In a study published last week in the journal Science Advances, researchers found that people with chronic-fatigue syndrome showed measurable differences in their immune systems, a discovery that may enable doctors to diagnose the disease more quickly down the road—and one that sheds more light on its still-mysterious biological origins.
"It's been a highly stigmatized disorder. There's been many naysayers that don't even believe it's a biological disorder," said Mady Hornig, the lead researcher and a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
... The paper is the second in recent months to describe physical differences linked to the disease: In October, researchers at Stanford University observed differences in the white matter of the brains of patients with chronic-fatigue syndrome, a finding that Drew Foster described in The Atlantic as "a social-legitimacy jackpot."
... the National Institutes of Health have budgeted $5 million for research into chronic-fatigue syndrome for 2015, one of the smallest amounts on its itemized list of projected spending. (For context, headaches were allotted $24 million, and multiple sclerosis $103 million.)