Naviaux RK, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2016;doi:10.1073/pnas.1607571113.

August 29, 2016
1 min read

Researchers identify metabolite disturbances in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome


Naviaux RK, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2016;doi:10.1073/pnas.1607571113.

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Recently published results indicated chronic fatigue syndrome is a conserved, hypometabolic response to environmental stress, with 25% of the metabolite disturbances identified in patients were needed for the diagnosis of the syndrome.

Researchers targeted 612 metabolites from 63 biochemical pathways in blood plasma for 45 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) who were age- and sex-matched with 39 patients who served as normal controls.

Among patients with CFS, results showed abnormalities in 20 metabolic pathways, including sphingolipid, phospholipid, purine, cholesterol, microbiome, pyrroline-5-carboxylate, riboflavin, branch chain amino acid, peroxisomal and mitochondrial metabolism. Researchers noted a decrease in 80% of the diagnostic metabolites, which was consistent with a hypometabolic syndrome. Men had diagnostic accuracies of 94% using eight metabolites and women had 96% diagnostic accuracies using 13 metabolites, according to the area under the receiver operative characteristic curve analysis.

“Despite the heterogeneity of CFS, [and] the diversity of factors that lead to this condition, our findings show that the cellular metabolic response is the same in patients,” Robert K. Naviaux, PhD, professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology and director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said in a press release. “And interestingly, it is chemically similar to the dauer state you see in some organisms, which kicks in when environmental stresses trigger a slow-down in metabolism to permit survival under conditions that might otherwise cause cell death. In CFS, this slow-down comes at the cost of long-term pain and disability.” – by Casey Tingle




Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.