Objective Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex disorder, with no consensus on therapeutic options. However, Waon therapy has been reported to be an effective treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in the cerebral blood flow (CBF) before and after Waon therapy in CFS patients and to investigate the correlation between such changes and the therapeutic efficacy of Waon therapy.
Methods Eleven patients (2 men and 9 women, mean age 27 years old) diagnosed with CFS participated in the study. The disease duration was 8-129 months, and the performance status was 5-8 (on a scale of 0-9). All patients underwent CBF scintigraphy using brain single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with technetium-99m ethyl cysteinate dimer (99mTc-ECD) before and after Waon therapy. CBF changes after Waon therapy were evaluated using a statistical analysis of imaging data, which was performed with a statistical parametric mapping software program (SPM5).
Results Waon therapy reduced symptoms in all 11 patients. We also observed an increase in the CBF within the prefrontal region, orbitofrontal region, and right temporal lobe. These results indicated that an improvement in clinical symptoms was linked to an increase in the CBF.
Conclusion The results indicated abnormalities of the cerebral function in the prefrontal region, orbitofrontal region, and right temporal lobe in CFS patients and that Waon therapy improved the cerebral function and symptoms in CFS patients by increasing the regional CBF. To our knowledge, this is the first report to clarify the CBF changes in CFS patients before and after Waon therapy.