New insights may lead to test for chronic fatigue syndrome

BY VICKY WEBB | PUBLISHED: 08-03-2017

The researchers looked at blood samples from 192 individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 392 healthy people as a control group.

A new study has identified blood markers in patients with severe symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome that could lead to a diagnostic test and treatment for the little understood disorder.

The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Although more than a million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, also called myalgic encephalomyelitis, no test exists to diagnose it and no treatments are effective.

"What is at stake here is 'proof of concept' that the disease is real," said lead author Dr. Jose G. Montoya at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, in an email to Reuters, adding, "Patients have been humiliated, ostracized, and ignored."

Many manifestations of chronic fatigue syndrome can be maddeningly elusive, ranging from flu-like symptoms, cognitive problems, and insomnia to food and light sensitivities. But its main symptom is of debilitating fatigue after even mild exertion.

The researchers looked at blood samples from 192 individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 392 healthy people as a control group.

They found that people with severe symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome showed an elevation of 17 immune system signaling molecules, known as cytokines, which often trigger inflammation.

"Many people report that their illness began with symptoms associated with a typical respiratory infection including fever, sore threat, swollen lymph nodes, muscle weakness and fatigue, but the clinical course was atypical and they never fully recovered," said Dr. Ian Lipkin, a researcher at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York, in the Reuters report. "Many of these symptoms can be explained by circulating immune system molecules described by Montoya and colleagues in this paper, as well as by others who have reported similar findings." Lipkin was not involved in the study

 

 

Comments
Laurel Kornfeld - 5 hours ago
The researchers looked at blood samples from 192 individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 392 healthy people as a control group.
Laurel Kornfeld - 5 hours ago
The researchers looked at blood samples from 192 individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 392 healthy people as a control group.
Chad Young - 6 hours ago
The researchers looked at blood samples from 192 individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 392 healthy people as a control group.
Chad Young - 6 hours ago
The researchers looked at blood samples from 192 individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 392 healthy people as a control group.
Vicky Webb - 6 hours ago
The researchers looked at blood samples from 192 individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 392 healthy people as a control group.
Paul Pate - 6 hours ago
The researchers looked at blood samples from 192 individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 392 healthy people as a control group.
Laurel Kornfeld - 6 hours ago
The researchers looked at blood samples from 192 individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and 392 healthy people as a control group.