Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Chronic Fatigue (CF) are distinguished accurately: Results of supervised learning techniques applied on clinical and inflammatory data
ABSTRACT There is much debate on the diagnostic classification of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and chronic fatigue (CF). Post-exertional malaise (PEM) is stressed as a key feature. This study examines whether CF and CFS, with and without PEM, are distinct diagnostic categories. Fukuda's criteria were used to diagnose 144 patients with chronic fatigue and identify patients with CFS and CF, i.e. those not fulfilling the Fukuda's criteria. PEM was rated by means of a scale with defined scale steps between 0 and 6. CFS patients were divided into those with PEM lasting more than 24h (labeled: ME) and without PEM (labeled: CFS). The 12-item Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (FF) Rating Scale was used to measure severity of illness. Plasma interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α, and lysozyme, and serum neopterin were employed as external validating criteria. Using fatigue, a subjective feeling of infection and PEM we found that ME, CFS, and CF were distinct categories. Patients with ME had significantly higher scores on concentration difficulties and a subjective experience of infection, and higher levels of IL-1, TNFα, and neopterin than patients with CFS. These biomarkers were significantly higher in ME and CFS than in CF patients. PEM loaded highly on the first two factors subtracted from the data set, i.e. "malaise-sickness" and "malaise-hyperalgesia". Fukuda's criteria are adequate to make a distinction between ME/CFS and CF, but ME/CFS patients should be subdivided into ME (with PEM) and CFS (without PEM).
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ABSTRACT: Post-exertional malaise (PEM) is a cardinal symptom of the illnesses referred to as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). PEM is reported to occur in many of these patients, and with several criteria (e.g., ME and ME/CFS), this symptom is mandatory (Carruthers et al., 2003, 2011). In the present study, 32 participants diagnosed with CFS (Fukuda et al., 1994) were examined on their responses to self-report items that were developed to capture the characteristics and patterns of PEM. As shown in the results, the slight differences in wording for various items may affect whether one is determined to have PEM according to currently used self-report criteria to assess CFS. Better understanding of how this symptom is assessed might help improve the diagnostic reliability and validity of ME, ME/CFS, and CFS.Journal of Prevention & Intervention Community 01/2015; 43(1):20-31. DOI:10.1080/10852352.2014.973239
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ABSTRACT: Gulf War illness (GWI) is a chronic disease of unknown etiology characterized by persistent symptoms such as cognitive impairment, unexplained fatigue, pervasive pain, headaches, and gastrointestinal abnormalities. Current reports suggest that as many as 200,000 veterans who served in the 1990–1991 Persian Gulf War were afflicted. Several potential triggers of GWI have been proposed including chemical exposure, toxins, vaccines, and unknown infectious agents. However, a definitive cause of GWI has not been identified and a specific biological marker that can consistently delineate the disease has not been defined. Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is a disease with similar and overlapping symptomology, and subjects diagnosed with GWI typically fit the diagnostic criteria for ME. For these reasons, GWI is often considered a subgroup of ME. To explore this possibility and identify immune parameters that may help to understand GWI pathophysiology, we measured 77 serum cytokines in subjects with GWI and compared these data to that of subjects with ME as well as healthy controls. Our analysis identified a group of cytokines that identified ME and GWI cases with sensitivities of 92.5% and 64.9%, respectively. The five most significant cytokines in decreasing order of importance were IL-7, IL-4, TNF-α, IL-13, and IL-17F. When delineating GWI and ME cases from healthy controls, the observed specificity was only 33.3%, suggesting that with respect to cytokine expression, GWI cases resemble control subjects to a greater extent than ME cases across a number of parameters. These results imply that serum cytokines are representative of ME pathology to a greater extent than GWI and further suggest that the two diseases have distinct immune profiles despite their overlapping symptomology.Cytokine 03/2015; 72(1):1-8. DOI:10.1016/j.cyto.2014.11.019 · 2.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This article contrasts the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis International Consensus Criteria (ME-ICC) (Carruthers et al., 2011) with the Fukuda et al. (1994) CFS criteria. Findings indicated that the ME-ICC case definition criteria identified a subset of patients with more functional impairments and physical, mental and cognitive problems than the larger group of patients meeting the Fukuda et al. (1994) criteria. The sample of patients meeting ME-ICC criteria also had significantly greater rates of psychiatric comorbidity. These findings suggest that utilizing the ME-ICC may identify a more homogenous group of individuals with severe symptomatology and functional impairment. Implications of the high rates of psychiatric comorbidity found in the ME sample are discussed.North American Journal of Psychology 03/2013; 15(1):103-120.