Are There Two Forms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Are There Two Forms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

A group of researchers have found a second type of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) with a biological foundation. They’ve named it “atypical” as opposed to “classical” CFS. Unlike classical CFS, it doesn’t necessarily become evident with classic flu symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain and difficultly concentrating. Instead it seems to be associated with triggers that happen months or years before CFS symptoms actually appear. It is also possible that atypical CFS may be followed my other ailments such as some types of cancer seizure-related ailments.

In a 32-person study of classical CFS patients, some were found to have the atypical form. The studies focused on cerebrospinal fluid samples. It was determined that those with the atypical form had past histories of viral encephalitis, foreign travel-related illnesses or a blood transfusion. Some later developed illnesses along with atypical CFS including cancer, seizure-related maladies, or even Gulf War-related ailments. This study also noted that the atypical subgroup had diminished capacities in their immune systems. The study concludes that there are biological indicators, or biomarker profiles, that could be used for detection. Using these profiles would allow for the identification and treatment of this complicated and mysterious disease in a more understood and effective fashion.

Key Points:

  • 1Typical cases of chronic fatigue syndrome begin suddenly after an illness.
  • 2Atypical chronic fatigue sometimes develops years after a severe illness and sometimes occurs along with other serious illnesses.
  • 3Patients with atypical chronic fatigue have lower levels of immune system molecules.


People with chronic fatigue syndrome can feel extreme fatigue after exertion that doesn’t improve with bed rest. They can also have headaches, muscle pain and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can persist for years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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