Utah researchers are in the process of developing a definitive blood test to help doctors diagnose and better treat chronic fatigue syndrome, just as a local physician is ramping up to build a dedicated clinic for treatment.
“Fatigue is one of the most important homeostatic mechanisms in the body. Fatigue is there to prevent you from using up your energy source.”
SALT LAKE CITY — Matt Remes moved with his family to Utah to pursue his dreams of becoming an Olympic skier.
But before he even got here, his body was making other plans.
Doctors don’t know what happened to the now 15-year-old Park City student, but it has been decided that Remes suffers with chronic fatigue syndrome, an illness that is not very well understood but is keeping him from doing things other teenage boys can do — even those who are characteristically resilient and exceptionally competitive, like Remes.
“I was just so tired, and I couldn’t understand why,” said Remes, whose knobby knees and skinny ankles resemble those of someone half his age.
Fortunately for him and the more than 1 million sufferers of the largely unrecognized illness in the United States, a husband and wife team of researchers at the University of Utah has found a way to objectively explain it.
Using relatively new gene expression technology, Alan and Kathleen Light have discovered that certain genes react to physical exertion in different ways for people with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. Both are illnesses in which the body can’t perform to its previously healthy capacity. It tires much more quickly and sometimes exhibits horrible pain.
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