Chemical Signature for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Identified

Chemical Signature for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Identified
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition responsible for long-term pain and disability. It is separate from but often considered related to fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, CFS is a difficult to diagnose disease mainly because of its variable symptoms and the lack of a solid diagnostic laboratory test. But in a recent study, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine used a range of methods to identify and assess targeted metabolites in blood plasma from CFS patients. They found a specific chemical signature for CFS and underlying biology very similar to the state of hypometabolic conditions like caloric restriction, diapause (period of suspended development), and hibernation. The study “Metabolic features of chronic fatigue syndrome” is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). CFS is often difficult and expensive to diagnose. Although individual tests may be affordable and possibly covered by medical insurance, many patients endure a diagnostic journey that results in substantial personal expenses, absence from the workplace, and significant reductions in quality of life. Health care professionals are also frustrated by the lack of an objective technology that can assist with diagnosis. Attempts at using analytes in blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or a handful of genetic loci as biomarkers have not yielded diagnostically useful tests for CFS. "CFS is a very challenging disease," the study's first author Dr. Robert K. Naviaux, professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology and director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said in a news release. "It affects multiple systems of the body. Sympt
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