This post does not deal with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome alone, but also deals with any disease that impacts the mind – for example, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis etc. If there are neurological issues occurring, the items below may help.
Minocycline is usually thought to be an antibiotic, or perhaps an anti-inflammatory. Often it is mis-assumed that anti-inflammatory means neuroprotective. This is incorrect. There are a variety of reasons and mechanisms involved, but that’s an academic topic. This 2010 abstract summarizes it nicely:
Minocycline is a clinically available antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drug that also demonstrates neuroprotective properties in a variety of experimental models of neurological diseases. There have thus far been more than 300 publications on minocycline neuroprotection, including a growing number of human studies. Our objective is to critically review the biological basis and translational potential of this action of minocycline on the nervous system. [ 2010 Prospects for minocycline neuroprotection]
The full text is available here. The conclusion state:
“Studies to date have clearly established that minocycline exerts neuroprotective effects but have also shown that the actions of this drug are complex, and that its administration can, under certain circumstances, also have neurotoxic consequences. More studies, both clinical and preclinical, and both combinatorial and sequential strategies, should be carried out to ascertain the therapeutic window and the indications for which minocycline could be useful, effective, and safe.”
Doxycycline (a member of the same family) is also reported as a neuroprotective [*], as is Rifampicin [*], Rapamycin, Ceftriaxone, Beta-lactam antibiotics. All of these require a prescription and judgement of risk versus benefit.
Food Derived Neuroprotection
There are several herbs, spices, etc that can be described as” nutraceuticals derived from such spices as turmeric, red pepper, black pepper, licorice, clove, ginger, garlic, coriander, and cinnamon target inflammatory pathways, thereby may prevent neurodegenerative diseases” 2011, Neuroprotection by spice-derived nutraceuticals: you are what you eat! (Full text is here)
Many of those listed above, have been a regular part of my past treatment for CFS, with significant impact from each, especially licorice and turmeric (with black pepper).
Turmeric (Curcumin) is a common kitchen herb that has 60+ articles describing it’s impact. With a reasonable summary in this 2012 article: Multiple antidepressant potential modes of action of curcumin: a review of its anti-inflammatory, monoaminergic, antioxidant, immune-modulating and neuroprotective effects.
Ginger is another kitchen spice with only 15 studies.
Other Non-Prescription Neuroprotection
In general I will point to a sample study on PubMed. If you know of others with backing PubMed studies, please add a comment (with link to an article)
Piracetam was easily available over the internet and has recently disappear from sites like Amazon, although some smaller sites still sells it. It is prescription is some parts of Europe. There are over 200 articles describing it. For example, this 2012 article, Piracetam and vinpocetine ameliorate rotenone-induced Parkinsonism in rats.
Olive Leaf Extract has only 5 studies, mainly dealing with stroke, for example: 2012 The neuroprotection effect of pretreatment with olive leaf extract on brain lipidomics in rat stroke model.
This sugar was recently found to help CFS, it’s neuroprotective aspect may be part of the positive response. A sample study, D-ribose improves cardiac contractility and hemodynamics, and reduces expression of c-fos in the hippocampus during sustained slow ventricular tachycardia in rats.
Remember Each have different mechanisms and other effects!
Antibiotics will usually impact gut bacteria (for better or for the worst) and may have other side effects. The same applies to many of the other items, like Olive Leaf Extract and Licorice.
Consult with your knowledgeable medical professional always