“Chronic fatigue syndrome [ME/CFS] and depression share symptoms and may coexist – but thanks to new efforts spearheaded by the CDC, skilled clinicians can more easily tell them apart.”
– Katherine M. Erdman, MPAS, PA-C
Katherine Erdman - Assistant Director of the Physician Assistant Program at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston - has written an educational article on “How biological abnormalities separate CFS from depression” - available free online at the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants website.
Erdman fleshes out the CDC’s declaration that “There is now abundant scientific evidence that CFS is a real physiological illness. It is not a form of depression or hypochondriasis. A number of biologic abnormalities have been identified in people with CFS.”
Her review of the literature - intended to aid clinicians in diagnosis of ME/CFS - covers research findings and imaging studies revolving around:
Abnormalities of the brain, immune system, endocrine function, and energy metabolism associated with ME/CFS
And biological distinctions between ME/CFS and depression.
Additionally, the article points to resources and guidelines clinicians can use for the workup (testing) and diagnosis of a patient with ME/CFS symptoms.
Overall, writes Erdman, “the challenge to the clinician is to decide for each patient whether the fatigue and other symptoms are due to primary depression, physical illness such as CFS, or a combination.”
Medical professionals may take a test on the information this article offers to earn educational credits.
Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness, condition or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.