From: "\"Doc\" Bruce K. Melson" <>



1: Sci Total Environ 2001 Apr 10;270(1-3):27-31 Related Articles, Books,




Chronic fatigue syndrome following a toxic exposure.


Racciatti D, Vecchiet J, Ceccomancini A, Ricci F, Pizzigallo E.


Department of Infectious Diseases, G. D'Annunzio University, Chieti Scalo,



Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a clinical entity characterized by severe

fatigue lasting more than 6 months and other well-defined symptoms. Even

though in most CFS cases the etiology is still unknown, sometimes the mode of

presentation of the illness implicates the exposure to chemical and/or food

toxins as precipitating factors: ciguatera poisoning, sick building syndrome,

Gulf War syndrome, exposure to organochlorine pesticides, etc. In the

National Reference Center for CFS Study at the Department of Infectious

Diseases of 'G. D'Annunzio' University (Chieti) we examined five patients

(three females and two males, mean age: 37.5 years) who developed the

clinical features of CFS several months after the exposure to environmental

toxic factors: ciguatera poisoning in two cases, and exposure to solvents in

the other three cases. These patients were compared and contrasted with two

sex- and age-matched subgroups of CFS patients without any history of

exposure to toxins: the first subgroup consisted of patients with CFS onset

following an EBV infection (post-infectious CFS), and the second of patients

with a concurrent diagnosis of major depression. All subjects were

investigated by clinical examination, neurophysiological and immunologic

studies, and neuroendocrine tests. Patients exposed to toxic factors had

disturbances of hypothalamic function similar to those in controls and, above

all, showed more severe dysfunction of the immune system with an abnormal

CD4/CD8 ratio, and in three of such cases with decreased levels of NK cells

(CD56+). These findings may help in understanding the pathogenetic mechanisms

involved in CFS.


PMID: 11327394 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




"When the way comes to an end, then change - having changed, you pass through."

      I. Ching


 Bruce "Doc". Melson