Chronic fatigue syndrome can be detected through blood test

The symptoms of the disease are sleep abnormalities, fatigue, body ache and flu like symptoms.

Hyderabad: Chronic fatigue syndrome is a long-term illness that can now be diagnosed with a simple blood test, says a recent study. The study claims that Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known myalgic encephalomyeliti, is an inflammatory disease.

The symptoms of the disease are sleep abnormalities, fatigue, body ache and flu like symptoms. Dr Hari Kishan, a general physician said, “It has always been debated if chronic fatigue syndrome is caused when the immune system reacts to viral infections causing inflammation.”

The study conducted by Stanford University claims that a spike of at least 17 proteins produced by the immune system were found in patients suffering from the syndrome.

The proteins were found using a blood test. The higher the spike, the more severe the condition. Inflammation is the immune system’s method of self-protection against the building up of excess proteins. Cytokines are chemical messengers used by the immune system to modulate immunity and inflammation and they are noticed more in patients suffering from the syndrome. Doctors claim that most of these cytokines are inflammatory.

Dr P. Gautam said, “There are several diseases like polymyalgia and rheumatica that give muscle pain, aches in the upper limbs, headaches which have inflammatory markers. Chronic fatigue syndrome on the other hand can affect patients and hinder their day to day activities. They often have memory problems and can never get a peaceful night of sleep. It could also be caused by endocrine levels. There was no diagnostic test so far. We normally give our patients a time span of six months before diagnosing.”

Patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome have long treatment periods. “We decide that the patient is suffering from the syndrome only when we rule out all other diseases that could cause tiredness. A blood test would make diagnosis much easier. We normally prescribe cognitive behaviour therapy, graded exercises which is like physiotherapy and also antibodies as drugs,” said Dr Hari Kishan.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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