By Amy Dockser Marcus, The Wall Street Journal, WSJ.com:
Researchers who analyzed the spinal fluid of people with chronic fatigue syndrome and post-treatment Lyme disease were able to find proteins that were specific to each disorder — and different from proteins in the spinal fluid of healthy people.
The discovery, published today in the journal PLoS One, opens up the possibility of finding diagnostic tests for the puzzling and controversial conditions.
Scientists still do not know what causes CFS or post-treatment Lyme disease, a condition affecting people diagnosed with and treated for Lyme disease whose symptoms persist long after finishing antibiotic treatment. Doctors sometimes consider patients who don’t recover from Lyme disease despite treatment to have a form of chronic fatigue syndrome. Some key symptoms do overlap, such as severe fatigue and cognitive dysfunction, making it challenging to distinguish the groups.
The finding of disease-specific proteins “lets you separate one disease from another,” says Steven E. Schutzer of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School. Read more>>