Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Myalgic Encephalomyelitis – Neurobiology | Diagnosis | Management

Posted on:May 26, 2021
Last Updated: November 24, 2023
Time to read: 27–32 minutes

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a disabling and complex clinical condition characterised by unexplained and persistent post-exertional fatigue along with cognitive, immunological, endocrinological and autonomic dysfunction.

There is an overlap between Long Covid and CFS / ME symptomatology.

There have been several consensus research and clinical definitions to describe CFS; e.g. Fukuda, Holmes, International Consensus Criteria (ICC), Oxford, Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC), Australian, Ramsay and Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID).

Researchers have extensively used the Fukuda CFS case definition for the past two decades. [Fukuda et al., 1994]

One of the limitations of the Fukuda criteria is that some individuals who meet the criteria do not have core symptoms of the illness, such as post-exertional malaise, unrefreshing sleep, or memory/concentration problems. Its use is also prone to misdiagnosis or overdiagnosis.

On the other hand, the Canadian ME/CFS criteria identify a smaller subset of patients with more severe functional impairment and post-exertional malaise symptoms. [Carruthers et al., 2003], [Jason et al., 2014]