Chronic fatigue syndrome from viruses?

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Is chronic fatigue syndrome triggered by viruses? Scientists have discovered some evidence of this.

Is chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - possibly triggered by a virus infection? Scientists from the US Food and Drug Administration have identified genetic traces of a retrovirus. However, it is unclear how the virus triggers chronic fatigue syndrome and whether there is actually a connection. So far, two out of three studies have been able to confirm the presumption.

It is not the first time that researchers have made such a discovery in a study. As early as 2009, US researchers reported traces of so-called retroviruses (reverse transcriptase oncoviruses) in the blood of patients with fatigue syndrome. A retrovirus is a virus whose genetic information is present as RNA but interferes firmly with the genetic material of the host cell as DNA.

Scientists from the US Food and Drug Administration have now made the same observation and found pathogens in the blood of CFS patients. However, a possible connection has not been fully proven. Because it is still unclear how the pathogen incorporates its genetic information into human DNA. For this, the researchers emphasize, further research is necessary. Numerous questions about the "Cronic Fatigue Syndrome" (CFS) are still unanswered.

Patients who suffer from fatigue syndrome are often hardly able to work. The sufferers suffer from severe physical, mental and mental exhaustion. You are constantly tired and sleep excessively. Some people can hardly get out of bed. In addition to exhaustion, there are other symptoms such as headache, sore throat, joint pain, muscle pain, difficulty concentrating, decreased memory, sleep that is not restful, sensitivity of the lymph nodes and a persistent worsening of the condition after exertion. The CFS can only be determined using a so-called exclusion diagnosis in order to rule out psychological fatigue syndrome (burn-out) or chronic fatigue. According to estimates, around 300,000 people in Germany are said to have contracted the syndrome.

During the course of the study, the researchers examined 37 subjects. The exhaustion syndrome had previously been diagnosed with an exclusion diagnosis. Most participants (32 out of 37) were able to find evidence of retroviruses in the laboratory that were similar to the mouse leukemia virus (MLV). To ensure the findings, study participants were also examined in whom there is no CFS disease. Here, the FDA researchers found evidence of the virus in only three study participants. The researchers now took the view in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" that this was a special indication that there is a connection between the traces of retroviruses and fatigue syndrome.

The find could also be a coincidence. Because a study carried out by the US epidemic control agency CDC at the same time could not confirm the results of the FDA authority. For this reason too, a third study must now be undertaken to ensure that the findings of the first study are confirmed. The following study would have to attract more study participants and examine different patient groups. (sb)

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Chronic fatigue

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