Chronic fatigue condition Is caused by an over-active immune system, study claims

ME is real and your body is to blame: Chronic fatigue condition that has mystified scientists for decades is caused by an over-active immune system, study claims

  • Study claims chronic fatigue syndrome is real and is caused by immune system
  • Some critics have dismissed chronic fatigue as a condition that is all in the mind
  • Researchers at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry believe they have uncovered an explanation for sufferers’ extreme tiredness

Colin Fernandez for the Daily Mail

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a real condition caused by an over-active immune system, a study claims.

The condition, known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME, has baffled experts for decades.

One of the problems is that sufferers show few biological symptoms bar their tiredness.

Researchers at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry believe they have uncovered an explanation for sufferers’ extreme tiredness [File photo]

Researchers at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry believe they have uncovered an explanation for sufferers’ extreme tiredness [File photo]

This has led to some critics dismissing CFS as a condition that is all in the mind. 

But now researchers at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry believe they have uncovered an explanation for sufferers’ extreme tiredness. 

Their findings are based on a study of patients with Hepatitis C.

Thirty per cent of them, when treated with a drug called interferon alpha, developed tiredness symptoms mirroring those of chronic fatigue syndrome.

The condition, known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME, has baffled experts for decades [File photo]

The condition, known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME, has baffled experts for decades [File photo]

The condition, known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME, has baffled experts for decades [File photo]

Interferon alpha stimulates the immune system in the same way as a powerful infection.

Dr Alice Russell, the lead researcher, said: ‘Our findings suggest that people who have an exaggerated immune response to a trigger may be more at risk of developing CFS.’ 

The research has been published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

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