Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate deficiency in CFS

The chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition of unknown

etiology, characterized by a persistent debilitating fatigue,

the muscle-related symptoms and the neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Recently, it has been reported that the patients with CFS

might have impaired activation of the

hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and suggested that a part

of the patho-genesis of CFS might be associated with

abnormalities of the endocrine system. Herein, we show that

the majority of Japanese patients with CFS had a serum

dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) deficiency. Serum

DHEA-S is one of the most abundantly produced hormones which

is secreted from the adrenal glands, and its physiological

function is thought to be a precursor of sex steroids. DHEA-S

has recently been shown to have physiological properties, such

as neurosteroids, which are associated with such

psychophysiological phenomena as memory, stress, anxiety,

sleep and depression. Therefore, the deficiency of DHEA-S

might be related to the neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients

with CFS.

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