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Article
November 20, 1991

Treatment Proposed for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Research Continues to Compile Data on Disorder

JAMA. 1991;266(19):2667-2668. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470190013004

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Abstract

A POSSIBLE treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome is emerging, just as some hard evidence could begin bolstering claims that patients given this controversial diagnosis may not be simply suffering from depression.

For example, of 527 patients referred to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, Ga, with this possible diagnosis, 27% met the CDC's criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome. These criteria include having debilitating fatigue lasting at least 6 months plus eight of 11 other influenza-like symptoms such as muscle and joint pain without psychological problems preceding the onset of fatigue.

Half the patients had no psychological symptoms. Much of the depression that did occur seemed to be a normal response to their illness, says Walter Gunn, PhD, principal investigator of chronic fatigue research at the CDC.

Therapy Reported  On the heels of Gunn's presentation of those data at the American Medical Association Science Reporters Conference in Atlanta (JAMA. 1991;266:2336-2340),

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