Post-Exertion Malaise: The Intersection of Biology and Behavior

A video lecture from SolveCFS,  Published on Nov 21, 2015

Dr. Dane B. Cook is the Co-Director of the Exercise Psychology laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Director of the Marsh Center for Research in Exercise and Movement. He received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees at the University of Georgia and post-doctoral training in neuroscience at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, N.J.

Dr. Cook’s research focuses on the psychobiology (i.e. the relationships between biology and behavior) of exercise with a specific focus on how exercise influences the central nervous system in both health and disease. Much of Dr. Cook’s research uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), in conjunction with biological and behavioral outcomes, to understand central nervous system mechanisms of pain and fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia and ME/CFS and veterans with Gulf War illness. These studies combine exercise science and brain imaging methods to better understand these diseases. More recently, Dr. Cook’s research has begun to incorporate additional biological systems, such as the immune, autonomic and gut microbiome to better understand how distinct, yet related, physiological responses interact to maintain illness.

Dr. Cook’s work in ME/CFS has demonstrated augmented brain responses during cognitive processing, altered cardiopulmonary responses to submaximal exercise and augmented gene expression and symptom responses to maximal exercise. His laboratory is currently testing the impact of resistance exercise training on symptoms and brain responses in Gulf War veterans with chronic musculoskeletal pain. This randomized controlled trial aims to determine whether weight-training is an effective treatment for Veterans with chronic muscle pain and whether treatment effects are related to changes in brain structure and function.

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