NPR

Scientists Edge Closer To Elusive Lab Test For 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome'

Stanford University scientists have found an array of proteins in the blood whose levels correlate closely with the severity of symptoms of the mysterious illness that's increasingly known as ME/CFS.
In addition to profound exhaustion that isn't relieved with sleep, the illness now called ME/CFS includes flu-like symptoms, muscle pain, "brain fog" and various other physical symptoms, all of which typically worsen with even minor exertion. Source: Malte Mueller/Getty Images

Imagine feeling horribly sick, day after day, yet doctors repeatedly tell you they can't find anything wrong. That typically happens to people with the mysterious illness commonly known as "chronic fatigue syndrome." Research findings from Stanford University released Monday could point the way to a long-sought diagnostic laboratory test for the condition, and possibly a first-ever treatment.

Believed to affect at least a million people in the U.S., the condition is now increasingly termed myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME/CFS for short.

Many patients see the name "chronic proposed the name "systemic exertion intolerance disease," but it hasn't really stuck.)

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