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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Dave, after turning in my last grant, I was worn out. You know when youíre too tired to even sleep?

I know! Itís like you feel it in your bones. Imagine feeling that way all the time? Itís called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS, and affects about 17 million people world wide. Generally, itís a prolonged and severe tiredness not relieved by rest.

Early symptoms are similar to common viral infections with muscle aches, headache and fatigue. What makes CFS debilitating is that these symptoms can last six months or more.

Sufferers can have a wide range of problems: Fatigue for more than a day after moderate excercise; forgetfulness; joint pain that can move from joint to joint; and lymph node tenderness.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has not been taken seriously because a cause was not known. But recent studies point to a virus.

Itís a retrovirus called XMRV. Itís the very same virus we told you about in an episode linking the virus to prostate cancer. In a study, researchers looked at the blood of CFS patients and found seventy percent had the virus, compared with just five percent of healthy people.

Now, that doesnít necessarily mean the virus is responsible. CFS patients may just be more susceptible to XMRV because their immune system is suppressed.

Having said that… scientists do believe XMRV may be to blame mostly because it leads to a long-term immune response. Think about how you feel during the 5 days the average flu lasts. Imagine a continuous and vigorous immune response that exhausts the body.

If researchers link XMRV to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, drugs used to treat HIV may be effective. Thatís because XMRV is in the same family of viruses.

If the drugs work, theyíd bring great relief to patients of a debilitating disease.

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For more information…

For over 60 years Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the CDC has been dedicated to protecting health and promoting quality of life through the prevention and control of disease, injury, and disability. Their web site is a good place to start when seeking information about a large number of diseases and other health issues. Information about chronic fatigue syndrome can be read here.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of virtually every type of complex illness. They also have a website that is an excellent source of information. Their page about chronic fatigue syndrome is here.

The CFIDS Association of America is the largest and most active charitable organization dedicated to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS). The CFIDS Association offers information and resources to patients, family members, caregivers, support groups, media professionals the general public and health care professionals. They have extensive information and link on their webpage.
For more information…

For information about the XMRV retrovirus and it's possible role in chronic fatigue syndrome go here and here.


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