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UK Biobank, fatigue and CFS

An abstract published in the journal “Neurology” details a study carried out using data from the UK biobank on 295 people with “CFS” and 63,133 controls. Regrettably, no description of the diagnostic tool used to define “CFS” was provided.

The study team collected self-reported experience of fatigue, and used information from a special type of activity monitor – an actigraph, to assess both level of activity, and a potential indicator of autonomic dysfunction related to daily body temperature.

The researchers then considered whether activity, and temperature measures were related to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) – a type of genetic variation, associated with fatigue.

Findings suggested that those with “CFS” had reduced activity levels, and significant differences were also observed in measures related to body temperature compared with controls. Interestingly, SNPs associated with fatigue were found to be related to both the actigraph measurements, and self-reported experience of fatigue.

The authors state that the findings from this study may shed light on the interaction between genetics and symptoms in “CFS”, and “offer avenues for further research into the pathophysiology of ME/CFS”.

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