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FAQ: CFS FAQ
Section - 1.03 Is CFS a "real" disease?

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At this early point, many practicing clinicians remain unconvinced that CFS=
 is a genuine
illness, although it is slowly increasing in acceptance. The reluctance is =
due in part to the
facts that (1) no specific cause has yet been found, (2) there is no observ=
able marker
that doctors can use to specifically identify the illness, and (3) most doc=
tors are not yet
familiar with the peer-reviewed research which does tend to legitimize this=
 disease.

Emerging illnesses such as CFS typically go through a period of many years =
before
they are accepted by the medical community, and during that interim time pa=
tients who
have these new, unproven illnesses are all too often dismissed as being "ps=
ychiatric
cases". This has been the experience with CFS as well.

But many top-level researchers are showing that this is a distinct, organic=
 illness. This
includes research by Anthony Komaroff (Harvard), Jay Levy (UCSF), Nancy Kli=
mas
(U. Miami), Andrew Lloyd (U. New South Wales), Stephen Straus (NIH), and ot=
hers.

Physicians and scientists may find the following citations of interest:

Levine P; et al. "CFS: Current Concepts" (proceedings of the Oct. 1992 CFS =
medical
conference), Vol. 18 Suppl. 1, January 1994, Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Klimas N; Salvato F; Morgan R; Fletcher M; "Immunologic abnormalities in ch=
ronic
fatigue syndrome". J of Clinical Microbiology 28:1403-1410 (June 90) [Study=
 showing
that NK cells (a kind of immune cell) malfunction in CFS patients; other ab=
normalities]

Buchwald D; Komaroff A; Cheney P; et al.; "A chronic illness characterized =
by fatigue,
neurologic and immunologic disorders and HHV-6 infection". Ann Int Med
116:103-112 (Jan 1992) [Study showing many CFS patients have HHV-6 infectio=
ns]

Demitrack M; Dale J; Straus S; et al.; "Evidence for Impaired Activation of=
 the
Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndro=
me". J of
Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 73:1224-34 (Dec 1991) [shows chemical
abnormalities in the brains of CFS patients]

Straus S; Strober W; Dale J; Fritz S; Gould B; "Lymphocyte Phenotype and Fu=
nction
in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". J of Clinical Immunology 13:30-40 (Jan 93=
) [Study
showing T4 cell (a type of immune cell) abnormalities in CFS patients]

Lusso P; Malnati M; Garzino-Demo; Crowley; Long; Gallo; "Infection of natur=
al killer
cells by human herpesvirus 6". Nature 362:458-462 (April 1 1993) [HHV-6 --
previously found in CFS patients -- now shown to kill NK cells (a type of i=
mmune cell)
-- a small but important advance in research]

Schwartz R, Komaroff A, Garada B, Gleit M, Doolittle T, Bates D, Vasile R, =
Holman
B. "SPECT Imaging of the Brain: Comparison of Findings in Patients with Chr=
onic
Fatigue Syndrome, AIDS Dementia Complex, and Major Unipolar Depression" AJR
1994:162:943-951.

Schwartz R, Garada B, Komaroff A, Tice H, Gleit M, Jolesz F, Holman B. "Det=
ection
of Intercranial Abnormalities in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Co=
mparison
of MR Imaging and SPECT" AJR 1994:162:935-941.

Rowe, P; Bou-Holaigah, I; Kan, J; Calkins, H;. "Is Neurally Mediated Hypote=
nsion an
Unrecognized Cause of Chronic Fatigue?". Lancet 345:623-624 (March 11, 1995=
).

Bou-Holaigah, I; Rowe, P; Kan, J; Calkins, H. "The Relationship Between Neu=
rally
Mediated Hypotension and the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". JAMA, Sept. 27, 199=
5
274:12:961-7.

Suhadolnik RJ, Peterson DL, O'Brien K, Cheney PR, et al. Biochemical Eviden=
ce for
a Novel Low Molecular Weight 2-5A-Dependent RNase L in Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome. Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, July 1997, 17:377-38=
5.=20

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