March 3, 2015 by  
Filed under Health Blog

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease with distinct stages that can be identified through biomarkers in the blood, US researchers say, offering hope that earlier diagnosis may improve treatment.

The scientists say their findings represent “the first robust physical evidence” that the syndrome also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis is “a biological illness as opposed to a psychological disorder, and the first evidence that the disease has distinct stages”.

“We now have evidence confirming what millions of people with this disease already know, that ME/CFS isn’t psychological,” says lead author Dr Mady Hornig, associate professor of epidemiology at ColumbiaUniversity.

“Our results should accelerate the process of establishing the diagnosis after individuals first fall ill as well as discovery of new treatment strategies focusing on these early blood markers.”

The researchers tested levels of 51 immune biomarkers in blood plasma samples from 298 patients and 348 healthy controls.

Specific patterns appeared in patients who had the disease three years or less.

These patterns were not visible in healthy controls or patients who had the disease for more than three years.

Those who had been sick for less than three years had higher levels of cytokines.

“The association was unusually strong with a cytokine called interferon gamma that has been linked to the fatigue that follows many viral infections, including Epstein-Barr virus,”  write the researchers in journal Science Advances.

However, cytokine levels did not explain symptom severity, which often fluctuates. Patients may have good days and bad days, they say.

“It appears that ME/CFS patients are flush with cytokines until around the three-year mark, at which point the immune system shows evidence of exhaustion and cytokine levels drop,” adds Dr Hornig.

The researchers say the findings support the theory that the disease may strike when vulnerable patients fall ill with a common virus like Epstein-Barr, which causes mononucleosis, and they are unable to recover.

“The immune response becomes like a car stuck in high gear,” they write.

Previous research has ruled out two viruses thought to be causing ME/CFS, including xenotropic murine leukaemia virus and murine retrovirus-like sequences.

“This study delivers what has eluded us for so long: unequivocal evidence of immunological dysfunction in ME/CFS and diagnostic biomarkers for disease,” says senior author Dr Ian Lipkin who is also an epidemiologist at ColumbiaUniversity.

“The question we are trying to address in a parallel microbiome project is what triggers this dysfunction.” – AAP

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is one of the conditions that I specialize in and have helped countless patients regain their health and wellbeing over the last 21 years. If you suffer from chronic fatigue please consult me to find out the contributing factors to your CFS and to receive a science-based treatment program that will be designed specifically for your individual requirements, so that you can begin your path to optimum health and high vitality. 

Yours In health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MNHAA, MHATO
Naturopathic Medicine practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher

Sar has advanced qualifications in the health sciences and naturopathic medicine and is an accomplished lecturer, practitioner & counsellor with 21 years of clinical experience.

Specializing in Anxiety & Depression | Women’s Health | Natural Hormone Balance | Thyroid Disorders | Digestive Health | Chronic Fatigue | Autoimmune Disease | Genetic Polymorphisms & Nutrigenomics | Optimal Wellness & Disease Prevention with a Clinical Focus on Identifying & Resolving the Underlying Causes of Symptoms and Disease. 

Earth Medicine TM
Email: [email protected]
Science-Based Naturopathic Health Care to help you achieve optimal wellness, calm and contented mental health, hormonal balance and disease prevention with personalised naturopathic health care, specialized clinical pathology testing and high-quality naturopathic medicines. Professional counselling services and clinical hypnotherapy are also available. 
Appointments are available by phone, skype or in-person at Strathalbyn, SA. 
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Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment. Please note: I am not a medical practitioner.



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