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 may be explained by limbic kindling

Brain Scan Image​A team of researchers have recently published a new hypothesis that could explain what causes chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and the symptoms and physiological dysfunction associated with it. The researchers believe 'kindling', or hypersensitivity of the brain, to be at the root of the illness.

Kindling is a process that develops when the brain is chronically exposed to low-level stimuli with the ultimate result being hypersensitivity and seizure-like activity when that stimulus is encountered again at lower levels, or even in its absence. Essentially the brain is left in a state of constant "high alert".

In their paper published in the journal Neuroscience and Medicine, the scientists from DePaul University in Chicago suggest that a chronic viral illness, which may originally have been asymptomatic, may illicit an immune response involving pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) which act as a chronic stimulus to the brain, altering its electrical activity, and ultimately causing kindling. They add that an acute trauma like a high impact head injury sustained in a car or sports accident, for example, could also trigger the kindling response. Both scenarios are consistent with reports from ME/CFS patients regarding the onset of their illness and evidence of chronic viral infections and cytokine abnormalities have consistently been found.

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XMRV not present in spinal fluid of chronic fatigue syndrome patients


Virus under a microscopeA new study of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) sufferers has found no evidence for the presence of  xenotropic murine leukemia–related virus (XMRV) in their spinal fluid, casting doubts on findings of other researchers that suggested XMRV may be at least one causative factor in this complex condition.

In 2009, Judy Mikovits Ph.D. and colleagues at the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) in Reno, Nevada, published results showing that a retrovirus, XMRV, was common in ME/CFS patients but not in healthy individuals. The finding brought ME/CFS into the full glare of the media spotlight for the first time; the condition having previously been considered a 'fad' diagnosis by many.

Since the publication of this landmark study from the WPI scientists around the world have been trying to replicate the findings. In 2010 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Insititutes of Health (NIH) confirmed the WPIs findings, at least to a point. Other scientists, particularly outside the US, have however failed to find any evidence that XMRV is more common in blood samples from chronic fatigue syndrome patients than it is in samples from healthy controls.

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Diagnostic test for chronic fatigue syndrome announced


Hydrogen Sulfide Urine Test for CFSPress Release from the National ME/FM Action Network, Canada

Belgium: Dr. Kenny De Meirleir of the Brussels Free University (VUB) has announced that he has successfully developed a diagnostic test for ME/CFS. The Myalgic Encephalopathy Association Belgium (MEAB) estimates there are between 30,000 to 40,000 people in Belgium with ME/CFS.

Since 2002, the Flemish government has invested over €10 million in five "reference centres" across the region in Leuven, Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels for the diagnosis and treatment for ME/CFS but offer only cognitive behavioural therapy and physical rehabilitation.

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Chronic fatigue syndrome still misunderstood and ignored


Marc Van ImpeBelgian medical journalist Marc Van Impe reports on the continued misrepresentation of chronic fatigue syndrome as a psychosomatic condition, despite ample evidence of multiple physiological abnormalities, and the persecution of physicians genuinely trying to help patients with biomedical treatments based on years of scientific research.

No imaginary illness
The perception of CFS is disastrous for patients

Few diseases create as much controversy as CFS. Care providers, legislators and journalists tend to react with irritation when this disease is discussed. The reasons are lack of knowledge, and a deliberately created false image.

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European Society for ME reports on XMRV conference in Oslo


OSLO Conference on XMRV and Chronic fatigue SyndromeThe following is a summary of lectures presented by Dr. Judy Mikovits  and Dr. Mette Johnsgaard at the European Society for ME (ESME) conference on XMRV in Oslo, Norway, on November 28th, 2010.

ESME works to further our understanding of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), in part by providing forums such as conferences where biomedical researchers in the field can present their findings.

Lecture summaries as provided by ESME:

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