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Study Suggests Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is Real

Spinal fluid of CFS patients has distinct proteins, researchers say

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Its origins have long remained unclear, but chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may be a legitimate neurological condition, according to findings from a new international study.

The study found that patients with CFS have a set of proteins in their spinal cord fluid that aren't present in healthy people. These proteins may provide more information about the causes of CFS and could possibly be used as markers to identify people with the condition.

Reporting Friday in the journal BMC Neurology, the researchers identified 16 proteins that can be found in the spinal fluid of people with CFS, but not in healthy people. Five of those proteins were found in all CFS patients studied.

Many of the proteins found in CFS patients are involved in protein folding and in various neurological syndromes, the team of American and Italian researchers added.

"This is the first predictive model of chronic fatigue to be based only on objective data," according to the researchers, who were led by James Baraniuk and Begona Casado of Georgetown University.

"Given the controversy over whether CFS and its allied syndromes are legitimate medical conditions, our model provides initial objective evidence for the legitimacy of CSF as a distinct neurological disease," they said.

More information

The U.S. National Center for Infectious Diseases has more about chronic fatigue syndrome.

SOURCE: BioMed Central, news release, Dec. 1, 2005
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