Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research Provides More Evidence That Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is A Legitimate Medical Condition

Date:
January 10, 2006
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have found that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may be rooted in distinct neurological abnormalities that can be medically tested. Although the sample studied was small, this research provides objective, physiological evidence that the controversial disorder can be considered a legitimate medical condition.

Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have found that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may be rooted in distinct neurological abnormalities that can be medically tested. Although the sample studied was small, this research provides objective, physiological evidence that the controversial disorder can be considered a legitimate medical condition.

Chronic fatigue syndrome defines a range of illnesses including fibromyalgia and Gulf War syndrome, all of which have fatigue as a major symptom. Even among medical professionals, there is a disagreement about the causes, diagnosis and treatment of CFS because so much about the disorder remains unknown. One reason CFS is difficult to diagnose is because it shares symptoms with many other diseases, including multiple sclerosis and lupus. Even when other illnesses are ruled out and a CFS diagnosis is given, there is not a standardized course of treatment and it's difficult for doctors to measure patient improvement. Estimates are that two to four times as many women as men are diagnosed with CFS.

The Georgetown study, published in the November edition of the BMC Neurology Journal, an online publication, reveals that patients diagnosed with CFS and its family of illnesses have a set of proteins in their spinal cord fluid that were not detected in healthy individuals. These proteins might give insight into the causes of CFS and could someday be used as markers to diagnose patients with the disorder.

"For years, patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have suffered from painful symptoms for which there is no blood test, diagnosable physical condition or any method for doctors to measure improvement," said James Baraniuk, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and first author on the study. "Our research provides initial evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome and its family of illnesses may be legitimate, neurological diseases and that at least part of the pathology involves the central nervous system."

The disorder is characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may get worse with physical or mental activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Persons with CFS usually function at a lower level of activity than they were capable of before the onset of illness, feeling too tired to perform normal activities or easily exhausted with no apparent reason. Patients also report various nonspecific symptoms, including weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory and/or mental concentration, insomnia and post-exertional fatigue lasting more than 24 hours.

The study looked at 50 individuals suffering from at least two disorders related to CFS, including fibromyalgia and Gulf War syndrome. By examining spinal cord fluid in patients with CFS and in healthy individuals, the researchers found that CFS patients have 16 proteins that healthy individuals do not. Five of these 16 proteins are found in all patients with the illnesses but in none of the controls. The results indicate that those 16 proteins could possibly serve as a "biosignature" for the disease and could someday be used to diagnose CFS.

"Although this is a small study and more research on the subject is necessary, these results indicate it might be possible to develop a simple laboratory test to diagnose these disorders in the future," Baraniuk said.

Other co-authors on the paper include Begona Casada, PhD, and Hilda Maibach, MS, of Georgetown University Medical Center; Daniel J. Clauw, MD, of the University of Michigan; and Lewis K. Pannell, PhD, of the University of South Carolina; and Sonya Hess, PhD, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

###

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through our partnership with MedStar Health). Our mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis--or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO.)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Research Provides More Evidence That Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is A Legitimate Medical Condition." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060110013424.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2006, January 10). Research Provides More Evidence That Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is A Legitimate Medical Condition. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060110013424.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Research Provides More Evidence That Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is A Legitimate Medical Condition." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060110013424.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins