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Proof Chronic Fatigue Syndrome not psychsomatic (

07 Fatigatio e.V.

University of Otago researchers have “unequivocally proved” – contrary to the long-held belief of some health practitioners – that Myalgic Encephalamyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not psychosomatic.

For decades sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), were labelled as “depressed” or “told that the symptoms were in their head”. But two four-year studies by Otago’s Emeritus Professor Warren Tate, and Dr. Aniruddha Chatterjee, published recently in the journals Clinical Epigenetics and the Journal of Translational Medicine, have proved otherwise.

“This current research is the culmination of a range of molecular studies on a small group of very well clinically characterised group of patients using the principles of personalised medicine. We have found many changes in important physiological and biochemical pathways and systems compared with healthy controls. These changes can explain the diverse symptoms experienced, and the ongoing disease course,” Professor Tate says. “They are definitely organic rather than psychological changes and are indicative of a complex disease involving many physiological systems of the body. “Our studies have shown unequivocally this is not a psychosomatic illness.”

ME/CFS is a poorly understood lifelong debilitating disease estimated to affect between one per cent and seven per cent of the world’s population, he says.The symptoms include severe fatigue, post-exertional malaise, cognitive and sleep dysfunctions and additional symptoms that are often so severe they leave patients house or bed bound. About 75 per cent of cases move with time to a chronic phase of the illness that is still debilitating. The absence of effective therapies means it remains with them for life.

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