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Adrienne Dellwo

Diagnostic Test for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By January 24, 2009

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NEWSBRIEF: Researchers claim they've discovered the cause of a key symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS) and that they've found a conclusive way to diagnose the illness.

In a study published in The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, researchers say they've proven dysfunction in mitochondria linked to the production of energy through adenosine triphosphate (ATP). They say the severity of dysfunction reliably predicts the severity of the condition. In addition, they say tests can distinguish between the fatigue and lack of energy associated with ME/CFS and fatigue caused by other factors, such as sleep disorders or nutritional or hormonal deficiencies.

Much of the controversy surrounding ME/CFS stems from the lack of objective diagnostic tests, which leads some people to believe that nothing is physically wrong with people who have the condition. It also can lead to misdiagnoses. A reliable, widely accepted diagnostic test would validate the illness, reduce misdiagnoses, and possibly make it easier for people with ME/CFS to get special accommodations at work and qualify for Social Security disability insurance.

This study also could lead to treatments targeting mitochondrial dysfunction. For more on this research, including one researcher's recommended treatment for mitrochondrial dysfunction, visit Dr. Sarah Myhill's website.

Related Content: Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Chronic Fatigue vs. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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January 26, 2009 at 12:16 am
(1) you says:

You say there is a test for CFS? By whom? What research? How do I get the test?

You left an important tidbit but left out all the important details.

January 26, 2009 at 1:24 pm
(2) chronicfatigue says:

This is a brand new discovery, and as with all new discoveries, it’s not something that is in practice right now.

It’s impossible to estimate when this test could be put into common use, as the scientific world will want to see these results reproduced in other studies.

If you’d like more information on the study, just click on the word “study” at the top of the second paragraph, or on the link to Dr. Myhill’s site at the end.

February 10, 2009 at 12:03 am
(3) Kay says:

This is stunning! I just read the material in the link and I cannot tell you how much hope this gives me. I have read tons of stuff on this illness over the ten years since my diagnosis and to see this show up in a peer reviewed journal is really encouraging. It actually says that CFS is a symptom of an underlying problem which is a substantial step towards finding the cause of the illness and a treatment that does more than just manage symptoms. It will take time to replicate the study but sound science only works when you do not skip steps. We must be patient but I am taking this article to my next doctor visit.

March 16, 2009 at 1:28 am
(4) xxxshyguy says:

im not surprised as ive been following ways to enhance my ATP sythesis for a few years , , im happy to see this reasearch as its confirming my own suspiscion ……. its difficult working away by yourself over a period of years , cheers ,

May 22, 2009 at 3:53 pm
(5) Robin says:

Its the underlying virus(es) that are causing the energy depletion. When the immune system in constantly trying to fight something off that it cannot contain, that is what causes the lack of energy-NOT a dysfunction in ATP. See Dr. Martin Lerner and Dr. Jose Montoya’s research…

August 25, 2009 at 1:32 am
(6) Shari Mattice says:

I’ve had her test of my mitochondrial function; & I do have Heart Failure s/t Mitochondrial Failure! I’d had a diving accident when in 7th grade rammed head first into the pool bottom! People can email me saying questions about my condition at destinygsmom@juno.com


November 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm
(7) irene says:

is it thought that this virus can be transmitted via blood transfusion??

November 20, 2009 at 6:37 pm
(8) Adrienne Dellwo says:


This particular diagnostic test would deal with mitochondrial dysfunction, not a virus. However, the recently discovered retrovirus that may be associated with ME/CFS (XMRV) could very well be transmitted via blood transfusion. Here’s more information on that:

How is XMRV Transmitted?

February 23, 2011 at 2:19 am
(9) Shari Mattice says:

Update for the Comment, I left previously! I am taking Dr. Sarah Myhill’s treatment for having my Mitochondrial Malfunction, yet my condition was so far along that it has been found in my situation that I was even closer to the heart failure side of it than the patients that the initial testing were done on! You’ll see that the article says it doesn’t show up in a patients Arterial Blood Gases, I’ve found that it depends on how often you’re experiencing the faulty switchover of your Mitochondrial Metabolism from aerobic to non-aerobic! Because mine over the years got quicker & quicker at reoccuring, because of the decreasing numbers of ATP supplies; it went into my nighttime metabolism! I have normal levels of blood saturation oxygen, but very low levels of organ/tissue oxygen that decreases with exertion if I push myself a little further than when my body tells me its time to lie down! If I push myself a little further, I begin unintensionally hyperventilating because my body tries to forced the needed oxygen into my organs even though the Mitochondria seem to have put out some signal that no oxygen be allowed into the organs whenever there’s to little supply of ATP (switching to glycolysis energy production)! Found out by a heart test run after my Mitochondria faulty-switchover of metabolism occured from the one that needs oxygen to the one that doesn’t need oxygen; & the test shows that when one of these things occurs it’s not just the offputting of lactic acid that is causing the pain in your chest, but it showed that I wasn’t getting enough oxygen to the rightside of my heart! I also found out that what had been thought to be REM sleep apnea at night had really been this switchover occuring over and over again through the night too; & taking my d-Ribose, Magnesium, & Calcium several times through the night at the dosage just right for my bodies cell death & destruction so far makes it so I’m sleeping so so very much better now!

February 23, 2011 at 2:20 am
(10) Shari Mattice says:

I found that I can’t take the Magnesium injection plus the oral magnesium, because I found that anyone who has a horseshoe kidney like I do, can, also, get to much magnesium like those can who’re in kidney failure! I’ve discovered that because my mitochondria won’t allow the oxygen into the organs when this switchover occurs, that my body strives to force oxygen in by causing my to hyperventilate if I keep on trying to go on; & I’ve found that another way that it tries to force oxygen into the organs is by increasin my bloods pressure! My blood pressure kept going up, so my doctor here put me on blood pressure medicines of which I can only take so much or it makes me get extremelly dizzy; so that’s when I said maybe I’m getting too much magnesium because of my horseshoe kidney, so I tried not taking the injection of it the next day, & my blood pressure dropped back down to a safe level again! I’ve also come across an article now, about how they’ve found a new vitamin that people usually get out of all fruits & vegetables that is an Essential Vitamin for our mitochondria to be able to split themselves & make more mitochondria! It’s PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone), & it’s a extremely expensive supplement to buy; I found online in canada, 10 grams at $400++ dollars! 1 gram is less than $100! Anyone serious about finding out more can call me! (509) 526-7114… I also have found that when you actually start running out of ATP, you mimic a low blood sugar reaction; plus you have your dizziness increase, then throw up & throw up over & over! I believe if my caregiver or myself couldn’t shakeup my d-ribose, magnesium, & calcium fast enough to quickly drink it down, I’d die throwing up!!! This is super scarry, way scarier than the one time in my life that I actually did have a low blood sugar reaction from eating all my halloween candy in one night; way way, more terrifying!

April 6, 2012 at 5:05 am
(11) Shari Mattice says:

Everything that has been stated here in this article is true about my condition, I believe that there may be many reasons for ones ending up having mitochondria that are malfunctioning! The thing is that the longer you’ve had it without having known it so that you can take what you need to make the percentage of ATP that your body is neglecting to make to meet your bodies energy needs, the more d-Ribose powder you end up needing to buy! If an individual finds out that they have the condition, while their body is still able to put out 80% of the ATP needed to live an active lifestyle; then they’d only need to buy enough d-Ribose powder to make 20% of the ATP then, so they could be living a life that’s active! But if you’ve had alot of cell death & destruction already from the mitochondria’s malfunctioning, then you might (like Me) be an individual that perhaps is trying to make up for the majority percentage of the ATP production needs which their body can no longer make anymore because of too many cells & tissues dying off! The pain that we feel from the lack of oxygen to the tissues & the lactic acid being put off, I’ve found can be relieved for 4 hours at a time with the small ‘Salonpas’ pain patches that I purchase at Walmart; the large Salonpas patches do not work for the pain that people with this condition experience, but those small ones are an answer to prayer because I was literally ready to cut my stomach open to releave the painful pressure feeling that I’d been feeling in my abdominal area! [anyone who wants to know more about what I've found out about this condition may call me at: 509-526-7114]!

April 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm
(12) La bioenergie says:

I do accept as true with all of the ideas you have introduced for your post. They are really convincing and can certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for newbies. May just you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

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