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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Probable Pathogenesis and Possible Treatments

Abstract

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) belongs in the medically unexplained illnesses. It affects approximately 0.2–0.7% of the population in Western countries. It is characterised by unexplained fatigue, lasting 6 months or more, impairment of neurocognitive functions and quality of sleep, and of somatic symptoms, such as recurrent sore throat, muscle aches, arthralgias, headache and postexertional malaise. No link between infections and CFS has been clearly established but the immune system is activated, there are aberrations in several hypothalamic-pituitary axes and involvement of other parts of the central nervous system. No specific treatment has been found. Cognitive behavioural therapy is established to be of value to improve quality of life. More effective treatment should result, as advances in biomedical as well as psychological research continue.

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Table I

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No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Birgitta Evengård.

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Evengård, B., Klimas, N. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Drugs 62, 2433–2446 (2002). https://doi.org/10.2165/00003495-200262170-00003

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Keywords

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patient
  • Natural Killer Cell Function