Scientists have found an explanation for chronic fatigue syndrome

Researchers have recently identified a protein that may play a key role in myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome or systemic exercise intolerance disease (EM/SOC). This debilitating disease has been shrouded in mystery for years, and new research suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction may be one of its possible causes, especially because it depletes the body’s energy resources.

Within our cells are mitochondria, the body’s powerhouses that provide energy to cells, keep the brain working, and keep muscles active. Scientists have discovered a protein called WASF3 that appears to be linked to mitochondrial dysfunction and was found in abnormally high concentrations in the cells of a chronically fatigued woman.

The study suggests that WASF3 disrupts mitochondrial function by interfering with protein complexes responsible for energy production. Experiments in cells and mice have shown that elevated levels of WASF3 are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and accelerated fatigue during exercise.

Biochemical markers of stress have also been identified in the endoplasmic reticulum (cellular component) in muscle biopsy specimens taken from patients with EM/COX. This supports the theory that stress at the cellular level may contribute to increased WASF3 levels and disease-associated mitochondrial dysfunction.

These results provide a deeper understanding of the possible causes of EM/SOC and pave the way for the development of more effective treatments for this condition. Although further research is needed to confirm and deepen these links, this discovery represents a significant step towards understanding the disease and developing effective treatments.

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