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Post-radiation syndrome is proposed to be chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or a chronic fatigue syndrome-like illness, initiated by exposure to ionizing radiation.
This view is supported by the nitric oxide/peroxynitrite (NO/ONOO(-)) cycle mechanism, the putative etiologic mechanism for CFS and related illnesses.*
Ionizing radiation may initiate illness by increasing nitric oxide levels via increased activity of the transcription factor NF-kappaB and consequent increased synthesis of the inducible nitric oxide synthase.
[Some sources of ionizing radiation include X-rays, gamma rays, radon, atomic weapons test fallout. Types of radiant energy that are not ionizing include microwaves, radio waves, UV light and visible light, according to the World Health Organization.]
Two types of components of the nitric oxide/peroxynitrite cycle have been studied in post-radiation syndrome patients and shown to be elevated. The symptoms and signs of post-radiation syndrome and its chronicity are similar or identical to those of chronic fatigue syndrome and can be explained as being a consequence of nitric oxide/peroxynitrite cycle etiology.
While the data available to test this view are limited, it provides for the first time a comprehensive explanation for post-radiation syndrome.
Source: Medical Hypotheses, July 29, 2008. [E-pub ahead of print] PMID: 18667279, by Pall ML. School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA. [E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]
* For information on the NO/ONOO(-) cycle, see "Nitric Oxide Cycle Theory: Will It Explain CFS, FM, and Other ‘Unexplained’ Illnesses? - Q&A with Martin L. Pall, PhD". Dr. Pall is author of the groundbreaking book, Explaining Unexplained Illnesses.