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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome — Overview, Symptoms, Treatments, and Other Resources.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known as CFS, post-viral fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis)
Comprehensive Guides
Information on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from the National Library of Medicine
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition of prolonged and severe tiredness or weariness (fatigue) that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other conditions. To be diagnosed with this condition, your tiredness must be severe enough to decrease your ability to participate in ordinary activities by 50%. Symptoms of CFS are similar to those of most common viral infections (muscle aches, headache, and fatigue). They come on within a few hours or days and last for 6 months or more. There is currently no cure for CFS. Instead, the symptoms are treated. Many people with CFS experience depression and other psychological problems that may improve with treatment. The long-term outlook for patients with CFS is variable and difficult to predict when symptoms first start. Some patients have been reported to completely recover after 6 months to a year. Others may take longer for a complete recovery. Read more at the National Library of Medicine.

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Information on the Basic Facts of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at the Center for Disease Control
Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. The cause or causes of CFS have not been identified and no specific diagnostic tests are available. Moreover, since many illnesses have incapacitating fatigue as a symptom, care must be taken to exclude other known and often treatable conditions before a diagnosis of CFS is made. Learn more at the Centers for Disease Control.

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Information on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at Mayoclinic.com
Read more about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at mayoclinic.com.

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Videos and Podcasts
Podcast Podcast: Not in My Head public service announcement
60 sec PSA about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness from the Centers for Disease Control.

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Podcast Podcast: Not in My Head public service announcement
A 30-second television public service announcement on CFS illustrates the impact of CFS on one woman and her family during the course of a single day. The PSA also educates the public about the symptoms of CFS. View the video at the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Association of America.

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Clinical Practice Guidelines
Diagnostic Criteria of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
CFS is a clinically diagnosed condition with a well-documented history; however there is not a definitive cause or cure for the condition. This has caused considerable debate among patients, physicians, and researchers about how to accurately characterize and reflect its multifaceted components. In addition, the symptoms of CFS are variable and differ in severity, making a definitive description difficult. In order to navigate its complexities, it is helpful to consider the many variants that make up CFS. While the Fukuda definition is the accepted standard for research studies, many suggest that modifications as suggested by the International Study Group should be adopted. A chronological listing of diagnostic criteria from the United States and countries around the world follows. Read more from the National Institutes of Health.

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Treatment Options
People with CFS present with different patterns of primary symptoms. Symptom severity can also vary considerably. Clinicians should query patients about which symptoms are most disruptive or disabling and tailor the management plan accordingly. Treatment can be directed toward the most problematic symptoms as prioritized by the patient, but only after underlying conditions applicable to those symptoms have been investigated and excluded. View the treatment guidelines at the Centers for Disease Control

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Important Articles from Medical Journals
Abstract: Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating disease of unknown etiology that is estimated to affect 17 million people worldwide. Studying peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from CFS patients, we identified DNA from a human gammaretrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), in 68 of 101 patients (67%) as compared to 8 of 218 (3.7%) healthy controls. Cell culture experiments revealed that patient-derived XMRV is infectious and that both cell-associated and cell-free transmission of the virus are possible. Secondary viral infections were established in uninfected primary lymphocytes and indicator cell lines after their exposure to activated PBMCs, B cells, T cells, or plasma derived from CFS patients. These findings raise the possibility that XMRV may be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of CFS. View the abstract in Pubmed.

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Abstract: Childhood trauma and risk for chronic fatigue syndrome: association with neuroendocrine dysfunction.
CONTEXT: Childhood trauma appears to be a potent risk factor for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Evidence from developmental neuroscience suggests that early experience programs the development of regulatory systems that are implicated in the pathophysiology of CFS, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. However, the contribution of childhood trauma to neuroendocrine dysfunction in CFS remains obscure. OBJECTIVES: To replicate findings on the relationship between childhood trauma and risk for CFS and to evaluate the association between childhood trauma and neuroendocrine dysfunction in CFS. Abstract available at Pubmed.

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Full text: Evaluation of autoantibodies to common and neuronal cell antigens in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) suffer from multiple symptoms including fatigue, impaired memory and concentration, unrefreshing sleep and musculoskeletal pain. The exact causes of CFS are not known, but the symptom complex resembles that of several diseases that affect the immune system and autoantibodies may provide clues to the various etiologies of CFS. Full text available at Pubmed.

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Full Text: Effect of supplement with lactic-acid producing bacteria on fatigue and physical activity in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome
Disturbances in intestinal microbial ecology and in the immune system of the host have been implicated as a part of the pathogenesis in chronic fatigue syndrome. Probiotic lactic acid producing bacteria have been shown to prevent and alleviate gastrointestinal disturbances and to normalize the cytokine profile which might be of an advantage for patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. The findings in this study that improvement of health is possible to achieve should encourage further studies with interventions with probiotics in patients with CFS. Full text available at Pubmed.

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Full text: Identification of Marker Genes for Differential Diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a clinically defined condition characterized by long-lasting disabling fatigue. Because of the unknown mechanism underlying this syndrome, there still is no specific biomarker for objective assessment of the pathological fatigue. Our results suggest that the defined gene cluster (9 genes) may be useful for detecting pathological responses in CFS patients and for differential diagnosis of this syndrome. Full text available at Pubmed.

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Full text: Chronic fatigue syndrome: aetiology, diagnosis and treatment
Given its unknown aetiology, different hypotheses have been considered to explain the origin of the condition (from immunological disorders to the presence of post-traumatic oxidative stress), although there are no conclusive diagnostic tests. In an interdisciplinary approach, this work also reviews the principal scientific, medical, socio-sanitary and psychological aspects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Full text available at Pubmed.

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Full text: A real-time assessment of the effect of exercise in chronic fatigue syndrome
Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) report substantial symptom worsening after exercise. However, the time course over which this develops has not been explored. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the influence of exercise on subjective symptoms and on cognitive function in CFS patients. Full text available at Pubmed.

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Full text: Reduced responsiveness is an essential feature of chronic fatigue syndrome: A fMRI study
Background: Although the neural mechanism of chronic fatigue syndrome has been investigated by a number of researchers, it remains poorly understood. Methods: Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we studied brain responsiveness in 6 male chronic fatigue syndrome patients and in 7 age-matched male healthy volunteers. Responsiveness of auditory cortices to transient, short-lived, noise reduction was measured while subjects performed a fatigue-inducing continual visual search task. Full text available at Pubmed.

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Full text: Functional status of persons with chronic fatigue syndrome in the Wichita, Kansas, population
Scant research has adequately addressed the impact of chronic fatigue syndrome on patients' daily activities and quality of life. Enumerating specific problems related to quality of life in chronic fatigue syndrome patients can help us to better understand and manage this illness. This study addresses issues of functional status in persons with chronic fatigue syndrome and other fatiguing illnesses in a population based sample, which can be generalized to all persons with chronic fatigue. Full text available at Pubmed.

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Full text: A population-based study of the clinical course of chronic fatigue syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) presents a challenge for patients, health care providers, and health insurance groups because of its incapacitating nature, unknown cause, and poorly understood prognosis. We conducted a longitudinal population-based study to characterize the clinical course of CFS. Full text available at Pubmed.

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CFS Diagnosis Tree
Source: CDC

Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Society
Source:SACFS

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