LONDON (Reuters)—Scientists exploring what may trigger chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have found clues in the way some people’s immune systems respond to interferon alpha.1
Explore this issueFebruary 2019
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The researchers used the drug to create a model of the disease in people without CFS but with hepatitis C. Many patients who receive interferon alpha experience extreme fatigue during treatment, and some continue to feel chronic fatigue for many months after the drug course is completed.
The researchers measured fatigue and immune system markers in 55 patients with hepatitis C before, during and after treatment with interferon alpha.
Eighteen of the 55 went on to develop a CFS-like illness—and all 18 had a hyperactive immune system before treatment, and a highly overactive response during treatment, they reported Dec. 17 in Psychoneuroendocrinology.