Could new cytokine research be paving the way to a diagnostic test for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Excerpted from Columbia Magazine – Spring issue:
As many as four million Americans are thought to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, a disease characterized by symptoms that include persistent lethargy, headaches, muscle pain, mental fogginess, and sleep problems — but the illness, once dismissed as the “yuppie flu,” has long frustrated scientists seeking to explain its etiology. To date, there has been no cure or treatment protocol, or even a way to test for the syndrome, but now a breakthrough by a team of scientists led by Columbia epidemiologist Mady Hornig may provide clinicians with a way to diagnose and treat chronic fatigue in its early stages.
In a study comparing blood samples from hundreds of people with chronic fatigue syndrome to those from healthy counterparts, the scientists found differences that support a popular hypothesis about the syndrome’s cause: that it occurs when the immune system, in the course of fighting off an acute infection, gets stuck in high gear and eventually wears itself out. The evidence? Read More…