By C.(Linda) M.C. van Campen, Frans C. Visser* et al of the Department of Cardiology,Stichting Cardiozorg, Planetenweg, Netherlands.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a chronic, and often disabling disease. The disease is multi-systemic, and is characterized amongst others by chronic fatigue/exhaustion, exercise intolerance, memory and concentration disorders, headache, multi-joint and muscle pain, unrefreshing sleep and an abnormally long recovery period after mental or physical exercise, called post-exertional malaise. Disease prevalence is unknown but estimates in the US vary between 1 and 4 million patients, in the Netherlands between 20,000 and 40,000 patients. The disease disproportionally affects women. The onset is typically around the 30th year but may also be present in children. The pathophysiology is complex and is at present incompletely understood. However, recent studies have shown that there is a genetic predisposition, that immunological abnormalities are involve and that metabolic abnormalities involving the citric acid cycle might play a role. Moreover, a recent study demonstrated the presence of widespread neuro-inflammation.
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