Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is also known as ME, which stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

It is a condition where the patient is persistently extremely tired and exhausted, despite sleep or rest. It can be a serious condition. It can improve over time, but can also cause long-term illness and disability, especially in severe cases.

Chronic fatigue syndrome affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK. It usually develops from the early 20s to mid 40s and can also affect children, predominantly teenagers.

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Pain

Mild CFS

  • Patients feel drained/tired all the time
  • Can care for themselves
  • May need days off work to rest and recover

Moderate CFS

  • Constant state of exhaustion
  • Patients may have reduced mobility
  • There may be disturbed sleep patterns and need to sleep in the afternoon

Severe CFS

  • Patients have significantly reduced mobility
  • Can carry out minimal daily tasks, such as basic personal hygiene
  • May have difficulty concentrating
  • Around 1 in 4 CFS patients are classified as having severe symptoms


There is no one specific or exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. Potential factors may include:

  • Illness/infection – viral or bacterial
  • Immune system problems
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Stress, emotional trauma or other psychiatric problems
  • Genetic tendency

Often there is no identifiable cause.

Conventional Treatments

Treatment for chronic fatigue is generally directed to reducing the symptoms, rather than tackling the cause, so that patients can return to normal life. Options may include:

  • CBT – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Exercise therapy
  • Medication – for pain, nausea and/or sleeping problems

rTMS Treatment London & Birmingham

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome is available at Smart TMS, based in London and Birmingham. See our clinic locations for more information.

Smart TMS was the first UK clinic to offer treatments for anything other than depression.

On the basis of research, we believe that rTMS – Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation could offer sufferers of CFS an alternative treatment option where other treatments have been tried without success.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a treatment which works directly on the associated areas of the brain. It offers the benefit of being a non-medication approach, avoiding potentially unpleasant side-effects associated with drugs.

To discuss this further, please contact us.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and TMS Treatment

Research and Studies

There is evidence from research that rTMS reduces CFS.

Research Studies

Structural and functional abnormalities of the prefrontal cortex seem to correlate with fatigue in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome(CFS).

Researchers consecutively applied facilitatory high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of seven CFS patients over three days.

Five patients completed the 3-day protocol without any adverse events. For the other two patients, they had to reduce the stimulation intensity in response to mild adverse reactions. In most of the patients, treatment resulted in an improvement of fatigue symptoms.

High-frequency rTMS applied over the DLPFC can therefore be a potentially useful therapy for CFS patients.