a slowing of movements.

These changes, collectively known as “sickness behavior,” are the body’s way of conserving energy during illness so that an effective immune response can be launched. This new study helps researchers further understand how cytokines communicate between the immune system and the brain to promote sickness behavior.

Since many people with CFS/ME have chronic fevers and other symptoms similar to those of infectious illnesses, I have to wonder if the results of this study will be examined with regard to CFS/ME.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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One thought on “Why Can’t We Think Well When We’re Sick?

  1. Actually it is — but unfortunately not in the good way. James Jones, a virologist who studies ME/CFS at the Centers for Disease Control, wrote a paper recently arguing that people with ME/CFS have become stuck in sickness behavior even though we are no longer sick. And because we are stuck in this aberrant sickness behavior, we’re too focused on every little thing we’re feeling, or rather have heightened “interoception”. His cure, as you might imagine, is cognitive behavioral therapy.

    You can read the paper at the Co-Cure board here:

    http://tinyurl.com/2wen2z (I hope that link works!)

    Now, what would make interesting research is looking at the biological reasons we are in a chronic state of sickness behavior. 🙂

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