Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (cont.)

Recovery from CFS

  • CFS affects each individual differently. Some people with CFS remain homebound and others improve to the point that they can resume work and other activities, even though they continue to experience symptoms.

  • Recovery rates for CFS are unclear. Improvement rates varied from 8% to 63% in a 2005 review of published studies, with a median of 40% of patients improving during follow-up. However, full recovery from CFS may be rare, with an average of only 5% to 10% sustaining total remission.

Possible Causes of CFS

  • Despite an intensive, nearly 20-year search, the cause of CFS remains unknown. Many different infectious agents and physiologic and psychological causes have been considered, and the search continues.

  • Much of the ongoing research into a cause has centered on the roles the immune, endocrine and nervous systems may play in CFS. More recently, interactions among these factors are under evaluation.

  • Genetic and environmental factors may play a role in developing and/or prolonging the illness, although more research is needed to confirm this. CDC is applying cutting-edge genomic and proteomic tools to understand the origins and pathogenesis of CFS.

  • CFS is not caused by depression, although the two illnesses often coexist, and many patients with CFS have no psychiatric disorder.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Last Editorial Review: 2/10/2010 5:54:14 PM

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