Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is characterized by severe impairment and multiple symptoms. Autonomic dysregulation has been demonstrated in several studies. We aimed at exploring the relationship between indices of autonomic cardiovascular control, the case definition from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC criteria), important clinical symptoms, and disability in adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome. 38 CFS patients aged 12–18 years were recruited according to a wide case definition (ie. not requiring accompanying symptoms) and subjected to head-up tilt test (HUT) and a questionnaire. The relationships between variables were explored with multiple linear regression analyses. In the final models, disability was positively associated with symptoms of cognitive impairments (p<0.001), hypersensitivity (p<0.001), fatigue (p=0.003) and age (p=0.007). Symptoms of cognitive impairments were associated with age (p=0.002), heart rate (HR) at baseline (p=0.01), and HR response during HUT (p=0.02). Hypersensitivity was associated with HR response during HUT (p=0.001), high-frequency variability of heart rate (HF-RRI) at baseline (p=0.05), and adherence to the CDC criteria (p=0.005). Fatigue was associated with gender (p=0.007) and adherence to the CDC criteria (p=0.04). In conclusion, a) The disability of CFS patients is not only related to fatigue but to other symptoms as well; b) Altered cardiovascular autonomic control is associated with certain symptoms; c) The CDC criteria are poorly associated with disability, symptoms, and indices of altered autonomic nervous activity.
Adolescents; Chronic fatigue syndrome; Autonomic cardiovascular control; Diagnostic criteria
To determine if objective evidence of autonomic dysfunction exists from a group of Gulf War veterans with self-reported post-exertional fatigue, we evaluated 16 Gulf War ill veterans and 12 Gulf War controls. Participants of the ill group had self- reported, unexplained chronic post-exertional fatigue and the illness symptoms had persisted for years until the current clinical study. The controls had no self-reported post-exertional fatigue either at the time of initial survey nor at the time of the current study. We intended to identify clinical autonomic disorders using autonomic and neurophysiologic testing in the clinical context. We compared the autonomic measures between the 2 groups on cardiovascular function at both baseline and head-up tilt, and sudomotor function. We identified 1 participant with orthostatic hypotension, 1 posture orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, 2 distal small fiber neuropathy, and 1 length dependent distal neuropathy affecting both large and small fiber in the ill group; whereas none of above definable diagnoses was noted in the controls. The ill group had a significantly higher baseline heart rate compared to controls. Compound autonomic scoring scale showed a significant higher score (95% CI of mean: 1.72–2.67) among ill group compared to controls (0.58–1.59). We conclude that objective autonomic testing is necessary for the evaluation of self-reported, unexplained post-exertional fatigue among some Gulf War veterans with multi-symptom illnesses. Our observation that ill veterans with self-reported post-exertional fatigue had objective autonomic measures that were worse than controls warrants validation in a larger clinical series.
self-reported symptom; post-exertional fatigue; objective testing; autonomic; Gulf War veteran
To compare adolescents who do and do not recover from acute infectious mononucleosis in terms of fatigue severity and activity levels before, during, and in the two years following infection.
Prospective case-control study.
The baseline, 12- and 24-month evaluations occurred in the subjects’ homes. The six-month outpatient visit occurred at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.
301 adolescents (12-18 years old) with acute infectious mononucleosis.
All participants were evaluated at baseline (during active infection). Six months following infection, 39 of them met criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome. These subjects were matched by sex and tanner stage to 39 randomly selected screened-negative subjects. Both groups were re-evaluated at 12- and 24-month follow-ups.
Main Outcome Measures
The Fatigue Severity Scale and the Modifiable Activity Questionnaire.
For both groups, physical activity levels declined and sleep increased as a result of having mononucleosis. Compared with their matched controls, adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome reported significantly higher levels of fatigue at all time points and spent significantly more time sleeping during the day six- and 12- months following infection. The two groups did not differ significantly in terms of physical activity levels before, during, and after infection. There was a consistent trend for decreased physical activity in the chronic fatigue syndrome group.
Adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be pushing themselves in an attempt to maintain similar activity levels as their peers, but paying for it in terms of fatigue severity and an increased need for sleep, particularly during the day.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; mononucleosis infection; physical activity; sleep
To assess the relation between fatigue and somatic symptoms in healthy adolescents and adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME).
Seventy two adolescents with CFS were compared within a cross‐sectional study design with 167 healthy controls. Fatigue and somatic complaints were measured using self‐report questionnaires, respectively the subscale subjective fatigue of the Checklist Individual Strength (CIS‐20) and the Children's Somatization Inventory.
Healthy adolescents reported the same somatic symptoms as adolescents with CFS/ME, but with a lower score of severity. The top 10 somatic complaints were the same: low energy, headache, heaviness in arms/legs, dizziness, sore muscles, hot/cold spells, weakness in body parts, pain in joints, nausea/upset stomach, back pain. There was a clear positive relation between log somatic symptoms and fatigue (linear regression coefficient: 0.041 points log somatic complaints per score point fatigue, 95% CI 0.033 to 0.049) which did not depend on disease status.
Results suggest a continuum with a gradual transition from fatigue with associated symptoms in healthy adolescents to the symptom complex of CFS/ME.
chronic fatigue syndrome; fatigue; somatic complaints; adolescence; healthy
This pilot study (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT01507701) assessed the feasibility and safety of clonidine in adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Specifically, we assessed clonidine dosage in relation to a) plasma concentration levels, b) orthostatic cardiovascular responses, and c) possible adverse effects.
Five adolescent CFS patients (14–19 years old) received 50 μg clonidine twice per day during 14 days in an open, uncontrolled design. Plasma concentration of clonidine was assayed by standard laboratory methods. Changes in orthostatic cardiovascular responses were assessed by a 20o head-up tilt-test (HUT). Adverse effects were mapped by a questionnaire.
After 14 days, C0 median (range) of clonidine was 0.21 (0.18-0.36) μg/L, and Cmax median (range) of clonidine was 0.41 (0.38-0.56) μg/L. Also, supine blood pressures and heart rate were lower during clonidine treatment, and the HUT response was closer to the normal response. No serious adverse effects were registered.
Clonidine 50 μg BID seems to be safe enough to proceed from a pilot study to a controlled trial in a select group of adolescents with CFS (ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT01040429).
Chronic fatigue syndrome; Adolescents; Clonidine; Adverse effects; Head-up tilt test; Autonomic nervous system
OBJECTIVE--To determine whether patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome have abnormalities of sleep which may contribute to daytime fatigue. DESIGN--A case-control study of the sleep of patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome and that of healthy volunteers. SETTING--An infectious disease outpatient clinic and subjects' homes. SUBJECTS--12 patients who met research criteria for the chronic fatigue syndrome but not for major depressive disorder and 12 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and weight. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Subjective reports of sleep from patients' diaries and measurement of sleep patterns by polysomnography. Subjects' anxiety, depression, and functional impairment were assessed by interview. RESULTS--Patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome spent more time in bed than controls (544 min v 465 min, p < 0.001) but slept less efficiently (90% v 96%, p < 0.05) and spent more time awake after initially going to sleep (31.9 min v 16.6 min, p < 0.05). Seven patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome had a sleep disorder (four had difficulty maintaining sleep, one had difficulty getting to sleep, one had difficulty in both initiating and maintaining sleep, and one had hypersomnia) compared with none of the controls (p = 0.003). Those with sleep disorders showed greater functional impairment than the remaining five patients (score on general health survey 50.4% v 70.4%, p < 0.05), but their psychiatric scores were not significantly different. CONCLUSIONS--Most patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome had sleep disorders, which are likely to contribute to daytime fatigue. Sleep disorders may be important in the aetiology of the syndrome.
Severe fatigue is a common complaint among patients. This report presents a clinical case of a woman complaining of fatigue associated with diarrhea and myalgia that were first attributed to emotional stress and depression. Initially, the patient was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome. The patient followed nutritional and physical exercise programs without any improvement. Other clinical conditions, such as nutritional deficiencies, endocrine dysfunctions, autoimmune diseases and neoplasias, were then assessed. During clinical investigation, serum ferritin and iron levels were abnormally elevated despite normal hemoglobin levels, which pointed to an iron overload syndrome later diagnosed as hemochromatosis. It is possible that the symptoms were triggered by the amenorrhea caused by the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system used for contraception.
hemochromatosis; iron overload; hormone releasing IUD/contraindications
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex condition involving fatigue and musculoskeletal and cognitive symptoms. Six, 12, and 24 months following monospot-positive acute infectious mononucleosis (IM), 13%, 7%, and 4%, respectively, of adolescents met criteria for CFS.1 As part of their evaluation at baseline and 6, 12, and 24 months following IM, adolescents diagnosed with CFS and recovered controls completed questionnaires regarding autonomic symptoms.
To assess the efficacy of an educational intervention explaining symptoms to encourage graded exercise in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Randomised controlled trial.
Chronic fatigue clinic and infectious diseases outpatient clinic.
148 consecutively referred patients fulfilling Oxford criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome.
Patients randomised to the control group received standardised medical care. Patients randomised to intervention received two individual treatment sessions and two telephone follow up calls, supported by a comprehensive educational pack, describing the role of disrupted physiological regulation in fatigue symptoms and encouraging home based graded exercise. The minimum intervention group had no further treatment, but the telephone intervention group received an additional seven follow up calls and the maximum intervention group an additional seven face to face sessions over four months.
Main outcome measure
A score of ⩾25 or an increase of ⩾10 on the SF-36 physical functioning subscale (range 10 to 30) 12 months after randomisation.
21 patients dropped out, mainly from the intervention groups. Intention to treat analysis showed 79 (69%) of patients in the intervention groups achieved a satisfactory outcome in physical functioning compared with two (6%) of controls, who received standardised medical care (P<0.0001). Similar improvements were observed in fatigue, sleep, disability, and mood. No significant differences were found between the three intervention groups.
Treatment incorporating evidence based physiological explanations for symptoms was effective in encouraging self managed graded exercise. This resulted in substantial improvement compared with standardised medical care.
Patients with perceived food hypersensitivity typically present with multiple health complaints. We aimed to assess the severity of their intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms.
Materials and methods.
In a prospective study, 84 patients referred to our outpatient clinic for investigation of perceived food hypersensitivity were enrolled consecutively. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was diagnosed according to the Rome III criteria. Severity and impact of bowel symptoms, fatigue and musculoskeletal pain were evaluated by using the following questionnaires: The IBS Severity Scoring System (IBS-SSS), the Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS), the FibroFatigue Scale (FFS), and visual analogue scales (VAS) for scoring of musculoskeletal pain.
All but one patient were diagnosed with IBS, 58% with severe symptoms. Extra-intestinal symptoms suggestive of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia were demonstrated in 85% and 71%, respectively. Neither IgE-mediated food allergy nor organic pathology could explain the patients' symptoms. Nevertheless, malabsorption of fat was demonstrated in 10 of 38 subjects.
Perceived food hypersensitivity may be associated with severe, debilitating illness. The comorbid triad of IBS, chronic fatigue, and musculoskeletal pain is striking and may point to a common underlying cause.
functional disorders; malabsorption-mucosal-function; nutrition; small-intestinal disorders
Validated or standardized self-report questionnaires used in research studies and clinical evaluation of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) generally focus on the assessment of fatigue. There are relatively few published questionnaires that evaluate case defining and other accompanying symptoms in CFS. This paper introduces the self-report CDC CFS Symptom Inventory and analyzes its psychometric properties.
One hundred sixty-four subjects (with CFS, other fatiguing illnesses and non fatigued controls) identified from the general population of Wichita, Kansas were enrolled. Evaluation included a physical examination, a standardized psychiatric interview, three previously validated self-report questionnaires measuring fatigue and illness impact (Medical Outcomes Survey Short-Form-36 [MOS SF-36], Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory [MFI], Chalder Fatigue Scale), and the CDC CFS Symptom Inventory. Based on theoretical assumptions and statistical analyses, we developed several different Symptom Inventory scores and evaluated them on their ability to differentiate between participants with CFS and non-fatigued controls.
The Symptom Inventory had good internal consistency and excellent convergent validity. A Total score (all symptoms), Case Definition score (CFS case defining symptoms) and Short Form score (6 symptoms with minimal correlation) differentiated CFS cases from controls. Furthermore, both the Case Definition and Short Form scores distinguished people with CFS from fatigued subjects who did not meet criteria for CFS.
The Symptom Inventory appears to be a reliable and valid instrument to assess symptoms that accompany CFS. It is a positive addition to existing instruments measuring fatigue because it allows other dimensions of the illness to be assessed. Further research is needed to confirm and replicate the current findings in a normative population.
Several studies recognized an overlap between CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) and POTS (postural tachycardia syndrome). We compared the autonomic and neurohormonal phenotype of POTS patients with CFS (CFS–POTS) to those without CFS (non-CFS–POTS), to determine whether CFS–POTS represents a unique clinical entity with a distinct pathophysiology. We recruited 58 patients with POTS, of which 47 were eligible to participate. A total of 93% of them reported severe fatigue [CIS (Checklist of Individual Strength), fatigue subscale >36], and 64% (n=30) fulfilled criteria for CFS (CFS–POTS). The prevalence of CFS symptoms (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria) was greater in the CFS–POTS group, but the pattern of symptoms was similar in both groups. Physical functioning was low in both groups (RAND-36 Health Survey, 40±4 compared with 33±3; P=0.153), despite more severe fatigue in CFS–POTS patients (CIS fatigue subscale 51±1 compared with 43±3; P=0.016). CFS–POTS patients had greater orthostatic tachycardia than the non-CFS–POTS group (51±3 compared with 40±4 beats/min; P=0.030), greater low-frequency variability of BP (blood pressure; 6.3±0.7 compared with 4.8±1.0 mmHg2; P=0.019), greater BP recovery from early to late phase II of the Valsalva manoeuvre (18±3 compared with 11±2 mmHg; P=0.041) and a higher supine (1.5±0.2 compared with 1.0±0.3 ng/ml per·h; P=0.033) and upright (5.4±0.6 compared with 3.5±0.8 ng/ml per h; P=0.032) PRA (plasma renin activity). In conclusion, fatigue and CFS-defining symptoms are common in POTS patients. The majority of them met criteria for CFS. CFS–POTS patients have higher markers of sympathetic activation, but are part of the spectrum of POTS. Targeting this sympathetic activation should be considered in the treatment of these patients.
autonomic nervous system; blood volume; chronic fatigue syndrome; orthostatic intolerance; postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS); renin; AFT, autonomic function test; AngI, angiotensin I; BMI, body mass index; BP, blood pressure; BV, blood volume; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CFS, chronic fatigue syndrome; CIS, Checklist of Individual Strength; HR, heart rate; POTS, postural tachycardia syndrome; PRA, plasma renin activity; PV, plasma volume; QSART, quantitative sudomotor axon reflex testing; RAAS, renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system
Hospital clinics for patients with chronic unexplained fatigue are held in
departments of various disciplines. This causes difficulties for referrers in
choosing the appropriate clinic and for researchers in generalizing findings
from one type of clinic to others. We randomly selected 37 outpatients
attending an immunology fatigue clinic and 36 outpatients attending a
psychiatry fatigue clinic, all of whom had chronic fatigue syndrome. We
compared demographic factors, symptoms, disability, quality of life,
psychological distress and illness attributions.
The patients from the two clinics were closely similar in their specific
symptoms, disability, quality of life, psychological distress and previous
attendance to mental health professionals. Psychological distress was high and
equal in the two samples. The proportion of men was greater among patients
attending the immunology clinic. In a post-hoc analysis, 64% of
immunology attenders attributed their fatigue to physical factors, compared
with 31% of psychiatry clinic attenders (χ2=6.35, 1 d.f.,
These findings suggest that research data from one type of chronic fatigue
clinic can be generalized to others. Clinically similar patients are referred
to different clinics, and the choice of clinic may be influenced by the
patients' illness beliefs. The high levels of emotional distress suggest that
psychosocial management is as important as physical management in hospital
outpatients with chronic fatigue syndrome, irrespective of its aetiology.
Neurocognitive impairment is a feature of childhood chronic fatigue syndrome (CCFS). Several studies have demonstrated reduced attention control in CCFS patients in switching and divided attention tasks. In students, the extent of deterioration in task performance depends on the level of fatigue. Poor performance in switching and divided attention is common in both fatigued students and CCFS patients. Additionally, attentional functions show dramatic development from childhood to adolescence, suggesting that abnormal development of switching and divided attention may be induced by chronic fatigue. The brain structures associated with attentional control are situated in the frontal and parietal cortices, which are the last to mature, suggesting that severe fatigue in CCFS patients and students may inhibit normal structural and functional development in these regions. A combination of treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressant medication is effective to improve attentional control processing in CCFS patients. Studies identifying the features of neurocognitive impairment in CCFS have improved our current understanding of the neurophysiological mechanisms of CCFS.
childhood chronic fatigue syndrome; cognitive development; divided attention; event-related potential; functional magnetic resonance imaging; kana pick-out test; modified advanced trail making test; switching attention
Hemodynamic abnormalities have been documented in the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), indicating functional disturbances of the autonomic nervous system responsible for cardiovascular regulation. The aim of this study was to explore blood pressure variability and closed-loop baroreflex function at rest and during mild orthostatic stress in adolescents with CFS. We included a consecutive sample of 14 adolescents 12–18 years old with CFS diagnosed according to a thorough and standardized set of investigations and 56 healthy control subjects of equal sex and age distribution. Heart rate and blood pressure were recorded continuously and non-invasively during supine rest and during lower body negative pressure (LBNP) of –20 mmHg to simulate mild orthostatic stress. Indices of blood pressure variability and baroreflex function (α-gain) were computed from monovariate and bivariate spectra in the low-frequency (LF) band (0.04–0.15 Hz) and the high–frequency (HF) band (0.15–0.50 Hz), using an autoregressive algorithm. Variability of systolic blood pressure in the HF range was lower among CFS patients as compared to controls both at rest and during LBNP. During LBNP, compared to controls, α-gain HF decreased more, and α-gain LF and the ratio of α-gain LF/α-gain HF increased more in CFS patients, all suggesting greater shift from parasympathetic to sympathetic baroreflex control. CFS in adolescents is characterized by reduced systolic blood pressure variability and a sympathetic predominance of baroreflex heart rate control during orthostatic stress. These findings may have implications for the pathophysiology of CFS in adolescents.
Blood pressure variability; Baroreflex sensitivity; Chronic fatigue syndrome; Autonomic nervous system; Cardiovascular regulation
Hemodynamic abnormalities have been documented in the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), indicating functional disturbances of the autonomic nervous system responsible for cardiovascular regulation. The aim of this study was to explore blood pressure variability and closed-loop baroreflex function at rest and during mild orthostatic stress in adolescents with CFS.
We included a consecutive sample of 14 adolescents 12 to 18 years old with CFS diagnosed according to a thorough and standardized set of investigations, and 56 healthy control subjects of equal sex and age distribution. Heart rate and blood pressure were recorded continuously and non-invasively during supine rest and during lower body negative pressure (LBNP) of −20 mm Hg to simulate mild orthostatic stress. Indices of blood pressure variability and baroreflex function (α-gain) were computed from monovariate and bivariate spectra in the low-frequency (LF) band (0.04–0.15 Hz) and the high-frequency (HF) band (0.15–0.50 Hz), using an autoregressive algorithm.
Variability of systolic blood pressure in the HF range was lower among CFS patients as compared to controls both at rest and during LBNP. During LBNP compared to controls, α-gain HF decreased more, and α-gain LF and the ratio of α-gain LF/α-gain HF increased more in CFS patients, all suggesting greater shift from parasympathetic to sympathetic baroreflex control.
CFS in adolescents is characterized by reduced systolic blood pressure variability, and a sympathetic predominance of baroreflex heart rate control during orthostatic stress. These findings may have implications for the pathophysiology of CFS in adolescents.
Blood pressure variability; baroreflex sensitivity; chronic fatigue syndrome; autonomic nervous system; cardiovascular regulation
Unexplained Chronic Fatigue is a medical condition characterized by the presence of persistent, severe and debilitating medically unexplained fatigue, leading to impaired functioning and lower quality of life. Research suggests that physical activity can contribute to the reduction of fatigue and other somatic symptoms and can thus significantly improve physical functioning and quality of life in these patients. Based on the self-regulation (SR) theory of behaviour change, we developed a brief physical activity program for patients suffering from unexplained chronic fatigue which focuses on the training of self-regulation skills, the "4-STEPS to control your fatigue" program.
This is a multi-centre, randomised controlled trial (RCT) that will be carried out in local primary care centres and at the Portuguese Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients Association. Patients aged between 18 and 65 and fulfilling operationalized criteria for Idiopathic Chronic Fatigue (ICF) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) will be recruited and randomly allocated to standard care (SC) or standard care plus a self-regulation based physical activity program (4-STEPS). Patients will be assessed at baseline, after the intervention (3 months) and at 12 months follow-up. The primary outcome is fatigue severity.
The results of the RCT will provide information about the effectiveness of a brief self-regulation intervention for promoting physical activity in patients with unexplained chronic fatigue. If the program proves to be effective, it may be considered as an adjunctive treatment for these patients.
Unexplained Chronic Fatigue; Physical activity; Self-Regulation; Randomized Controlled Trial
Chronic fatigue is common in the general population. Complementary therapies are often used by patients with chronic fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome to manage their symptoms.
This study aimed to assess the effect of a 4-month qigong intervention program among patients with chronic fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Sixty-four participants were randomly assigned to either an intervention group or a wait list control group. Outcome measures included fatigue symptoms, physical functioning, mental functioning, and telomerase activity.
Fatigue symptoms and mental functioning were significantly improved in the qigong group compared to controls. Telomerase activity increased in the qigong group from 0.102 to 0.178 arbitrary units (p < 0.05). The change was statistically significant when compared to the control group (p < 0.05).
Qigong exercise may be used as an alternative and complementary therapy or rehabilitative program for chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Qigong; Exercise; Chronic fatigue; Telomerase; Randomized controlled trial
Chronic fatigue syndrome, previously known as chronic mononucleosis or post-infectious fatigue, is a poorly understood illness characterized by chronic debilitating fatigue, recurrent flu-like symptoms, and few clinical or laboratory abnormalities. Attention was briefly focused on the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) as a causal agent, but that hypothesis is now in serious doubt. While a significant incidence of psychiatric illness has been demonstrated among patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome, there is also evidence of subtle immune system abnormalities, leading some researchers to postulate a multi-factorial psycho-immune cause.
chronic fatigue syndrome; chronic mononucleosis; immunology; infectious diseases; post-infectious fatigue; psychiatry
The symptoms of sleepiness and fatigue are frequently encountered when caring for adolescents. Up to 40% of healthy teens experience regular sleepiness, defined as an increased tendency to fall asleep. Fatigue is the perception of low energy following normal activity and is reported by up to 30% of well teens. Chronic fatigue syndrome is an unusual syndrome with severe fatigue accompanied by other physical and neurological symptoms. A thorough assessment is required for all teens with sleepiness and fatigue; however, a treatable underlying medical condition is rarely found. Most fatigue and sleepiness in teens is attributable to lifestyle issues, notably too little time spent sleeping. Physicians are in a position to screen for, assess and manage these common conditions in teens.
Adolescent; Chronic fatigue syndrome; Fatigue; Sleepiness
Primary fibromyalgia syndrome (PFS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are clinical conditions characterized by a variety of symptoms, including prominent fatigue, myalgia, and sleep disturbances. Although the incidence of these syndromes is infrequent, when manifested, they can completely disrupt the life and career of those affected. When they are manifested within the physically active population, they can jeoardize the futures of the most promising athletes.
Public documents available from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, and the National Institutes of Health were researched. MEDLINE and CINAHL were researched back to 1988 with the following key words: chronic fatigue syndrome, primary fibromyalgia syndrome, sports participant, physically active, mononucleosis, myalgia, rehabilitation, reconditioning, athlete, and sports medicine.
The definition of CFS in 1988 included disabling fatigue of unknown case of at least 6 months' duration. Primary fibromyalgia syndrome was once considered a subsyndrome of CFS. PFS is diagnostically characterized as a nonarticular rheumatism. The “yuppie flu” was a catch phrase of the 1980s for CFS, which was then named chronic Epstein-Barr virus syndrome. Initially the condition was thought of as simple infectious mononucleosis, but we now have a medically defined set of symptoms to describe what are called CFS and PFS. Training interruptions, feelings of loss of control, and concerns over possible psychologic or psychiatric referral can occur. Relaxation therapy, exercise, image therapy, serotonin supplementation, and antiviral therapy are in clinical trials now as the best options for management of CFS and PFS.
Current statistics on those affected by CFS and PFS in the general population are less than 2% for CFS and 2% for PFS. Comprehensive documentation of signs, symptoms, and complaints, along with judicious physician follow-up, are important during the course of treatment leading up to and following a diagnosis of CFS or PFS. Professional evaluation of the affected player's neuropsychological status is important and necessary as a care plan is developed.
primary fibromyalgia syndrome; sports participant; physically active; mononucleosis; myalgia; rehabilitation; reconditioning; athlete; sports medicine
Fatigue is commonly reported in many neurologic illnesses, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, myasthenia gravis, traumatic brain injury, and stroke. Fatigue contributes substantially to decrements in quality of life and disability in these illnesses. Despite the clear impact of fatigue as a disabling symptom, our understanding of fatigue pathophysiology is limited and current treatment options rarely lead to meaningful improvements in fatigue. Progress continues to be hampered by issues related to terminology and assessment. In this article, we propose a unified taxonomy and a novel assessment approach to addressing distinct aspects of fatigue and fatigability in clinical and research settings. This taxonomy is based on our current knowledge of the pathophysiology and phenomenology of fatigue and fatigability. Application of our approach indicates that the assessment and reporting of fatigue can be clarified and improved by utilizing this taxonomy and creating measures to address distinct aspects of fatigue and fatigability. We review the strengths and weaknesses of several common measures of fatigue and suggest, based on our model, that many research questions may be better addressed by using multiple measures. We also provide examples of how to apply and validate the taxonomy and suggest directions for future research.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic health condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, multiple tender points on physical examination, generalized muscular aching, stiffness, fatigue, nonrestorative sleep pattern, cognitive dysfunction, and mood disturbance. Recently, the Outcome Measures in Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trials (OMERACT) Fibromyalgia Syndrome Workshop ranked and prioritized the domains that should be consistently measured in fibromyalgia clinical trials, specifically, pain, generic health-related quality of life, fatigue, sleep quality, and physical function. The focus of these deliberations was exclusively on adult patients, and to our knowledge, these domains have not been previously tested within a multidimensional framework in children and adolescents with fibromyalgia.
An analysis to determine the feasibility, reliability, and validity of the PedsQL™ 4.0 (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™) Generic Core Scales, PedsQL™ Multidimensional Fatigue Scale, and PedsQL™ Rheumatology Module Pain and Hurt Scale as patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures for pediatric patients with fibromyalgia. The PedsQL™ Scales were completed by 59 families in a pediatric rheumatology clinic in a large children's hospital.
The PedsQL™ evidenced minimal missing responses (0.53% patient self-report, 0.70% parent proxy-report), achieved excellent reliability for the Generic Core Scales Total Scale Score (α = 0.88 patient self-report, 0.87 parent proxy-report), the Multidimensional Fatigue Scale Total Scale Score (α = 0.94 patient self-report, 0.94 parent proxy-report), and acceptable reliability for the 4-item Rheumatology Module Pain and Hurt Scale (α = 0.68 patient self-report, 0.75 parent proxy-report). The PedsQL™ Generic Core Scales and Multidimensional Fatigue Scale significantly distinguished between pediatric patients with fibromyalgia and healthy children. Pediatric patients with fibromyalgia self-reported severely impaired physical and psychosocial functioning, significantly lower on most dimensions when compared to pediatric cancer patients receiving cancer treatment, and significantly lower on all dimensions than pediatric patients with other rheumatologic diseases. Patients with fibromyalgia self-reported significantly greater pain and fatigue than pediatric patients with other rheumatologic conditions, and generally more fatigue than pediatric patients receiving treatment for cancer.
The results demonstrate the excellent measurement properties of the PedsQL™ Scales in fibromyalgia. These PedsQL™ Scales measure constructs consistent with the recommended OMERACT Fibromyalgia Syndrome Workshop domains. The findings highlight the severely impaired HRQOL of pediatric patients with fibromyalgia. Regular monitoring of pediatric patients with fibromyalgia will help identify children and adolescents at risk for severely impaired HRQOL. These PedsQL™ Scales are appropriate outcome measures for clinical trials and health services research for pediatric patients with fibromyalgia.
Fatigue is a crucial sensation that triggers rest, yet its underlying neuronal mechanisms remain unclear. Intense long-term fatigue is a symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome, which is used as a model to study the mechanisms underlying fatigue.
Using magnetic resonance imaging, we conducted voxel-based morphometry of 16 patients and 49 age-matched healthy control subjects.
We found that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome had reduced gray-matter volume in the bilateral prefrontal cortex. Within these areas, the volume reduction in the right prefrontal cortex paralleled the severity of the fatigue of the subjects.
These results are consistent with previous reports of an abnormal distribution of acetyl-L-carnitine uptake, which is one of the biochemical markers of chronic fatigue syndrome, in the prefrontal cortex. Thus, the prefrontal cortex might be an important element of the neural system that regulates sensations of fatigue.
Background: Persistent fatigue among employees, burnout, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are three fatigue conditions that share some characteristics in theory. However, these conditions have not been compared in empirical research, despite conceptual similarities.
Methods: This cross sectional study aimed to investigate relations between persistent fatigue, burnout, and CFS by describing the clinical features of a sample of 151 fatigued employees on sick leave. Using validated instruments, subgroups based on research criteria for CFS and burnout within the sample of fatigued employees and a reference group of 97 diagnosed CFS patients were compared. Analyses of covariance were performed.
Results: A total of 66 (43.7%) fatigued employees met research criteria for CFS (except symptom criteria) and 76 (50.3%) met research criteria for burnout. "CFS-like employees" (fatigued employees who met CFS criteria) reported stronger somatic attributions than "non-CFS-like employees". Burnt out CFS-like employees were more depressed and distressed than CFS-like employees who were not burnt out. Burnout cases among the non-CFS-like employees had stronger psychological attributions than fatigued employees who were not burnt out. Compared to diagnosed CFS patients, CFS-like employees merely had a shorter duration of fatigue complaints. Burnt out CFS-like employees had stronger psychological attributions and were more distressed than CFS patients.
Conclusions: Fatigued employees shared many important characteristics with CFS patients, regardless of burnout status, and many fatigued employees met CFS criteria and/or burnout criteria. Differences however concerned the causal attributions that were made. This raises questions about the role of causal attributions: are they modified by fatigue complaints or do they determine illness outcome?