ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News

Here I share Chronic Fatigue Syndrome news to communicate information about the chronic illness CFS (also known as ME - Myalgic Encephalomyelitis).

The articles below are likely to be of interest mainly to those with the auto-immune illnesses such as CFS, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, CFIDs, SEID, Fibromyalgia and Post Viral Fatigue.

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Contents for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News

Click on a link below when there is one. If not, please click on the year and scroll down.
  • A CFS article on Doctor's quotes on the harms associated with ME/CFS and exercise.
  • A CFS article sharing research into the dangers of exercise at an inappropriate level for those with ME/CFS



  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Cfs) And Fibromyalgia Are Vascular Disease.
  • Genetics
  • Abilify - the drug that is helping Whitney Dafoe at the time of writing


  • June 2020. RESEARCH. Request for 20,000 volunteers to send in saliva sample. PLEASE SHARE. 
    DecodeME DNA study announcement
  • November 2020 Canadian Researchers develop a blood biomarker to identify ME/CFS patients.
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction in people with ME/CFS. Paul Fisher, Australia.
  • Stanford University research: A chronic fatigue syndrome blood test gives 100% accuracy
  • Griffiths University research: The drug nifedipine helps to reveal impaired pathology in CFS/ME
  • Problems with brain functioning in those with the chronic illness CFS/ME


Apologies but I haven't managed to keep up with much Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME research in 2018. Here are a few items!

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome test shows 84 percent accuracy
  • Brain inflammation found in patients with ME/CFS - This link goes through to a separate page of research into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome news about research into the brain.
  • Overactivity of the immune system 'may trigger ME-like symptoms'
  • Interview with Doctor David M. Systrom, MD


  • Impaired cellular bio energetics in patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
  • Cytokines in the blood match symptom severity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ ME
  • The UK government comment on the absence of an effective policy for the treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
  • USA. Correlation shown between gut disturbance and severity of CFS/ME symptoms
  • Canada. Researchers identify differences across the genome in CFS patients.
  • National Institute of Health (NIH) commits to find medical answers to help those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • Gene expression demonstrates the severity of illness in people with CFS/ME.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome news - the illness is linked to a faulty cell receptor in immune cells.

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Click here for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News for 2013-2016, or click on the year related to the CFS research of interest.


  • Energy metabolism in chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Is the body acting as though it is starving?
  • Amino acid research on people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Japanese research finds a test to differentiate between normal fatigue and pathological fatigue.
  • Possible blood test for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Are people with CFS in hibernation?!
  • Higher levels of cytokines in those with CFS/ME in the first 3 years
  • USA initiative to rename the illness Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to bring greater recognition of this serious chronic illness.


Click on the link above for all of the following Chronic Fatigue Syndrome news:

  • Chronic mycoplasma infection found in 50% of CFS patients

Click through for the following two articles on research into the brain and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

  • Brain abnormalities identified in CFS/ME patients, Stanford study
  • Brain abnormalities in patients with CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) - PET scans


The relaxation response can improve mitochondrial function

Click through for the following Chronic Fatigue Syndrome news prior to 2012 and for a list of CFS blogs by other people
  • CFS Research on difficulty standing still
  • Blog on Multiple Sclerosis
  • Research into how to overcome fatigue
  • Lyme Disease - an illness with similar symptoms to CFS / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
  • CFS/ME is taken seriously by authorities - patients are not allowed to donate blood
  • A Film/DVD/ Movie about CFS/ME

The search for a drug for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis /CFS - what has been researched?

Click on the link above for all of the following CFS news:

  • 2017. Can anti-inflammatory drugs help people with CFS?
  • 2011. Rituximab - a possible cure for CFS/ME? Based on a treatment for cancer.
  • 2013. Cancer treatment may be a treatment for CFS - Low dose naltrexone (LDN)
  • 2013. Can antidepressants relieve CFS symptoms? - Research on amitriptaline for CFS pain relief and help with sleep

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News in 2023

South Africa and UK joint research

South Africa  - Prof Pretorius, University of Stellenbosch

UK  - Prof Kell, Liverpool University

Blood samples from people with Long Covid show micro clotting.
Blood samples from people withME patients showed the same.
These clots cause problems in the vascular system. They clog up smaller blood vessels and deprive them of oxygen.

Oxygen deprivation and the affect on brain, muscles and other organs could explain the diverse symptoms in ME and long covid

Two-Years Follow-Up of Symptoms and Return to Work in Complex Post-COVID-19 Patients

Conclusion: only 9% recovery

More information here:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News in 2021

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Cfs) And Fibromyalgia Are Vascular Disease

When: October 2021

Who and where:

Gustavo Aguirre Chang, National University of San Marcos

Aurora Natividad Trujillo Figueredo, SIGESA

Please copy and paste the link to find out more.

Drug treatment for CFS/ME - Abilify helps some

Abilify is a drug that is helping Whitney Dafoe with cognitive function at the time of writing.

There is an excellent article on the website Health Rising.

Abilify is usually used for conditions like bi-polar or schizophrenia and at a much higher dose.

The comments are also worth reading.
They suggest that for some
Abilify is a solution that lasts for months rather than longterm.
Some find if they take a break and go back on, it is effective once again.

Even so... to find a treatment that works at all for CFS/ME is a beautiful thing and gives hope.

 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Genetics

A study reports that having a close relative with the disease may increase your risk of developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by 13%.

Who and when: Chu L, Valencia IJ, Garvert DW, Montoya JG. Onset patterns and course of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Front Pediatr. 2019

More on this CFS news here.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News in 2020

12 November 2020: a blood biomarker

Where: Researchers from the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine

Team leader: Professor Alain Moreau

What? The identification of a blood biomarker to identify patients with ME and CFS. 

Published where: journal Scientific Reports

More information here:

June 2020

DecodeME DNA research study announcement
Request for volunteers to send in saliva sample

Funding has been secured for a study to analyse DNA from the saliva of 20,000 people with ME/CFS.
The aim is to see whether the disease is partly genetic.
If so, the aim is to help pinpoint the genetic component which causes it.
The study aims to help bring understanding of the disease and to find treatments.

Press Release: £3.2m funding for DecodeME, largest ever DNA study of ME

Website where you can read FAQs and sign up:

"We’re focusing on recruiting from the UK for now and are already well on our way with early sign-ups.
But we’ll expand to other countries if necessary,
so if you’re outside the UK, please do sign up now.
You must be 16 or over to take part. "

Katherine: please do share this as #MEAwareness on your social media channels. Thank you.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News in 2019

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, July 2019

Mitochondrial dysfunction in people with ME/CFS

I am indebted to the following information to an article on the wonderful Health Rising website.
You can read more there.

Paul Fisher, an Australian specialist in neurodegenerative diseases and the mitochondria.

Part of the ME/CFS Discovery Research Network (MDRN), a group of Australian researchers collaborating on ME/CFS. The MDRN was set up in 2018.


"ATP production [in the blood of the sample of people with ME/CFS] was normal,
but once Fisher began stressing the energy production systems strange things began happening.
In particular, Fisher found that Complex V – the last of the five complexes and arguably the most important – responded poorly."

"The NIH reports that Complex V Deficiency can produce a wide variety of symptoms including extreme fatigue, low muscle tone (hypotonia), increased levels of lactic acid, rapid breathing, cognitive issues, etc."

"The end result was that the ME/CFS mitochondria were working harder than ever. They were able to get the cells’ ATP production up to normal – at rest – but this was not enough to handle stressful conditions."

He found "that the energy stressed ME/CFS patients’ cells had moved from breaking down glucose to breaking down the more ATP-rich fatty acids in order to squeeze out as much energy as possible."

"Fisher’s intuition [10 years ago] was correct.  ME/CFS patients’ mitochondria are having problems producing energy."

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, April 2019

A chronic fatigue syndrome blood test gives 100% accuracy

Who: Stanford professor of biochemistry and genetics Ron Davis. And Dr Rahim Esfandyarpour.

Where: Stanford University, USA.

Method:  The new test measures energy output from immune cells in the blood. The 'nanoelectronic assay' measures how much the energy outputs of these cells change when they are exposed to stress, in this case, modeled by salt. Those with ME/CFS had very reactive blood

Result: A chronic fatigue syndrome blood test from Stanford Uni gave 100% accuracy in a trial of 40 patients

Sample size: 40.

Next steps:

  • To see if the result is the same with a larger sample size.
  • To test to find a drug that treats Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as revealed by the blood test.
  • The test identified those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as compared to healthy controls - it shows they have an illness. It now needs to be shown that the blood test result is unique to those with CFS as opposed to including those living with other chronic illnesses.

More information:

On May 21, 2019 the following CFS research was posted on the PNAS website which I believe is more on the same news.

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, April 2019

The drug nifedipine helps to reveal impaired pathology in CFS/ME

Who: Dr Helene Cabanas and the NCNED research teams

Where: Griffiths University in Australia

Method:  "Whole-cell patch-clamp technique was used to measure TRPM3 activity in isolated NK cells from twelve age- and sex-matched healthy controls and CFS/ME patients, after activation with pregnenolone sulfate and [the drug] nifedipine and inhibition with ononetin." Quote with grateful thanks to the Pubmed website - see link below.

Result: Diagnostic marker test developed for ME/CFS, along with a possible drug treatment.

Sample size: 12 or 24 (Katherine - not sure!)

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, March 2019

Problems with brain functioning in those with this chronic illness

The articles shares that "It’s All in Your Head" is true because there are problems with brain functioning in those with this chronic illness.

An interesting article outlining the work of Professor Leonard Jason who himself had or has the illness Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.


Quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) maps brain waves.
Low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) software investigates the causes of brain dysregulation.
The technology is an upgrade on the MRI.

Marcie Zinn:
“A normally functioning brain depends on the neurons functioning within a certain time frame. For patients with ME, the neurons are either damaged or dead, which causes cognitive impairments because of the slowed speed and the first part of the processing hasn’t been resolved before they move on to the next,”
In addition, the research has shown how CFS/ME patients’ everyday waking brain is drowsy because of too many delta waves.

Marcie and Mark Zinn have studied the brains of more than 200 patients with ME/CFS

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News in 2018

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, December 2018

Hope for a diagnostic test for ME

Chronic fatigue syndrome test shows 84 percent accuracy. Animal studies will follow

When published: December 2018

Who: Center for Infection and Immunity (CII). Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. New York City, NY. Dr. Dorottya Nagy-Szakal, is one of the authors

What done: Examination of the blood samples of 50 people with ME/CFS. Comparison made with those of 50 age-matched healthy controls

Result: The discovery of 562 metabolites that the people with ME/CFS had in common.

ME/CFS quotes by the scientists behind the study:

Dr Nagy-Szakal:
"This is a strong predictive model that suggests we're getting close to the point where we'll have lab tests that will allow us to say with a high level of certainty who has this disorder,".

Dr W. Ian Lipkin:
"We're closing in on understanding how this disease works."

More information:

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, December 2018

CFS symptoms correlate with over-activity of the immune system

Who? Scientists from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's Colleg, including Dr Alice Russell and Prof Carmine Pariante.

Sample size and type: 55 patients who had hepatitis C.

Intervention: The drug interferon-alpha.

Results: 18 patients developed CFS-like symptoms. In these patients there was a far stronger immune response to the medication. These patients corresponded with those who were measured to have had an overactive immune system prior to treatment .

Statement: "our results are the first step in identifying those at risk and catching the illness in its crucial early stages". Professor Carmine Pariante.

Funding by: Medical Research Council

Published where: the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology

Link to more information:

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, July 2018

Interview with Doctor David M. Systrom, MD

Interview with Doctor David M. Systrom, MD

Works at Brigham and Women's Hospital USA

Reported on youtube by ME/CFS Alert 98

The doctor is angry at his colleagues for mistreatment of ME/CFS patients.

Dr David Systrom's conversation includes a discussion about the connection between the autonomic nervous system (ANS), inflammation and auto immune dysfunction.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News in 2017

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, October 2017

Impaired cellular bio energetics in patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

What was the research: A comparison of peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

When was the research published: End of October 2017.

Author of CFS research: Cara Thomas, Newcastle University Ph.D. student (Cara Thomas has lived with ME herself)

Sample size: 52 people with ME and 35 in the control group.

Findings: The cells from those participants living with ME are unable to meet the energy demands of routine physical tasks.  They become exhausted easily when put under stress.
The suggestion is that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is caused by the body swapping to inefficient methods of energy generation.

Research funded by: Action for ME, Medical Research Council, the ME Association, ME Research UK and the Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node.

Where was this CFS News published:

The journal PLOS ONE

Cara Thomas is already planning a follow-up study in which she will test muscle cells in the same way as she has tested blood cells.

Where to read more:

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, 31 July 2017

Cytokines in the blood match symptom severity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ ME

Stanford University, USA

Researchers include Jose Montoya, M.D., Mark Davis et al

The sample of people with chronic fatigue syndrome showed substantially higher levels of certain cytokines in their blood.

Changes in levels of these cytokines corresponded with the severity of symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Cytokines are substances from the immune system.

There is a possible link between excess inflammation and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The findings of the research constitute “a solid basis for a diagnostic blood test.” Mark Davis

Where can I read more?

Published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, June 2017

The UK government comment on the absence of an effective policy for the treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

A UK only petition asking for an effective policy for the treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis reached 10,992 signatures.

Selected extracts:

"The Government accepts the World Health Organisation’s classification of CFS/ME as a neurological condition of unknown origin."

"The guideline [The NICE guideline on CFS/ME] recognises there is no one form of treatment to suit every patient and it does not force patients into treatments they do not want. Instead, it emphasises a collaborative relationship between clinician and patient, that treatment and care should take into account personal needs and preferences, and that healthcare professionals should recognise that the person with CFS/ME is in charge of the aims of the treatment programme."

Where can I read more?

Copy and paste this link for the full response:

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, April 2017

USA. Correlation shown between gut disturbance and severity of CFS/ME symptoms

Just a quick note. There seems to be so much Chronic Fatigue Syndrome news at the moment for me that I can't keep up !

In ME/CFS subgroups, a correlation was shown between the intensity of symptoms including pain and fatigue the presence of distinct bacteria disturbances in the gut.

The trial was made up of 50 ME/CFS cases and 50 healthy controls in the USA.

Who: Dorottya Nagy-Szakal, Brent L. Williams, Nischay Mishra, Xiaoyu Che, Bohyun Lee, Lucinda Bateman, Nancy G. Klimas, Anthony L. Komaroff, Susan Levine, Jose G. Montoya, Daniel L. Peterson, Devi Ramanan, Komal Jain, Meredith L. Eddy, Mady Hornig and W. Ian Lipkin

Read more at:

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, April 2017

Canada. Researchers identify differences in the genome of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis patients

Where: Canada

Who: Wilfred de Vega, a PhD student, and Associate Professor Patrick McGowan

Published where: The journal of BMC Medical Genomics

Findings: There are many variations in the genome in CFS patients as compared with the control group.These include sites relevant to metabolic processes where the epigenetics are different. (Epigenetics is the study of how genes switch themselves off and on.)

Implication: Researchers can start to develop ways of testing drugs already in use or develop new therapies to address the differences in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome population.

Read more at:

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, March 2017

NIH commits to find medical answers to help those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The following is from the website of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA.

"We recognize and empathize with the suffering experienced by people with ME/CFS and their frustration that so little is known and so little research has been done to find answers. We aim to change that.

The NIH is committed to unraveling the underlying biologic cause(s) of ME/CFS as swiftly as possible, and promoting research that will inform the development of effective strategies for treatment and prevention of this devastating condition."

Click here for the full article.

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, February 2017

A CFS Researcher who has a son with severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-ME

Dr Ron Davis works at Stanford university in the genome technology centre.

He has found that gene expression shows that people with CFS/ME are very ill.

Dr Ron's son has severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, so he feels great passion and urgency about the research work.

Read more about his work here.

(Another Doctor and researcher with a child with CFS/ME is Dr. Maureen Hanson of Cornell University (New York))

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News, February 2017

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News - faulty cell receptor found in immune cells throughout the body

When was the research published:

February 2017


T. Nguyen, S. Johnston, L. Clarke, P. Smith, D Staines, S. Marshall‐Gradisnik


Griffith University's National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases,
South East Queensland, Australia

Sample size:

40 (25 healthy, 15 with CFS/ME)


A faulty cell receptor appears to cause the immune system changes seen in CFS/ME.

The cell receptor in question is called transient receptor potential melastatin 3 (TRPM3).

In healthy cells the cell receptor transfers calcium from outside the cell to the inside. Here it helps to regulate protein production and gene expression.

In people with CFS calcium isn't getting inside the cells as it should.

This cell receptor is found on every single cell in the body, which would explain the severity of CFS/ME.

It also explains why the illness CFS leads to different symptoms in different people. For example, this dysfunction of cell receptors affects the brain, the spinal cord, and the pancreas.

The research could lead to future CFS treatments and a long hoped for test for CFS.

Hypothesis, subject to further research:

The cause of faulty TRPM3 receptors could explain why many people experience CFS/ME following a traumatic event or serious infection.
'Threat receptors' such as TRPM3 are upregulated when the body is under any kind of threat, such as infection, trauma, or even childbirth. 

Katherine says: As usual, it is all too complicated for me! But how heartening that it provides a potential explanation for why the illness can follow both infection or trauma and why there are such different Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms in different people.

Click through to this article on to find out more.

Click here for another page of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research projects and their findings.

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