Chronic fatigue syndrome: understanding a complex illness

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2011 Jul 27;12(9):539-44. doi: 10.1038/nrn3087.


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating illness that affects many people. It has been marred by controversy, from initial scepticism in the medical community about the existence of the condition itself to continuing disagreements--mainly between some patient advocacy groups on one side, and researchers and physicians on the other--about the name for the illness, its aetiology, its pathophysiology and the effectiveness of the few currently available treatments. The role of the CNS in the disease is central in many of these discussions. Nature Reviews Neuroscience asked four scientists involved in CFS research about their views on the condition, its causes and the future of research aimed at improving our understanding of this chronic illness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Comprehension*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / etiology
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neurosciences / methods
  • Neurosciences / trends*