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THE NATION; Chronic Fatigue Is in the Genes, Study Finds; Mutations are to blame for a syndrome often scoffed at as imaginary, researchers say.
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Studies; Chronic fatigue syndrome; Genetic research; Mutation
Author: Maugh, Thomas H, II
Date: Apr 21, 2006
Start Page: A.1
Section: Main News; Part A; National Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Chronic fatigue syndrome, often dismissed as the imaginings of depressed and whiny people, is caused by genetic mutations that impair the central nervous system's ability to adapt to stressful situations, according to a major new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, commonly known as CFS, was first recognized in the 1980s but was long dismissed as the complaint of "a bunch of hysterical, upper-class white women," said Dr. William C. Reeves of the CDC, who led the new study.

The teams also found a strong correlation between the severity of CFS and what they called allostatic load, the cumulative wear and tear on the body resulting from chronic or inadequate adaptation to stressors -- such as changes in everyday routine, disease, and physical and emotional trauma.

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