Chronic fatigue syndrome: new insights and old ignorance

Authors

  • B. Evengård,

    1. From the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Immunology, Pathology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Karolinska Institute at Huddinge University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden; and the
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  • R. S. Schacterle,

    1. Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
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  • A. L. Komaroff

    1. Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
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Birgitta Evengård, MD, Clinic Infect Dis, Huddinge Hospital, S-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden (fax: +46 8 58581916; e-mail: birgitta.evengard infect.hs.sll.se).

Abstract

Abstract. Evengård B, Schacterle RS, Komaroff AL (Karolinska Institute at Huddinge University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden; and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA). Chronic fatigue syndrome: new insights and old ignorance. J Intern Med 1999; 246: 455–469.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition characterized by impairment of neurocognitive functions and quality of sleep and of somatic symptoms such as recurrent sore throat, muscle aches, arthralgias, headache, and postexertional malaise. A majority of patients describe an infectious onset but the link between infections and CFS remains uncertain. Findings show an activation of the immune system, abberations in several hypothalamic-pituitary axes and involvement of other parts of the central nervous system. The origin is bound to be complex and it may well be that the solution will come together with a more generally altered view about mind–body dualism, and the concept of illness and disease.

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