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op: 11 jan 2008
Bijgewerkt: 2 aug 2012
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Prof. Nancy Klimas explains complexity of CFS


University of Miami ME/CFS Researcher Nancy Klimas, MD, Explains Complexity of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Terms That Anybody Can Understand

The following article highlights the work of Dr. Nancy Klimas, MD, an international leader in ME/CFS research, and features her succinct explanation of the basic mechanisms involved in ME/CFS. It is reproduced with kind permission from the Spring 2007 issue of University of Miami Medicine, the magazine of the Leonard M. Miller Schol of Medicine at the University of Miami (FL), where Dr. Klimas is Professor of Medicine, Psychology, Microbiology, and Immunology, and Director of the Allergy and Immunology Clinic.



Sick and Tired

By Jeanne Antol Krull

After 20 years of research, the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is still elusive – but physicians and scientists at the Miller School of Medicine are at the forefront of efforts to understand and develop effective treatments for the debilitating disease.

[...]

If there was something wrong with your immune system, Klimas was the one to see in South Florida, and at the time her practice was mainly HIV patients.[...]

Patients like Mayer found some vindication late last year when the full weight of the federal government was brought to bear against the disease.

[...]

When it comes to treating patients, Klimas says you don’t have to be a chronic fatigue expert — it comes down to basic clinical principles. Patients tend to have three main problems in addition to fatigue: sleep disruption, autonomic dysfunction (delayed drops in blood pressure after standing), and pain.

[...]

“What you end up with is this vicious cycle of fairly subtle dysregulation between the body’s hormone system, the autonomic nervous system, and the immune system,” Klimas says. “Everything is just a little off kilter - and instead of helping each other, these systems together are amplifying the problem.”

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Fletcher and Klimas are now recruiting 150 patients for a five-year longitudinal NIH study that will assess patients at baseline, again on a day when they feel good, and on a day when they feel bad, even if they have to go to their homes to collect the blood.

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An increase in stress plays a very significant role in managing chronic fatigue symptoms. “On a good day I am easily fatigued—I can get out of breath scrambling an egg,” says Bonnie Mayer. “But if I have a particularly long, stressful day, it is much harder to function for the next couple of days.

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The next frontier is clearly studying genetic factors in chronic fatigue.

[...]


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