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Chronic fatigue syndrome has received little attention in terms of basic research, which has not helped to improve our understanding of the illness. The principal global research programs are those directed by the US, British and Japanese National Institutes of Health. Spanish (Health Research Fund FIS ISCIII) and Catalan research programs (Marató de TV3) have only been enough to support some clinical trials or applied epidemiological studies which were of little impact.
Current lines of research aim to characterise the neurological phenomena that regulate the sensitisation at the level of the brain structures which are involved in physiological responses to emotional stimuli (the limbic system). On the other hand, attempts to control some of the risk factors that can trigger CFS, such as viral integration, using valganciclovir and to correct the inflammatory/immune response using rituximab, rintatolimod or bortezomib are also being investigated.
The future of CFS calls for improved scientific knowledge of the trigger factors and underlying pathogenic elements that regulate the condition. The current scientific perspective should focus on evidence-based neurological research into neuroinflammatory disorders.
It is unlikely that a complete cure will be discovered in the short term; however, there will probably be slight, gradual advances in some areas.
Early detection and preventative actions taken against the trigger factors can help to decrease the overall impact of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Where is research in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue going?
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Substantiated information by:
Joaquim Fernández SolàMedical InternistHead of the Central Sensitization Syndromes Unit
Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018
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