At its simplest the limbic system controls our degree of pain tolerance as well as having a powerful effect on immune function.
Dr Jay Goldstein believes that the limbic system, if not functioning normally, could be responsible for many of the symptoms seen in FMS and CFS(ME), including the obvious ‘brain fog’ as well as depression, dizziness, tinitus , intolerance to alcohol, nasal allergies, tendency to gain weight, sensitivity to chemical smells and specific foods, breathing irregularities and many more.
He believes that the limbic system disturbance may itself be the result of cytokine production by viral agents as well as cytokines produced during exercise activity.
In support of this theory Dr.Ismael Mena, using SPECT methods, has shown that the blood flow through that part of the brain known as the cerebral cortex, already low in CFS patients, is further reduced rather than increased (as would be normal) after active exercise.2
What could cause the brain, or a major element of it, to become hyper-reactive, sensitised, facilitated? Is it simply because of inadequate oxygen/blood supply?
Dr. Jay Goldstein states that, in people with CFS and FMS, the limbic system "isn’t working right. It is too sensitive to certain stimuli; it doesn’t filter them out properly (through a mechanism called sensory gating), and it doesn’t process the inputs correctly either". But why does this happen?
The theories as to just why the brain and central nervous system are functioning in an unbalanced way are numerous.
Some experts ‘blame’ immune system disturbances which are themselves a result of toxic overload and/or viral activity operating within a pattern of inborn tendencies and susceptibilities.
It seems as though the multiple stresses of life can cause the defence mechanisms of vulnerable people to become activated and ultimately over-burdened, leading to chaotic responses instead of orderly ones.
Summary of Possibilities: Take a Deep Breath and Read On... 9,10,11,12
Researchers have focussed on the commonly observed (in FMS) hormonal imbalances, or the nervous system’s over-excitablity, which itself is influenced by the hormonal neurotransmitters, which are themselves influenced by nutritional and/or toxic and/or infectious (viruses, yeasts, parasites, bacteria) disturbances, which cause undesirable chemicals to be produced leading to even greater immune system stress, as well as bowel dysfunction and associated poor nutrient absorption, resulting in multiple allergy and sensitivity reactions......or there could be abnormal functional patterns such as hyperventilation which can be caused by, or which can cause, profound anxiety, which itself produces fatigue and sleep disturbances and the repercussions of these..... or the causes could stem from poor stress-coping or nutritional imbalances (too little magnesium, calcium, zinc or chromium or perhaps too much sugar?) with the biochemical mayhem that this could cause.... or the constant bombardment of the central nervous system and brain by messages from neural reporting stations in stressed muscles and myofascial trigger points, caused by postural and habitual-use imbalances, could be overloading the pain tolerance thresholds ... or the whole complex of symptoms can be seen to be the result of the focussing into the physical body of disturbed mento-emotional patterns making the problem one which should best be treated by a psychiatrist ....or the whole problem could be caused by trauma or silicone implants or tick bites or vaccination or electromagnetic disturbances or a state of depression which is itself caused by all or any of the above... !