Study Proves an Overactive Immune System Causes Chronic Fatigue (CFS)

Study results recently published in the latest Psychoneuroendocrinology journal show that an overactive immune system is the cause of CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).

The team at Kings College London explain that CFS or ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) causes a continuous fatigue state that makes sufferers so weak that they are unable to perform normal routine activities. And, that the immune system, not somatization, the expression of psychological or emotional factors as physical, is the cause.

An exaggerated immune response may cause CFS

Alice Russell, a psychiatrist at the IoPPN who studies CFS and ME says, “For the first time, we have shown that people who are prone to develop a CFS-like illness have an overactive immune system.  Our findings suggest that people who have an exaggerated immune response to a trigger may be more at risk of developing CFS.”

CFS or ME affects around 20 million people across the world and is rarely treated correctly.  Often, sufferers are stigmatised as malingerers or hypochondriacs.  Co-author of the study report, Carmine Pariante, is an expert in biological psychiatry at King’s College and says “A better understanding of the biology underlying the development of CFS is needed to help patients suffering from this debilitating condition. Although screening tests are a long way off, our results are the first step in identifying those at risk

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The study looked at the immune responses of 55 patients with Hepatitis C who were given  Interferon alfa, a standard treatment for HepC.   Interferon alfa has the side effect of causing fatigue.  But the team at King’s College noted that 18 of the patients did not recover from this fatigue.  In fact, their fatigue worsened and was still notable 6 months later.  They believe this to mean that, in some individuals, the immune system is ‘primed’ to give an exaggerated response to infections.  This then leads to long-lasting fatigue and CFS or ME syndrome

Ananya Mandal, a doctor specializing in Clinical Pharmacology and a writer of medical articles, summarises the results of this study in a fashion that the layperson can understand…

…”The researchers looked at a model that can mimic the symptoms of CFS to understand its cause. They included 55 patients with Hepatitis C and, for the first time, have shown that people who are prone to develop a CFS-like illness have an overactive immune systemread her full article here…

Mojo

Wonder woman (...well I thought so!) to blunder woman after diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and ME

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