Scientists Discover Robust Evidence That Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Is a Biological Illness

Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health have identified changes in the immune system of people with chronic fatigue syndrome, known medically as myalgic encephalomyelitis. These findings are provide the most definitive evidence to date that the condition is biologically based, not psychological.

The large, multicenter study, published on February 27 in the journal Science Advances, presents evidence of increased amounts of certain immune molecules called cytokines in patients who had the disease three years or less that were not present in those with the disease for longer periods or in those without the disease.

In a video interview, lead researcher Mady Hornig, MD, associate professor of epidemiology, explains that the findings could help improve diagnosis and identify treatment options for the disabling disorder, which has symptoms that range from extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating to headaches and muscle pain.

Tangible substantiation of disease and the possibility of a blood test is a game-changer for people with the disease, says Hornig, who is also director of translational research at the Center for Infection and Immunity. “This can bring individuals who have been denied a diagnosis, and denied recognition of their illness… to an early diagnosis that may in addition tell us something about what is causing their illness and how potentially to treat it.”

7 Replies to “Scientists Discover Robust Evidence That Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Is a Biological Illness”

  1. I have suffered from this for a few years after a life of hard work I delighted in. My personal Doctor was supportive and diagnosed it. This was confirmed by a Specialist here in Northern Ireland. My Doctor retired recently, and his replacement thinks it is all in my head. That despite daily swelling in the glands, headaches, exhaustion, poor sleep patterns, and aching limbs. Also night sweats, and  poor mental focus at times. So pleased to see this.

  2. After almost 5 years of struggling I'm still not diagnosed. my Dr is now ruling it out as CFS, but he does not want to diagnose me. Why not ?

  3. the blood tests are probably immune tests like mesuring your cytokine levels and white blood cell counts. After 3 years of it your cytokines get abnormally low and you start catching more pathogens.
    I am almost certain about extensive research and having this awful feeling for almost a year now that it begins with stress, psychological stress (mental stress, anxiety, panic) or physiological stress (EBV virus, car accident, lyme etc) or both that ends up causing increased intestinal hyperpermeability because blood is diverted away from digestion during stress. Especially if you eat gluten during this stressor it increases chances to set off this vicious cycle because gluten contains the Gliadin peptide and that acts as an agonist (imposter) of a chemokine receptor which releases Zonulin which activates another receptor that makes the cells junctions open up, probably to let the immune system have more access to whats in your gut because it thinks theres a pathogen there but it was only gluten. once the junction is opened large food peptides that are normally too big to enter, enter the blood and cause massive inflammation and releases of cytokines and chemokine which make the gut more hyperpermeable until the inflammation destroys the gut lining and then there are gaps as wide as the cell then youre in for hell. This can eventually cause autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis or M.E. if it goes on too long (especially if your Vitamin D is low) and can cause coeliac disease in which you actually develop an antibody to gluten peptide (Gliadin). But Gluten is bad no matter what because it causes gut to open.
    the least you can do is take vitamin d in at least 5000iu twice a day and never eat wheat/gluten and never take NSAIDS like aspirin or ibuprofen because they can damage stomach and intestinal lining. and take Termeric (curcumin) instead which does the same think naturally (inhibit COX 2) and take L-Glutamine amino acid in 10g doses a day. And avoid rough foods like nuts or hard fiber foods that scrape ur intestine.

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