According to a report published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions, scientists may have found a neuropeptide that can aid in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. This is the conclusion of Mary Fletcher of the University of Miami who headed a team of research scientists who sought to determine the usefulness of a neurotransmitter associated with stress as a biomarker for the severity of symptoms and stress for chronic fatigue syndrome.
For the scientific investigation, 230 subjects from research studies conducted at the University of Miami or the Miami Veterans Administration Health Care Center between 2002 - 2010 were recruited. Included in this number were ninety-three patients whom were being treated for chronic fatigue syndrome at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine CFS and Immunodeficiency Clinic.
Scientists found that a specific type of protein molecule, neuropeptide Y, that is released from neurons during times of stress, was elevated in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Because of this evidence, Fletcher believes neuropeptide Y can be useful in the diagnosis and treatment of CFS.
What Does This Development Mean For You?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease that is hard to diagnose because its symptoms overlap the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. Most physicians rely on behavioral indicators for diagnosis. Therefore, the identification of a possible biomarker would provide health care professionals with a biological tool that would aid in diagnosis and treatment of the condition. This would benefit those suffering from CFS because it would help improve their quality of care.
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Fletcher et al: Plasma neuropeptide Y: a biomarker for symptom severity in chronic fatigue syndrome. Behavioral and Brain Functions 2010 6:76.
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