The National Institutes of Health announced on Thursday that it will strengthen its efforts to find the roots of a mysterious disorder known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Researchers from a number of the agency’s institutes will design a clinical study involving individuals who developed crippling fatigue and other symptoms after an acute infection. The agency may also increase the funding dedicated to the disorder from its current level of about $5 million annually, less than the amount devoted to hay fever.
“The effort aims to take advantage of the NIH Clinical Center, the largest research hospital in the world, to try to carry out every kind of imaginable analysis of the immune system, neurological system … metabolism … all of the things you'd want to know to try to get a handle on what is driving this very mysterious, puzzling disorder,” the NIH director Francis Collins said in an interview. “Given the seriousness of the condition, I don't think we have focused enough of our attention on this.” ...