Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a disorder of unknown cause characterized by significant functional disability associated with fatigue, pain and neuropsychological complaints.

A formal case definition was published in the U.S. in 19881 and revised in 19942, but many physicians believe it to be outdated and inadequate. For over twenty years, since the first clear clinical presentation of CFS in the United States by Straus3 and Jones4 and the American CFS epidemic reported in Lake Tahoe5, treatment of CFS has been dominated by pharmaceutical, nutriceutical, herbiceutical, or alternative medical interventions.

After all this time there is still no consensus on what optimal therapy looks like, and many reasons to believe this lack of consensus will continue for years to come. With the advent of stem cell therapy in chronic illness, we enter a new era in medicine where old therapeutic ideas are being challenged by new ideas about therapies more appropriate for the treatment of complex chronic illness.

  1. Holmes,GP., Kaplan,JE., Gantz,NM., Komaroff,AL., Schonberger,LB., Straus,SE., Jones,JF., Dubois, RE. Cunningham-Rundles,C., Pahwa,S., Tosato,G., Zegans,LS., Purtilo,DT., Brown,N., Schooley,RT. And Brus,I., “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Working Case Definition”,Annals of Internal Medicine,108:387-389,1988.
  2. Fukuda K, Straus SE., Hickie I, Sharpe MC, Dobbins JG., Komaroff A., and the International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group, “The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Comprehensive Approach to Its Definition and Study”, Annals of Internal Medicine, Volume 121: Number 12, pgs. 953-959, Dec., 1994.
  3. Straus,SE., Tosato,G., Armstrong,G., Lawley,T., Preble,OT., Henle,W., Davey,R., Pearson,G.,Epstein,J., Brus,I. and Blaese,RM., “Persisting Illness and Fatigue in Adults with Evidence of Epstein-Barr Virus Infection”, Ann. Intern. Med.,102:7-16,1985.
  4. Jones,JF., Ray,CG., Minnich,LL., Hicks,MJ., Kibler,R. and Lucas,DO., “Evidence for Active Epstein-Barr Virus Infection in Patients with Persistent, Unexplained Illnesses; Elevated Anti-Early Antigen Antibodies”,Ann. Intern. Med.,102:1-7,1985
  5. Buchwald,D., Cheney, PR., Peterson,DL., Henry,B., Wormsley,SB., Geiger,A., Ablashi,DV., Salahuddin,Z., Saxinger,C., Biddle,R., Kikinis,R., Jolesz,FA., Folks,T., Balachandran,N., Peter,JB., Gallo,RC.,and Komaroff,AL., “A Chronic Illness Characterized by Fatigue, Neurologic and Immunologic Disorders, and Active Human Herpesvirus-6 Infection”, Annals of Internal Medicine, Jan.15,1992:116(2),pp.103-113.