Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS), is an often debilitating illness that affects at least one million Americans. Common symptoms include flu-like symptoms and extreme fatigue. Sufferers of this disease have long had no way to definitely prove the condition.
However, researchers at Stanford University may have found the key to developing a diagnostic laboratory test for the illness. The researchers hope their research leads to the development of a treatment for this often debilitating disease.
ME/CFS has effects that range from mild to disabling. About 25% of sufferers are confined to bed almost all of the time. The Stanford researchers have found a link between symptom severity and variations in multiple biological markers. Tracing these links, the research focused on cytokines, a specific kind of immune signaling protein.
In the study, researchers found that the levels of 17 cytokines – 13 of which promote inflammation – varied with the severity of symptoms. The research supported earlier findings that chronic inflammation plays a role in ME/CFS and indicates that higher levels of inflammatory cytokines in blood correspond with more severe symptoms.
The researchers are now developing a commercial diagnostic panel that would assess some of the cytokines. While this panel alone would not be enough for a definitive diagnosis, the interpretation of the results in conjunction with a doctor’s assessment of the severity of patient’s symptoms.
Our office has met quite a few individuals who are suffering with ME/CFS and need the specialized help that our legal team can deliver. Whether you are suffering from ME/CFS and need disability benefits or have an injury-induced ME/CFS, our team can help! Give us a call today!