Studies Bring Hope to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Sufferers

We’ve all heard about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the past. It has most often been called the “Yuppie Flu”. Sufferers are commonly seen as victims of some physiological illness, or even worse, just lazy. But now there may be solid vindication for the more than one million Americans with Chronic Fatigue.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a systematic illness affecting almost the entire body in some manner. However, the number one complaint and most obvious symptom is fatigue. Oftentimes, the fatigue can reach a debilitating level.

Hope is on the horizon though in the form of two published studies over the last year. The studies have discovered the presence of virus genes in people with Chronic Fatigue. In October 2009, Journal Science published a study that found the presence of a retrovirus, XMRV, in the blood specimens of patients with Chronic Fatigue. Of those tested, 67% of people with CFS had DNA from the XMRV virus, versus only 3.7% of people who did not have CFS.

An even more recent study, published in August of this year, by researchers from the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and Harvard Medical School also found the presence of a virus. However, in this study the virus found was the MLV-related virus.

CFS patients tested found over 86% had the MLV virus gene sequence in their blood systems.

No account can be made at this point for the difference in viruses found, but what can be said is that people with CFS are more likely to have virus markers present. More studies have to be done in the future, but now the needle in the haystack just got a smaller haystack. It also gives credence that CFS has a physical origin, rather than a psychological one.