Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Protein discovery validates chronic fatigue syndrome

By Jennifer Liu,, Monday, February 28, 2011

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) collaborated with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to discover around 3,000 proteins in the spinal fluids of people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease.

"We discovered that both diseases — chronic fatigue syndrome and post-treatment neurological Lyme disease — are central nervous system disorders," said Steven Schutzer, professor of medicine at UMDNJ. "They have their own characteristic set of spinal fluid proteins that lets us distinguish one from the other."

The two diseases were thought to be similar, and many people did not believe chronic fatigue syndrome had a real biological or physical basis, Schutzer said.

"[The discovery] provides extremely convincing evidence, in my view, that these pathologies are real and distinguishable," said Richard Smith, director of the Proteomics Research Program at PNNL.

Smith said this recent discovery is especially important for chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

"For a significant amount of patients, this will be validation that this isn't all in their imaginations," he said.

Smith believes the breakthrough in this study should be credited, at least in part, to the newly available technology. Read more>>

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