GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Exercise may not be the answer to those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, and in fact may make the problem worse according to a new study released by the University of Florida in Gainesville.

The mechanism that causes high-performance athletes to feel positive “burn” feedback is elevated in those with chronic fatigue, making the experience detrimental instead of beneficial and resulting in exhaustion instead of exhilaration.

The findings show that the neural pathways that transmit fatigue to the brain are to blame – they do the job too well for chronic fatigue sufferers — are published in the February issue of the journal Pain.

Unique to this study is the role of muscle metabolites that include lactic acid and adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, and how they impact chronic fatigue.

Findings show these substances are released when a person activates these neural pathways, and that these pathways seem to be much more sensitive in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome than in patients without the disease.

The study’s conclusions show evidence that peripheral tissues such as muscles contribute to feelings of fatigue. Scientists are saying that by determining the origins of fatigue, researchers can develop therapies or identify targets for those therapies.

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