Chronic fatigue syndrome could soon be diagnosed with a blood test

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Image: Joe Raedle

Researchers at Stanford University and elsewhere say they’ve taken an important step in potentially helping people with a barely understood ailment that’s long been viewed skeptically by the public and even some doctors. They claim to have created a blood test that may be able to readily identify people who have myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

Their test, a “nanoelectronics blood-based assay,” measures how a person’s immune cells and blood plasma interfere with an electrical current, then uses those results as a proxy for the cells’ overall health (the greater the change in current, essentially, the less healthy the cells). In this case, they were hoping to see how these cells respond to stress, so they exposed them to salt, since it forces them to compensate for osmosis, or the moving of water from inside the cell.

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In their pilot study, they tested blood samples from 40 people. Half had been diagnosed with ME/CFS, while the other half were healthy volunteers. And in all the samples from the ME/CFS patients, they could detect relatively big changes in current compared to those from healthy people.

Read full, original post: Researchers Say They’ve Created a Blood Test for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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