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NJ center to study Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) disability

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By Source: Healthwatch • • January 1, 1999

Research announced at the conference may answer some of the difficult questions that doctors and patients raised concerning disability.

The Center for Fatigue Research of New Jersey has received funding from the Social Security Administration to try to understand why some individuals with CFS become disabled and cannot work. More specifically, investigators will explore how pain, cognitive dysfunction, infectious symptoms, fatigue and other CFS symptoms contribute to disability. Identifying the illness factors that contribute to disability in CFS is vital, as it is the first step in developing guidelines that will streamline the disability determination process.

Two groups of CFS patients will be evaluated, those who are working and those who cannot due to CFS. All subjects will undergo a day-long evaluation. This will include: 1) a history and physical evaluation, 2) a psychological interview, 3) a neuropsychological evaluation, and 4) a functional capacity evaluation. The history, physical and psychological interview are standard clinical evaluations. The neuropsychological evaluation will include a standard battery of tests sensitive to the cognitive deficits in CFS. The functional capacity evaluation will examine physical capacities such as sitting and standing tolerance.

The researchers need both employed and disabled subjects. Evaluations will take place at two sites, one in northern New Jersey and another site in New Jersey near the Pennsylvania border. Some funds are available for transportation for individuals who have financial hardship. Participation will not affect subjects’ current or future disability status. Also, subjects will receive results of their evaluations. If interested, please call the Center for Fatigue Research at 973/676-7063.

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