Childhood Trauma Ups Risk Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dec 07, 2006

Childhood trauma, along with stress or emotional instability at any point in one's life, might be risk factors for chronic fatigue syndrome.

So say two studies in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"We're not talking about a bunch of stressed-out people. We're talking about the biological underpinnings of a real and very debilitating illness," said Dr. Nancy Klimas, a professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who was not involved with either study. "We're trying to remove the stigma of a psychiatric overlay and put it back in biology, where it belongs."

Although intriguing, experts added that the results are preliminary.

"These are interesting elementary papers," said Dr. Charles Goodstein, a psychoanalyst and clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. "These studies bear out what we have learned in medicine and in psychiatry: Illnesses of all types are determined in large part by an interplay of genetically determined predispositions and environmental factors."

"CFS remains an elusive condition," Goodstein continued. "It seriously incapacitates patients, but physicians are stumped by the lack of objective signs on physical examination." Read more at

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