Navigation Links
Childhood Trauma Tied to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Finding means condition could be biologically driven, researchers say

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are traumatized by sexual, physical or psychological abuse are more likely to develop chronic fatigue syndrome as adults, new research suggests.

The study also states that the increased risk for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) might be based in biology. The reason: There appears to be a connection between the nervous system and endocrine system abnormalities, called neuroendocrine dysfunction, in people with CFS who suffered childhood trauma, the researchers said.

"About 60 percent of the people who have CFS have been badly abused as children," said lead researcher Dr. William C. Reeves, chief of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Chronic Viral Diseases Branch. "They also have a diminished salivary cortisol response to stress."

The same researchers found similar results in an earlier study of patients in Kansas, Reeves noted. "CFS does involve a diminished response to stress," he said.

An estimated 4 million people in the United States are thought to struggle with CFS, costing the nation some $9 billion annually, and each patient's family $20,000 a year in lost revenue, Reeves said.

The condition, which is more common in women 40 to 59 years old, is marked by a cluster of debilitating symptoms, including unexplained fatigue, problems sleeping, problems with memory and concentration, and pain.

The illness was first recognized in the late 1980s and initially dubbed the "yuppie flu," causing it to suffer from a credibility problem.

"CFS is quite common," Reeves said. "It is a real illness. If you have the symptoms of CFS, see a provider. It's not all in your head -- it's not a crock."

For the study, published in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, Reeves's team collected data on 113 people with CFS and 124 people without the condition. The participants were asked whether they had experienced such childhood trauma as sexual, physical or emotional abuse or emotional and physical neglect.

The researchers also screened the participants for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. They were also tested for saliva levels of the hormone cortisol; low cortisol levels can indicate reduced function of the body's neuroendocrine stress response system.

The researchers found that people who had experienced a childhood trauma were six times more likely to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, compared with non-traumatized individuals.

Among people with CFS who'd suffered childhood trauma, cortisol levels were lower. That was not the case among those with CFS who had not had a childhood trauma. The researchers said this finding indicates that stress early in life might cause a biological susceptibility to CFS.

Reeves's group hopes to extend the findings to new treatments for the condition.

Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an expert on CFS, doesn't think childhood trauma causes CFS but, rather, might contribute to its development.

"Since a substantial fraction of people with CFS report no childhood abuse, and since none of the control subjects [in the new study] with childhood abuse had CFS, childhood abuse is not the cause of CFS," Komaroff said. "However, childhood abuse may alter brain chemistry in such a way that people are subsequently more vulnerable to developing CFS."

More information

To learn more about chronic fatigue syndrome, visit the CFIDS Association of America.

SOURCES: William C. Reeves, M.D., chief, Chronic Viral Diseases Branch, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Anthony L. Komaroff, M.D., professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; January 2009, Archives of General Psychiatry

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Genetic predisposition increases childhood asthma risk
2. Treating diabetes during pregnancy can break link to childhood obesity
3. Childhood asthma still inappropriately treated in the UK
4. Screening Proposed for Childhood Cholesterol Levels
5. Success of Shape-Up Somerville Childhood Obesity Intervention to be Presented at the Friedman School Symposium at Tufts, October 29-31, 2007 - Boston
6. Success of Shape Up Somerville childhood obesity intervention to be presented
7. Childhood vaccination may protect adult eyes
8. Childhood Obesity Epidemic a Long-Term Challenge
9. New chemotherapy regimen prolongs survival in difficult-to-treat childhood brainstem gliomas
10. Antibiotics Not Always Best Bet for Battling Childhood Ear Infections
11. Childhood TV viewing a risk for behavior problems
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The ... adjunctive imaging is the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation here, at ... 2015. Nine abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative breast imaging ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... WA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... today that it has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce ... and FierceMobileHealthcare. Next IT Healthcare was recognized as a finalist in the category ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... XTC Semifinals ... 10 semi-finalists to head to Las Vegas for CES 2016, the world’s largest Consumer ... of Consumer Technology Association Gary Shapiro, Founding Partner of Pacific Investments Veronica Serra, and ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... SonaCare Medical ... HSJ Acute Sector Innovation Award on November 18th. This prestigious award recognizes annually ... propose exciting enhancements to the medical landscape. , The UCLH team won the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... The Turks & ... one of the leading digital news sites highlighting Caribbean destinations, has published five reasons ... While much of North America shivers under chilly grey skies or worse, it's typically ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Germany , December 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... leading global manufacturer of eye and gaze tracking solutions, ... SMI remote eye trackers as a component of its ... concussions, eye sight, and medical and performance issues in ... part of SMI,s mass-market-ready eye tracking platform, which is ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 --> ... Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL), among the world,s largest and ... Gamma Knife® Icon™, the company,s latest generation stereotactic ... --> --> With the option ... Leksell Gamma Knife Icon offers greatly enhanced flexibility ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 01, 2015 ... "Drug Delivery Technology Market 2015 - Forecast ... --> ) has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2020" report to their ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: