Looking for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Volunteers

Published 9 July 2007

About 50,000 Australians are estimated to suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Southern Cross University researcher Anthony Alexander wants to hear from some of them.

Anthony needs local people who suffer from CFS to take part in a study looking at the ‘fatigue’ aspect of their condition. He is examining heart rate variability during walking exercise.

Anthony is an Honours student in the University’s Department of Exercise Science and Sports Management.

“For my Honours project I am focusing on the exercise physiology area, looking at the effects of exercise on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) in people who have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” Anthony said.

“The reason why I have decided to do research with people who have CFS is firstly because there are no known exact causes of CFS, and secondly the management of this condition needs further understanding.

“People who have been diagnosed with CFS have been diagnosed because of a list of persisting symptoms, including prolonged periods of fatigue lasting six months or longer, in combination with sore throats, muscle soreness, inflamed glands and lack of sleep.

“So I decided to look at the fatigue aspect of their symptoms. I’ll be doing this by looking at the different parts of the autonomic nervous system and their interaction with the heart.”

Anthony said the purpose of the project was not to find a cure or a direct cause of CFS but to see if the autonomic nervous system plays a role in the fatigued state of CFS people.

“If it does, then further investigations can look into treatment and management practices of the autonomic nervous system in CFS,” he said.

“Participants who volunteer for this project will be taking part in something that has not been fully investigated before and therefore contributing to further push the boundaries of CFS research.”

If you are interested please contact Anthony by phone on (02) 6626 9570 or email aalexa11@scu.edu.au or Rosanne Coutts on (02) 6620 3235 or email rosanne.coutts@scu.edu.au.

Photo: Exercise Science Honours student Anthony Alexander hopes his research will help chronic fatigue sufferers.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley Southern Cross University media officer 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.