Challenges for molecular profiling of chronic fatigue syndrome

Pharmacogenomics. 2006 Mar;7(2):211-8. doi: 10.2217/14622416.7.2.211.


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is prevalent, disabling and costly. Despite extensive literature describing the epidemiology and clinical aspects of CFS, it has been recalcitrant to diagnostic biomarker discovery and therapeutic intervention. This is due to the fact that CFS is a complex illness defined by self-reported symptoms and diagnosed by the exclusion of medical and psychiatric diseases that may explain the symptoms. Studies attempting to dissect the pathophysiology are challenging to design as CFS affects multiple body systems, making the choice of which system to study dependent on an investigators area of expertise. However, the peripheral blood appears to be facilitating the molecular profiling of several diseases, such as CFS, that involve bodywide perturbations that are mediated by the CNS. Successful molecular profiling of CFS will require the integration of genetic, genomic and proteomic data with environmental and behavioral data to define the heterogeneity in order to optimize intervention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Proteomics