Timothy R. Gerrity a , Dimitris A. Papanicolaou b , Jay D. Amsterdam c , Stephen Bingham d , Ashley Grossman e , Terry Hedrick f , Ronald B. Herberman g , Gerhard Krueger h , Susan Levine i , Nahid Mohagheghpour j , Rebecca C. Moore k , James Oleske l , Christopher R. Snell m
13 October 2004
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a serious health concern affecting over 800,000 Americans of all ages, races, socioeconomic groups and genders. The etiology and pathophysiology of CFS are unknown, yet studies have suggested an involvement of the immune system. A symposium was organized in October 2001 to explore the possibility of an association between immune dysfunction and CFS, with special emphasis on the interactions between immune dysfunction and other abnormalities noted in the neuroendocrine and autonomic nervous systems of individuals with CFS. This paper represents the consensus of the panel of experts who participated in this meeting. Data suggest that persons with CFS manifest changes in immune responses that fall outside normative ranges, but current research does not provide definitive evidence on whether these immune abnormalities are a cause or result of the illness. It has become clear that CFS cannot be understood based on single measurements of immune, endocrine, cardiovascular, or autonomic nervous system dysfunction. This panel encourages a new emphasis on multidisciplinary research into CFS.