Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: Definitions, Similarities, and Differences

Differences suggest different pathophysiologic processes for each disease, leading to different treatments
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Abstract

This commentary presents a simplified way of making the diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) using the 1994 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention case definition. The format used can easily be modified for other case definitions. The commentary then discusses whether ME/CFS is the same or a different illness from fibromyalgia.

Because overlap exists between the 2 syndromes, some investigators have posited that they are variants of the same illness. I have viewed this as an empirically testable hypothesis and have summoned considerable amounts of data that suggest that the 2 illnesses differ. Were differences to exist, that would suggest different pathophysiologic processes for each, leading to different treatments.

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Source: Natelson BH. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: Definitions, Similarities, and Differences. Clin Ther. 2019 Feb 19. pii: S0149-2918(19)30003-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.12.016. [Epub ahead of print]

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