Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: ‘real,’ not imaginary

Recent research indicates that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is not the product of sufferers’ imagination or a by-product of depression.  Schutzer et al. report these findings in PLoS ONE; a much more accessible article is at Science News. By comparing Lyme disease patients, carefully screened CFS patients, and a control group with neither condition, the researchers found that each group had a significant number of proteins in their spinal fluid that were not found in the other groups. Schutzer said, “This provides strong evidence of a biological component.” Let’s hope that it not only provides a pathway to determining a cause or cure but increases acceptance of CFS as a ‘real’ affliction. Indeed, perhaps it will lead to a test to distinguish people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from those with depression, Lyme disease, dietary deficiency, or some other problem.

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