January 08, 2015 221 comments
Sufferers of what has been called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are challenging patients, presenting with complaints of postexertional malaise, persistent flulike symptoms, unrefreshing sleep, "brain fog," and often a long list of other symptoms that don't seem to fit any recognizable pattern. Some appear ill, but many don't. And the routine laboratory tests often come back negative.
For that reason, those with CFS are often labelled as malingerers, depressed, or at least partially psychosomatic. But for the scientists and clinicians in the field, the phenomenon is as real as diabetes or atherosclerosis. Despite the stigma and a severe dearth of research funding, new efforts from the federal government and the private sector could move the field forward.
The name itself is one of the many controversies surrounding the condition. The CFS moniker has been used in the United States since 1988; in the United Kingdom, Canada, and elsewhere it is called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)./.../