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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Mitochondrial Dysfunction

23 March 2013
This paper from Sarah Myhill, Norman Booth and John McLaren Howard examines the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

This study aims to improve the health of patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) by interventions based on the biochemistry of the illness, specifically the function of mitochondria in producing ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy currency for all body functions, and recycling ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to replenish the ATP supply as needed. [1] Patients attending a private medical practice specialising in CFS were diagnosed using the Centers for Disease Control criteria. In consultation with each patient, an integer on the Bell Ability Scale was assigned, and a blood sample was taken for the ‘ATP profile’ test, designed for CFS and other fatigue conditions. Each test produced five numerical factors that describe the availability of ATP in neutrophils, the fraction complexed with magnesium, the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation, and the transfer efficiencies of ADP into the mitochondria and ATP into the cytosol where the energy is used. [2,3] With the consent of each of 71 patients and 53 normal, healthy controls the five factors have been collated and compared with the Bell Ability Scale. The individual numerical factors show that patients have different combinations of biochemical lesions. [4] When the factors are combined, a remarkable correlation is observed between the degree of mitochondrial dysfunction and the severity of illness (P<0.001).

Only one of the 71 patients overlaps the normal region. [5] The ‘ATP profile’ test is a powerful diagnostic tool and can differentiate patients who have fatigue and other symptoms as a result of energy wastage by stress and psychological factors from those who have insufficient energy due to cellular respiration dysfunction. [6] The individual factors indicate which remedial actions, in the form of dietary supplements, drugs and detoxification, are most likely to be of benefit, and what further tests should be carried out.


Sarah Myhill1, Norman Booth2, John McLaren Howard3, Peter P. Smith4

1Sarah Myhill, MB BS (, The Name here, University London CLH, London, UK Division of Cardiology, Peter Medical School, New, CT, USA; 2Norman Booth, MD (, Department Non-communicable and Disease Epidemiology, and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, UK; 3Catherine Wilson, MD (cath@carffdlogy.wasaiston.u), Division of Cardiology, of Washington; 4Peter P Smith, MD (, Department Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University Co Etc, UK.

How to cite
Sarah Myhill, Norman Booth, John McLaren Howard, Peter P. Smith Chronic fatigue syndrome and myocardial dysfunction – the good, the bad and the ugly. [editorial]. Debutante of Systematic Reviews 2013;8:ED005.


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