Blood proteins may alter the severity of chronic fatigue syndrome – New research indicates


Chronic fatigue syndrome doesn’t have any cure, and dependable treatments are taken with a pinch of salt. However, a recent study has linked it to alterations in 17 immune-system indicating proteins known as cytokines.

According to the research, inflammation plays a role in the disease which can be persistent for many years. The researchers at Stanford University Medical Center said their discovery could be of help to doctors in diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome and determine its severity. Chronic fatigue syndrome is also called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS.

New findings

The senior study author Dr. Mark Davis disclosed in a hospital release that ME/CFS has been controversial. He said their new findings indicate that it’s an inflammatory health condition and that gives the basis for a blood test.

The authors pointed out that over a million people living in the U.S have the chronic fatigue syndrome. Men are less affected, and the health conditions show up first during teen and reemerge during 30’s.

Dr. Jose Montoya, the lead author and a professor at the medical center said in a news release that the chronic fatigue can make a life which was productive previously to be dependent. She added that while few persons recover in a year even without treatment, many people are affected persistently.

Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome

Speaking on the symptoms of the disease, she said apart from the fatigue that doesn’t subside even when the patient rests; the disease may cause mental fuzziness, flu-like symptoms. In some cases, heart problem sets in, muscle pain, constipation, and even diarrhea.

Montoya said that anti-inflammatory and antiviral medication have shown active signs in curbing symptoms. Likewise, medications that are geared towards the immune system have been efficient somewhat.

The research

In a bid to find the particular cause for this health condition, the Stanford scientists made an analysis of blood samples collected from 192 distinct individuals who have the chronic fatigue, as well 592 samples from people who don’t have this disease. The patients had been struggling with the symptoms for more than ten years on the average.

The Stanford researchers recorded the severity of the symptoms of each person, as well how long the patients had been sick. Then, they checked the level of 51 cytokines.

Of the proteins analyzed, 17 related to the severity of disease while 13 functions to worsen the condition – pro-inflammatory. They found that one of the proteins is less common in men than women, underscoring the reason why the disease is rampant in women. The scientists said their new findings could be of help in diagnosing and treating the ailment.

Montoya speaking on diseases and their symptoms, she said analyzing the severity of sickness, or its duration can provide in depth knowledge about such health condition. The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 31.