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Chronic Fatigue Traced To Mitochondria

Sunday 14 May 2017


From Radio National's The Science Show:


Man sitting in chair
(Image: Getty Images)

Chronic fatigue traced to mitochondria

Presented by Robyn Williams
Saturday 13 May 2017

It goes by many names including Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in the UK, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Australia and ME/CFS in New Zealand. It is difficult to diagnose with symptoms varied and blood tests revealing nothing. Some patients report requiring hours to recuperate after even mild exertion.

As our energy is the result of cellular processes within mitochondria, it is here Warren Tate at Otago University in Dunedin is looking for clues. He says new technology allows researchers to see molecular changes before and after exercise. And there is excitement as one enzyme, key to the chemical processes appears to be defective in patients with chronic fatigue. Whilst it is certainly early days, these promising results may allow researchers to hone in on an explanation for the fatigue condition which paralyses the lives of some patients.

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