[Note: Oxidative stress is damage to cell, tissue, or organ caused by excessive levels of unstable and disruptive reactive oxygen species (aka ‘free radicals’, spawned by pollutants, toxins, and infections, in addition to normal metabolic processes). Antioxidants are thought to defend against oxidative stress.]
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a relatively common disorder defined as a status of severe persistent disabling fatigue and subjective unwellness. While the biological basis of the pathology of this disease has recently been confirmed, its pathophysiology remains to be elucidated.
Moreover, since the causes of CFS have not been identified, treatment programs are directed at symptom relief, with the ultimate goal of the patient regaining some level of pre-existing function and well-being. Several studies have examined whether CFS is associated with:
(i) A range of infectious agents and or immune disturbance;
(ii) Specific changes of activity in the central or peripheral nervous systems; and
(iii) Elevated stress periods, which may be associated with the pathology via genetic mechanisms.
The role of oxidative stress in CFS is an emerging focus of research due to evidence of its association with some pathological features of this syndrome. New data collectively support the presence of specific critical points in the muscle that are affected by free radicals and in view of these considerations, the possible role of skeletal muscle oxidative imbalance in the genesis of CFS is discussed.
Source: Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility. Feb 15, 2008. [E-Pub ahead of print] PMID: 18274865, Fulle S, Pietrangelo T, Mancinelli R, Saggini R, Fanò G. Center for Research on Ageing, Universita “G. d’Annunzio”, Chieti-Pescara, Italy. [E-mail: Giorgio Fano email@example.com]