Journal of IiME Volume 4 Issue 1 www.investinme.org An Effort to Influence Medical Textbook Writers (continued) definition, although there is a Canadian clinical case definition that is being increasingly used.8 The Fukuda case definition7 includes the following symptoms: persistent or relapsing fatigue for 6 or more months. The fatigue must be severe, impair ability to function, not be relieved by sleep or rest, and not be the result of physically exhausting activity. Also at least four of the following eight symptoms must persist for at least 6 months: tender/sore lymph nodes, sore throat, muscle pain, joint pain without swelling or redness, impaired memory or concentration, unrefreshing sleep, postextertional malaise, and headaches of new type, pattern, or severity. Onset of CFS symptoms are often abrupt, commonly associated with a flu-like illness. CFS can also have a gradual onset, not associated with a particular event or illness. CFS tends to be a chronic illness, with less than 10% of individuals returning to pre-CFS levels of functioning.9 CFS may be expressed differently in children, so there is a different case definition for pediatric CFS, 10 and prognosis for youth is better than for adults. The prevalence of CFS is approximately .4%,11 and this illness is most prevalent among women, individuals who are of middle age, and among individuals of lower socioeconomic status.11 CFS is also found in adolescents, although at a lower rate of about .2%.12 One challenge in diagnosing CFS is that it shares symptoms with several illnesses, such as Lyme Disease, MS, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Fibromyalgia.13 There are several key ways to differentiate MDD from CFS. In MDD fatigue is not as prominent as in CFS. Additionally, the onset of CFS is often sudden, while the onset of MDD tends to be gradual. Other common indications of CFS are postexertional malaise, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and night sweats, and these symptoms are not commonly found in individuals with depression. Cortisol levels tend to be higher in MDD and lower in CFS. While some argue that the high prevalence of MDD in people with CFS is an indication that the disease may be psychogenic, depression commonly occurs in individuals who are chronically ill.14 Fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities commonly co-occur with CFS and share symptoms. A variety of studies have shown that approximately 35% to 75% of people with ME/CFS also have fibromyalgia.13 In a community sample of individuals with CFS, only 40.6% had pure CFS; 40.6% had multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), 15.6% had fibromyalgia, and 3.1% had fibromyalgia and MCS in Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) addition to CFS.13 While these illnesses share some symptoms, they are each characterized by unique symptomology and may be differentiated with careful evaluation. De Lange et al. observed significant reductions in grey matter volume in patients with CFS.15 Other abnormal biological findings among some patients have included aberrant ion transport and ion channel activity, low natural killer cell cytotoxicity, a shift from Th1 to Th2 cytokines, cortisol deficiency, sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity, left ventricular dysfunction in the heart, and EEG spike waves.16-23 Higher brain abnormalities appear to occur among patients with CFS who do not have concurrent psychopathology, versus those who have concurrent psychopathology.24 A variety of theories have been proposed to explain these findings, and they have implicated viruses, immune dysregulation, neuroendocrine problems, as well as neurologic abnormalities. Kindling25 and oxidative stress26 theories have also been offered as ways of explaining the psychopathology of this illness. Important genetic data has also been accumulating on this illness.27 Treatment of this illness often focuses on management of symptoms, whether they are for cognitive problems or unrefreshing sleep. Trials of pharmacologic agents have not yielded success to date. One of the more popular treatments for patients with CFS has been cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Price, Mitchell, Tidy, and Hunot 28 reviewed 15 studies of CBT with a total of 1,043 CFS participants. At treatment end, 40% of people in the CBT group showed clinical improvement in contrast to only 26% in usual care, but changes were not maintained at a 1-7 month follow-up when including people who had dropped out. Patient surveys have suggested that graded exercise, which is a component of CBT, was felt to be the type of treatment that made more people with CFS worse than any other. A possible reason for negative patient reaction to these graded exercise strategies is suggested in a study by Jammes, Steinberg, Mambrini, Bregeon, and Delliaux,29 which found that incremental exercise among individuals with CFS was associated with oxidative stress and marked alterations of muscle membrane excitability. Other approaches to helping patients with CFS have included pacing30 and Envelope Theory, 31 and these approaches do not unilaterally increase activity for Page 18/56

19 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication