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Medical News and Perspectives
June 7, 2006

Researchers Find Genetic Clues to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

JAMA. 2006;295(21):2466-2467. doi:10.1001/jama.295.21.2466

Despite more than 2 decades of research and several thousand peer-reviewed articles on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a great mystery still shrouds this potentially debilitating condition. But now a series of studies on CFS links the condition to certain genes involved in the immune and stress responses.

The research, described in 14 articles published in the April issue of the journal Pharmacogenomics (http://www.futuremedicine.com/loi/pgs), “is the first credible evidence of a biological basis for chronic fatigue syndrome,” said Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta, Ga. Further research should determine whether the findings have potential for diagnosing or treating CFS, which occurs most commonly in white women and includes unexplained symptoms such as fatigue, pain, memory impairment, and sleep disorders.

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