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Article

A Comprehensive Examination of Severely Ill ME/CFS Patients

1
ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Stanford, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA
2
Stanford Genome Technology Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
3
Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA
4
ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA
5
Basis Diagnostics, Newark, CA 94560, USA
6
Open Medicine Foundation, Agoura Hills, CA 91301, USA
7
Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally to this work and share first authorship.
Academic Editors: Kenneth J. Friedman, Lucinda Bateman and Kenny Leo De Meirleir
Healthcare 2021, 9(10), 1290; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101290
Received: 1 September 2021 / Revised: 20 September 2021 / Accepted: 22 September 2021 / Published: 29 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ME/CFS – the Severely and Very Severely Affected)
One in four myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients are estimated to be severely affected by the disease, and these house-bound or bedbound patients are currently understudied. Here, we report a comprehensive examination of the symptoms and clinical laboratory tests of a cohort of severely ill patients and healthy controls. The greatly reduced quality of life of the patients was negatively correlated with clinical depression. The most troublesome symptoms included fatigue (85%), pain (65%), cognitive impairment (50%), orthostatic intolerance (45%), sleep disturbance (35%), post-exertional malaise (30%), and neurosensory disturbance (30%). Sleep profiles and cognitive tests revealed distinctive impairments. Lower morning cortisol level and alterations in its diurnal rhythm were observed in the patients, and antibody and antigen measurements showed no evidence for acute infections by common viral or bacterial pathogens. These results highlight the urgent need of developing molecular diagnostic tests for ME/CFS. In addition, there was a striking similarity in symptoms between long COVID and ME/CFS, suggesting that studies on the mechanism and treatment of ME/CFS may help prevent and treat long COVID and vice versa. View Full-Text
Keywords: severe ME/CFS; quality of life; clinical symptoms; sleep; cognitive tests; laboratory tests; viral infection; antibody and antigen; long COVID; post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) severe ME/CFS; quality of life; clinical symptoms; sleep; cognitive tests; laboratory tests; viral infection; antibody and antigen; long COVID; post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chang, C.-J.; Hung, L.-Y.; Kogelnik, A.M.; Kaufman, D.; Aiyar, R.S.; Chu, A.M.; Wilhelmy, J.; Li, P.; Tannenbaum, L.; Xiao, W.; Davis, R.W. A Comprehensive Examination of Severely Ill ME/CFS Patients. Healthcare 2021, 9, 1290. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101290

AMA Style

Chang C-J, Hung L-Y, Kogelnik AM, Kaufman D, Aiyar RS, Chu AM, Wilhelmy J, Li P, Tannenbaum L, Xiao W, Davis RW. A Comprehensive Examination of Severely Ill ME/CFS Patients. Healthcare. 2021; 9(10):1290. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101290

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chang, Chia-Jung, Li-Yuan Hung, Andreas M. Kogelnik, David Kaufman, Raeka S. Aiyar, Angela M. Chu, Julie Wilhelmy, Peng Li, Linda Tannenbaum, Wenzhong Xiao, and Ronald W. Davis. 2021. "A Comprehensive Examination of Severely Ill ME/CFS Patients" Healthcare 9, no. 10: 1290. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101290

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