Metabolic features of chronic fatigue syndrome (2016) by Naviauxa, R. J. et al.

Edited by Ronald W. Davis, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, and approved July 13, 2016 (received for review May 11, 2016)

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a multisystem disease that causes longterm pain and disability. It is difficult to diagnose because of its protean symptoms and the lack of a diagnostic laboratory test. We report that targeted, broad-spectrum metabolomics of plasma not only revealed a characteristic chemical signature but also revealed an unexpected underlying biology. Metabolomics showed that
chronic fatigue syndrome is a highly concerted hypometabolic response to environmental stress that traces to mitochondria and was similar to the classically studied developmental state of dauer.
This discovery opens a fresh path for the rational development of new therapeutics and identifies metabolomics as a powerful tool to identify the chemical differences that contribute to health and disease.