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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). 1: Etiology & pathogenesis

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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder of unknown etiology
characterized by debilitating fatigue and other somatic and
neuropsychiatric symptoms. A range of heterogeneous clinical
and laboratory findings have been reported in patients with
CFS. Various theories have been proposed to explain the
underlying pathophysiologic processes but none has been
proved.

Research findings of immunologic dysfunction and
neuroendocrine changes suggest the possible dysregulation of
interactions between the nervous system and the immune system.
Without a clear understanding of its etiopathogenesis, CFS has
no definitive treatment. Management approaches have been
necessarily speculative, and they have evolved separately in a
number of medical and nonmedical disciplines. The results of
several controlled treatment studies have been inconclusive.

An accurate case definition identifying homogeneous subtypes
of CFS is needed. The integration of medical and psychologic
treatment modalities and the use of both biologic and
psychologic markers to evaluate treatment response will
enhance future treatment strategies. [References: 133]

Farrar DJ, Locke SE, Kantrowitz FG

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