Article: “Blood test may detect myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome“
Interesting. On the other hand they could just ask the patients how they are. Finding a marker for CFS/ME is useful as a confirmation of a disorder and as a first step towards finding the disorder(s) that underlie the marker. For example, do hypothyroid patients show the same response? A good initial step but I have a fear that nobody is going to run with the ball.
If all is dependent upon a 'blood test' why are doctors directed not to diagnose a hypothyroid patient until the TSH is 10 or over whilst ignoring disabling symptoms?
Do they ever test the FT4 and FT3 of patients who they suspect as having the above conditions????
AFAIK there is no blood test for CFS or ME. It's a diagnosis given when the symptoms are not caused by anything else (except they usually ARE caused by an underactive thyroid or adrenal problems or Lyme disease - just not in the ranges where doctors are prepared to medicate). So this "test" probably just shows markers that you'd expect to find in hypo patients and those with adrenal insufficiency, but whose TSH isn't over 10
I've heard about pure tests of metabolism being suggested to measure CFS, such as indirect calorimetry. It gave me a bit of a double take as these are surely tests for how hypothyroid you are!
I wonder what will happen to those who are not shown to have ME/CFS by this blood test?
I imagine that there will be a new definition for those with symptoms of ME/CFS but not positive on the test. PBMC-insensitive ME/CFS?
But their outlook doesn't look wonderful - possibly getting dismissed as "all in your head". Or at least excluded from any treatments that might yet be found.
on the other hand being able to differentiate the two may help researchers to better understand the varying basis of fatigue and develop more targeted therapies. at least one can hope!
yes certainly lots of questions around how and where in the process of diagnosis this will and should be used, and probably a ways away from it actually being used in clinical practice, but i thought it was an interesting finding that at least further legitimizes CFS as having a scientific basis. will be interesting to see what further studies show
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