Abstract: Monozygotic twins discordant for chronic fatigue syndrome; Objective measures of sleep

Psychosom Res. 2004 Feb;56(2):207-12.

Ball N, Buchwald DS, Schmidt D, Goldberg J, Ashton S, Armitage R.

Virginia Mason Sleep Disorders Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

PURPOSE: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by profound fatigue accompanied by disturbances of sleep, cognition, mood, and other symptoms. Our objective was to describe sleep architecture in CFS-discordant twin pairs.

METHODS: We conducted a co-twin control study of 22 pairs of monozygotic twins where one twin met criteria for CFS and the co-twin was healthy. Twins underwent two nights of polysomnography.

RESULTS: The percentage of Stage 3 and REM sleep was greater among the CFS twins than their healthy co-twins (P<==.05 for both), but no other differences in sleep architecture including sleep latency, REM latency, and total sleep time were observed. Compared to their co-twins, CFS twins had higher values for the apnea-hypopnea index and apnea-hypopnea arousal index (P<==.05 for both). CONCLUSION: These results do not provide strong evidence for a major role for abnormalities in sleep architecture in CFS. Respiration appears impaired in CFS, but these clinical abnormalities cannot alone account for the prominence of sleep complaints in this illness. The co-twin control methodology highlights the importance of selecting well-matched control subjects. PMID: 15016580 [PubMed - in process]

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