New findings regarding the pathology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are bringing Griffith researchers closer to identifying the cause of this disabling illness.

Professors Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik and Don Staines and their research team from the National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases, have identified significant impairments in cellular function of people with CFS.

CFS – sometimes known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) – is a complex illness characterised by impaired memory and concentration, metabolic, cardiac, gut and immune dysfunction and debilitating muscle pain and fatigue on exertion (also known as neuroimmune exhaustion).

“While the patho-mechanism of ME/CFS is unknown, these recent findings provide further evidence for the pathology of this illness,” says Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik.

Modern diets linked to ME/CFS

PhD candidate Nadia Campagnolo from the School of Medical Science has also been awarded $45,000 for her research into the association between diet and inflammation in ME/CFS.

The annual cost of ME/CFS in Australia is $720 million and there is no known pathological mechanism for developing CFS.

This research will investigate if modern diets, which contain high levels of dietary advanced glycation end products are linked to ME/CFS and if dietary interventions can reduce the severity of ME/CFS.