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NIAID funds three Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Research Centers

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) today announced new research awards totaling $1.9 million in first-year funding to support three Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Cooperative Research Centers. The centers will conduct broadly focused research addressing basic science, clinical and epidemiological aspects of CFS, including its causes, characteristics and treatment.

CFS is a puzzling disorder in which previously healthy adults or adolescents develop severe unexplained fatigue that persists beyond six months, often in association with a spectrum of additional complaints such as sleep disorders, problems with mental concentration and memory, muscle and joint aches, and tender lymph nodes. The condition was first recognized in the early 1980s, but it remains unclear whether it is a new illness or only newly appreciated. After nearly 20 years of national and international research efforts, the cause or causes of CFS remain unknown.

NIAID established a CFS Research Centers program in 1991. The new four-year awards will be made to the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, NJ, the University of Washington in Seattle, and the University of Miami.

The Newark center, directed by Benjamin H. Natelson, M.D., and active since the program's inception, has recently been attempting to characterize heart and nervous system abnormalities in subsets of persons with CFS. The University of Washington center, directed by Dedra Buchwald, M.D., will receive its second centers award and will continue its examination of identical and non-identical twins, including twin sets in which one twin has CFS and one does not. Twin studies have been frequently used in medical research of diseases of unknown cause to examine the relative contributions of heredity and environmental factors. The Miami center, directed by Nancy Klimas, M.D., is a new award and will focus on "cognitive-behavioral" stress management therapy in persons with CFS.
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Contact: Laurie K. Doepel
ldoepel@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
19-Oct-1999


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