Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News

Browse our library of news below or learn more about chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) symptoms, diagnosis and causes.

Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to low cortisol levels


A low morning cortisol level could be a key factor in chronic fatigue syndrome, at least in women, a new study finds.

The study which was carried out by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention(CDC) is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. It included 185 participants from Georgia, USA, 75 of whom had been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Participants were asked to provide samples of saliva as soon as they woke up in the morning, and then again after 30 minutes and one hour. taken as soon as they woke up, and again 30 minutes and an hour later. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol were then measured in each saliva sample by William Reeves, MD, and colleagues from the CDC.

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Anti-viral drug Valacyclovir may help some with chronic fatigue syndrome


A new study shows that Valacyclovir significantly helps a subset of chronic fatigue syndrome patients who test positive for Epstein-Barr virus.

The September/October edition of the journal In Vivo reports on work carried out by researchers at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan, USA. The research was undertaken to investigate whether valacyclovir would be beneficial in CFS patients who have positive titers for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

Valacyclovir (trade name Valtrex®) is a chemical cousin of acyclovir (Zovirax®) and is in fact rapidly converted into acyclovir in the body. These drugs have antiviral actions and are used in the treatment of cold sores and other conditions that are caused by herpes simplex viruses.

The study design involved two parts. First a blinded placebo-controlled trial was conducted in which one group of EBV positive CFS patients received treatment with valacyclovir at a dosage of 14.3mg/kg every six hours while another group of patients received a placebo, again every six hours. This part of the study lasted for six months in total.

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NICE guidelines for chronic fatigue syndrome miss the mark


The latest National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for chronic fatigue syndrome recommend ineffective treatments.

The latest set of guidelines for doctors on how to manage patients with chronic fatigue syndrome from the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) are continuing to draw criticism from almost every quarter.

The guidelines recommend that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or myalgic encephalopathy), now commonly referred to as CFS/ME, should be offered a course of either cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) or graded exercise therapy (GET). They also advocate so-called 'activity management'.

According to prevalence estimates from NICE itself, the guidelines will affect over 200,000 CFS/E patients in the UK. It would be hoped therefore that the guidelines offer the best advice possible for the management of the condition but many patients and doctors feel the guidelines miss the mark by a wide margin.

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CFIDS Association Launches New Research Initiative for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Today


Press Release

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The CFIDS Association of America today launched a new initiative to advance research in the field of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and accelerate progress in developing treatments for this illness. The research initiative is designed to build a new model for bridging the gap between CFS science and medicine, and it includes a campaign to raise one million dollars over a one-year period to fuel the program. This is the largest CFS research campaign to date in the United States.

"This new program represents a visionary approach to CFS research that has applications for many fields of science," says Dr. Suzanne Vernon, who will lead the program as the CFIDS Association's new scientific director. "There has been tremendous progress made by CFS researchers around the world in the last decade, and we now understand an enormous amount about the pathophysiology of CFS, and about the body systems that are broken or altered by this disease. But what is lacking is a mechanism for sharing this progress and information not only among investigators spread out across the globe who are working in disparate fields, but among health care professionals and patients."

Vernon, who has 17 years of experience as a microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and who led the Molecular Epidemiology Program in the CDC's CFS research group from 1997 to 2007, says this mechanism isn't all that's been missing in the world of CFS science. A whole network is needed.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome name change plan moves forward


The CFS Name Change Advisory Board agrees to amend their earlier recommendations for a name to replace 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome'.

The CFS Name Change Advisory Board (NCAB) has now put forward their proposal that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) should be known as ME/CFS in the United States. The 'ME' part of the acronym will now stand for both 'Myalgic Encephalopathy' and 'Myalgic Encephalomyelitis'.

There had been disagreement previously when the name Myalgic Encephalopathy/CFS was proposed as many patients preferred Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. With ME/CFS the issue of whether to use  Myalgic Encephalopathy or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is avoided completely.

The NCAB was formed with the aid of patients and advocates including Rich Carson, founder of ProHealth Inc/ and the man behind the Campaign for a Fair Name, in order to address problems arising from the illness being known as CFS in the US. This name has been used for almost 20 years but many have felt it trivializes what is a very serious condition and prevents proper recognition by medical professionals, politicians, as well as the public.

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