severe degeneration of olivocerebellar and dentatorubral pathways, extensive loss ofPurkinje cells with partial spar- ing of flocculonodular lobes, severe atrophy ...
cavernous sinus thrombosis, nor thrombosis of the galenic system or the cerebellar veins. Imaging. Besides CT and MRI, other imaging techniques have been evaluated for their role in the detection of venous thrombosis, particularly where it affects th
advertisers and not authors' institutions, the BMJ Publishing Group or the. BMA unless otherwise ... Haematology and neurology S Austin, H Cohen,. N Losseff.
isolated myeloradiculitis S Fauser, O Stich,. S Rauer. 910. Mild clinical expression of LambertâEaton myasthenic syndrome in a patient with HIV infection A ...
Contents. The migrant sensory neuritis of Wartenberg WB MATTHEWS, MARGARET ESIRIpage 1. Recovery after stroke CLIVE E SKILBECK, DERICK T WADE, ...
Biofeedback and relaxation in the treatment ofmigraine headaches: ... Psychophysical assessment of a patient with Tolosa-Hunt Syndrome LESLEY J ...
Essential tremor in Rochester, Minnesota, a 45-year study AH RAJPUT, KENNETH P OFFORD, C MARY BEARD,. LT KURLAND page 466. Benign familial ...
Prognosis of chronic epilepsy with complex partial seizures D SCHMIDT page ... A clinical study of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome in the United Kingdom ...... Immobilisation hypercalcaemia complicating polyneuropathy in adolescent boys.
Sialidosis type 1: cherry red spot-myoclonus syndrome with sialidase deficiency ... Tonic vibration reflex in Holmes-Adie syndrome: an electrophysiological study ...
Jan 1, 1988 - Paradoxical reversal of ptosis in myasthenia gravis by edrophonium ...... Constipation and paradoxical puborectalis contraction in anismus and ...
Misoplegia: a review of the literature and a case without hemiplegia T Loetscher,. M Regard, P Brugger. 1100. Imidapril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme ...
Tubular aggregate myopathy with abnormal pupils and skeletal deformities. T S Jacques, J Holton, P M Watts,. A J Wills, S E Smith, M G Hanna. 327. The legacy ...
Acute myeloradiculitis due to cytomegalovirus as the initial manifestation of AIDS FLORENCE MAHIEUX, FRANCOISE GRAY,. GILLES FENELON, ROMAIN ...
was refractory to medical therapy with carbamazepine and high doses of amitriptyline. She preferred to be self-medicated with benzodiazepines and ... ment of depressive disorder induced by her rebel facial pain. On admission, our patient ...
A clinical study of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome in the United Kingdom AJLEES ...... Autosomal recessive late onset multisystem disorder with cerebellar cortical ...
5. Contents. Editorial WIND OF CHANGE IN NEUROSCIENTIFIC INFORMATION RAC HUGHES page 553. Results of stereotactic radiosurgery of arteriovenous ...
gerbil BS ASPEY, S EHTESHAMI, CM HURST, AL McCOY, MJG HARRISON page 1493. Cerebral blood ... MJG HARRISON, JOHN MARSHALL page 1558.
Editorial Board. F Barkhof (Netherlands). P Boon (Belgium). D Burn (UK). M G Celani (Italy). M S Choksey (UK). M Donaghy (UK). P J Dyck (USA). M Filippi (Italy).
Jan 4, 1985 - ... adulthood: report of a case GIOVANNI AMBROSETTO, PAOLO TINUPER, ...... lesion DAISUKE UEMATSU, MAKOTO SUEMATSU, YASUO ..... Opsoclonus in hyperosmolar nonketotic comaSHOSAKU NODA, AKIRA TAKAO, ...
clearly heard voice has been that of Kurtzke who in repeatedly undertaking ... we do not know thedegree ofcontact between patients and these medical staff .... develop multiple sclerosis, Elian and colleagues have used age and sex specific ...
KIRSHNER HS, WEBB WG: Alexia and agraphia in Wernicke' s ...... activity and plasma anticonvulsant levels in male epileptics BK TOONE, M WHEELER, M.
Functional integrity of the structural unaffected left hemisphere in crossed aphasia. We would like to comment on the article by. Cappa et alI in which a PET study ...
466 Unilateral brain damage after prolonged hemiconvulsions in the elderly associated with theophylline administration H Mori, T Mizutani, M Yoshimura, ...
James, M., and Lassmann, L. P.: Spinal Dysraphism: Spina Bifida. Occiulta ..... Foramen magnum meningioma, electromyographic studiesin, 561. FOX,J. L.
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Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 1991;54:669-671 Journl of
NEUROLOGY NEUROSURGERY & PSYCHIATRY Editorial
Chronic fatigue syndrome Three years ago David et al' reviewed the available information concerning what was then known as postviral fatigue syndrome, and concluded that little was certain except that the issue was controversial. Since then there have been many welcome changes,2 including the name, which has shifted to the more appropriate label of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), but controversy remains. This editorial attempts a brief summary of the current position, emphasising issues relevant to the neurologist.
CFS and neuromuscular disorder The role of neuromuscular disorder in the pathogenesis of CFS is becoming clearer, although areas of disagreement remain. Such ultrastructural abnormalities that have been located are non-specific, and deficits in intermediate metabolism have not been demonstrated.3 The significance of an often cited case report of abnormalities on nuclear magnetic spectroscopy4 remains disputed,56 and even if relevant, was unusual. Nerve conduction studies are invariably normal, but there is conflict concerning the results of single fibre electromyography, which measures the organisation and synergy of nerve fibres, rather than their absolute conduction velocities. Two experienced investigators reported abnormal jitter values in 75% of a selected sample.7 However, impulse blocking, a feature of deficits in neuromuscular transmission, did not occur, nor did the results correlate with the presence of enteroviral RNA in muscle biopsies.8 Others have argued that abnormal jitter alone cannot be related to fatiguability.9 l0 In response, the original authors report similar isolated abnormalities in cases of myasthenia (G Jamal, personal communication), which only later progress to show typical impulse blocking. Nevertheless, such progression has not been demonstrated in CFS, despite the often long duration of illness, and an attempt at replication only demonstrated abnormal values of jitter in four out of 30 cases." Even when identified, two lines of observation suggest that such neuromuscular abnormalities may not often be clinically relevant. Studies of dynamic muscle function have demonstrated essentially normal muscle strength, endurance and fatiguability, other than as a consequence of physical inactivity.9101213 Two of these studies deserve further comment. One sample'013 consisted of subjects defined on the basis of immunological abnormalities, whilst another'4 consisted of subjects with post infectious fatigue following serologically defined Epstein Barr virus infection. Despite claims to the contrary, it has also been impossible to find evidence of delayed fatiguability.l015 Lloyd et al'3 concluded that "neither poor motivation, nor muscle contractile failure is important in the pathogenesis of 'fatigue' in patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome". Evidence also comes from studies comparing psychiatric morbidity in CFS and neuromuscular diseases. Wessely and Powell'6 found that 72% of a consecutive series of
chronically fatigued patients seen at the National Hospital in London fulfilled Research Diagnostic Criteria for psychiatric disorder even if fatigue was excluded as a symptom, whilst Wood et al'7 in a series from a specialist unit in Liverpool used a different set of criteria and found that 41% were psychiatric cases. The differences reflect the more liberal criteria for psychiatric disorder used in the London study. However, more important than the overall prevalences are the relative risks of psychiatric disorder in cases compared with controls with neuromuscular disease. This was two in the London series, and 3-3 in the Liverpool series. A similarly designed study using controls with rheumatoid arthritis found over a six fold increase in psychiatric disorder in the CFS cases.'8 Neuromuscular abnormalities, or the consequence of physical disease, cannot alone account for the clinical features of CFS.
CFS and psychiatry Patients with severe chronic fatigue are at high risk of psychosocial morbidity. It is a matter of regret that each generation of physicians appears to need to discover this afresh,'9 and that such observations continue to inspire the same futile "organic versus psychological" polemics. Once again there are an increasing number of studies confirming that perhaps the majority of those seen in specialist centres with a chief complaint of chronic fatigue fulfil operational criteria for psychiatric disorder.202' The diagnoses vary, but depression is the commonest, followed by anxiety disorders (with and without hyperventilation) and somatisation disorders. Rather than considering what this means, it is preferable to start with what it does not mean. It does not mean that symptoms are factitious in origin, which is still an issue in the media, even though never considered by serious investigators of CFS,2 nor that psychiatric disorders are the cause of CFS. In the context of CFS, Kendell22 pointed out that "the statement that someone has a depressive illness is merely a statement about their symptoms. It has no causal implications...". There is no single explanation for these findings. In some, psychological disorder is a consequence of physical disorder. In others, both are due to an underlying condition, and, for yet others, psychological disorder has been misdiagnosed as CFS.23 What it does mean is that screening for psychological disorders should now be mandatory. Most psychological disorders are easier to treat than CFS, and if ignored are likely to have an adverse effect on prognosis. CFS and infection As well as neuromuscular and psychiatric studies, there is an increasingly complex literature on possible serological abnormalities in CFS, although such speculations are certainly nothing new.24 Initial enthusiasm for the role'-of
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Epstein-Barr virus in the USA has now subsided. In the United Kingdom similar enthusiasm greeted reports of an association with the Coxsackie virus, but it is now clear that these also require re-evaluation (see below). Attention has also shifted to a possible role of HHV-6 infection, but as with EBV many believe that any such associations in chronic illness are usually either artefactual or the consequence of reactivation.25 Recently sophisticated molecular techniques have been used to investigate evidence of exposure to virus. Enteroviral RNA was detected by in situ hybridisation of muscle biopsies in 24% of selected cases of CFS,8 whilst another study detected enteroviral sequences with the sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the muscle biopsies of 32 of 60 cases, compared with six out of 41 non fatigued older controls having various surgical procedures.26 No correlation was seen, however, between serological evidence of enteroviral exposure and muscle findings, and there was no difference in serological exposure between cases and controls. Should we believe the serology, or the molecular virology? A recent case control study demonstrated the unreliability of serology, and concluded that enteroviral serology has little place in the diagnosis of CFS.27 The implication is that a number of previous reports linking exposure to Coxsackie virus to CFS are unreliable. It was the same studies, however, that inspired the current investigations - serendipity continues to play a role in medical research. These virological studies826 are both sophisticated and innovative, but may not be easily generalised. Cases for both studies were recruited from the same tertiary referral centre. In a less selected sample of post viral fatigue cases in situ hybridisation apparently detected enteroviral persistence in the muscles of only 8% of cases.28 Few details are given of psychiatric status in any of these studies, except that over half had symptoms of depression with diurnal variation, despite excluding all those with a previous history ofpsychiatric disorder26 (which could itself be a risk factor for post infectious fatigue). Furthermore, in the light of the evidence of normal muscle function in CFS, as described earlier, the clinical relevance of such findings can also be questioned. The authors note the absence of conventional evidence of structural damage in CFS, and draw analogies with animal studies suggesting that viral persistence is possible without conventional evidence of morphological damage. However, it is still necessary to demonstrate clinically significant impairment in the function of the cell. Alternatively, although Gow et al6 suggest that viral persistence in muscles may have aetiological significance, they also speculate that persistence may occur in the central nervous system. This is both plausible and consistent with the clinical picture, and would imply that enteroviral fragments in muscle are a marker for viral persistence elsewhere. Other evidence is appearing of subtle central nervous system abnormalities,29 but ii. pursuing these leads researchers will face formidable methodological problems familiar to biological and neuropsychiatrists. Why have there been such efforts to find a microbiological cause ofCFS, and so many mutually exclusive claims of success over the years? Many patients give a history of an initial "viral" illness. Other mysterious illnesses have been established as of infective origin, whilst the concept of an external agent is a familiar one for both doctor and patient, and can serve to preserve the patient's self esteem and protect them from stigma.30 However, premature claims have also resulted from a neglect of basic epidemiological principles. In recognition of the complexities of retrospectively linking laboratory abnormalities and the clinical syndrome, it has been suggested that the term "post-viral
fatigue syndrome" should be replaced by "post-infectious fatigue syndrome", and reserved for those in whom the illness has developed after a proven infective episode.3" Generally, this will require greater reliance on longitudinal studies, and less on the cross-sectional approaches which are more commonly performed, but more open to bias. CFS and the immune system Potential immunological abnormalities in CFS are now attracting increasing attention, especially in the USA. Once again, the results are bewildering, whilst the tendency for results to appear in the popular press before (and occasionally instead of) the professional journals has led to the occasional false dawn. Two authoritative reviews concluded that although there is evidence of some abnormalities, such as raised circulating immune complexes and decreased natural killer cell function, acceptance of their importance has been hampered by their inconsistency, non specificity and lack of relationship to clinical findings.3233 Other problems included poor attention to methodological detail, especially the control of confounding factors such as inactivity and psychiatric morbidity. It would, however, be a mistake to ignore such findings. Newer studies are in progress in several centres in both the United States and Australia, whose sophisticated methodology promises more interpretable results. Greater attention is being paid to reliability, and nearly all either routinely incorporate psychiatric assessments, or recruit appropriate controls. This is particularly welcome, since by choosing to incorporate, rather than ignore, the links between CFS and psychiatric disorder, research gains in credibility, and promises a better understanding of the pathogenesis not only of CFS, but perhaps also of some psychiatric disorders. Most of these studies have yet to report their findings formally, but preliminary results give support to concepts of a non-specific dysregulation of immune function in a minority of cases that occurs irrespective of psychiatric morbidity. CFS and the neurologist
What can be made of this maze? An analogy with the epidemiology of hypertension may prove helpful.34 Like blood pressure, chronic fatigue may be a dimensional, rather than a categorical variable. As with blood pressure, no discrete boundary exists to separate the normal from the abnormal, yet in both the end of the spectrum can be associated with severe morbidity mandating treatment. The role of such apparently mundane factors in the epidemiology of hypertension as diet, smoking, stress and obesity may be replaced in CFS by variables such as depression, inactivity, anxiety and common infections. Nevertheless, just as the cardiologist must be alert to the possibility of renal artery stenosis and phaeochromocytoma, the occasional patient with CFS will have profound immune disturbance,35 unusual myopathies,3637 and no doubt other aetiologies yet to be discovered. In the meantime, what should the neurologist do? No specific treatment yet exists. There is still no role for therapy directed at virological or immunological abnormalities.3839 Treatment remains symptomatic. Promising lines of inquiry include the role of antidepressants, not only because of their mood elevating properties, but perhaps also because of direct effects on sleep disorder and muscle pain, supported by controlled studies in fibromyalgia,40 a similar syndrome also characterised by fatigue and myalgia. Advice41 that antidepressants may be counterproductive because they reinforce the patient's belief that the condition is "psychogenic" is misguided, and reveals
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more about the continuing stigma of psychological illness than the management of CFS. More surprisingly, controlled studies have recently reported success using essential fatty acids42 and magnesium.4, Patients should certainly not be automatically dissuaded from trying these and other non-specific treatments, so long as they are cheap and free from side effects.38 However, excessive emphasis on these or other pharmacotherapies may distract attention from the crucial area of rehabilitation.43 There is increasing consensus that a broadly based physical and psychological approach is desirable." Previous over zealous counselling ofrest as the mainstay of treatment has little to commend it, supported by controlled evidence in fibromyalgia, and uncontrolled evidence in CFS,45 and instead patients may be encouraged to cautiously interrupt the "cycle of inactivity, fatigue, pain and inactivity""46 Many neurologists will, however, not see the treatment of CFS as part of their role, and may feel, with justification, that the general practitioner has more to offer in both the diagnosis and management of this disorder than any physical or psychiatric specialist.47 Nevertheless, patients will continue to be referred to the neurologist for the foreseeable future. In these circumstances two caveats must be bome in mind. Misdiagnosis of a number of conditions, both physical and psychiatric, is not unusual in those who have acquired the label of CFS/ME. However, the simple combination of history, examination and basic tests will establish those who require further investigation. 49 In the majority this simple screen will be normal, and over investigation should be avoided. Not only is it a waste of resources, it may not be in the patients' interest, and may reinforce maladaptive behaviour in a variety of ways. "As patients undergo more tests, they will focus on a laboratory abnormality and subsequently find researchers interested in studying these abnormalities".50 This may help the researchers, but not the patient. Whilst over investigation is usually well intentioned, though not advisable, such behaviour must be criticised if it is motivated by a need to find such an abnormality before accepting the patient's predicament as genuine. There remains a tendency to denigrate those subjects unlucky enough to still have normal results once the round is complete, whose illnesses are thus labelled as "psychogenic", and of little concern. It is still possible to encounter such comments as "this suggests an organic cause for their complaints, and means the syndrome should not be dismissed out of hand as a psychiatric entity"."5 Armon and Kurland'5 provide wiser counsel - "psychosocial disability is real, significant and worthy of treatment even when there are no biochemical or immunologic abnormalities present". SIMON WESSELY King's College Hospital Medical School and Institute of Psychiatry, and King's College and Maudsley Hospitals, London, UK
1 David A, Wessely S, Pelosi A. Postviral fatigue syndrome: time for a new approach. BMJ 1988;296:696-9. 2 David A, Wessely S, Pelosi A. Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME)-signs of a new approach. Br J Hosp Medicine 1991;45:158-63. 3 Byrne E, Trounce I. Chronic fatigue and myalgia syndrome: mitochondrial and glycolytic studies in skeletal muscle. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry
4 Amold D, Bore P, Radda G, Styles P, Taylor D. Excessive intracellular acidosis of skeletal muscle on exercise in a patient with a post-viral _exhaustion/fatigue syndrome. Lancet 1984;i: 1367-9. 5 Wagenmakers A, Coakley J, Edwards RHT. The metabolic consequences of reduced habitual activities in patients with muscle pain and disease. Ergonomics 1988;31:1519-27. 6 Lewis S, Haller R. Physiologic measurement of exercise and fatigue with special reference to chronic fatigue syndrome. Reviews of Infectious Diseases 1991;13(Suppl 1):98-108. 7 Jamal G, Hansen S. Electrophysiological studies in the postviral fatigue syndrome. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1986;48:691-4. 8 Archard L, Bowles N, Behan P, Bell E, Doyle D. Postviral fatigue syndrome: persistence of enterovirus in muscle and elevated creatine kinase. J Roy
Soc Med 1988;81:326-9. 9 Stokes M, Cooper R, Edwards R. Normal strength and fatigability in patients with effort syndrome. BMJ 1988;297:1014-18. 10 Lloyd A, Hales J, Gandevia S. Muscle strength, endurance and recovery in the post-infection fatigue syndrome. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry
11 Roberts L. Single fibre EMG studies in the chronic fatigue syndrome. J Neurological Sciences 1990;98(Suppl):97. 12 Riley M, O'Brien C, McCluskey D, Bell N, Nicholls D. Aerobic work capacity in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. BMJ 1990;301:953-6. 13 Lloyd A, Gandevia S, Hales J. Muscle performance, voluntary activation, twitch properties and perceived effort in normal subjects and patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome. Brain 1991;114:85-98. 14 Rutherford 0, White P. Human quadriceps strength and fatigability in patients with post-viral fatigue. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry (in press). 15 Gibson H, Carroll N, Coakley J, Edwards R. Recovery from maximal exercise in chronic fatigue states (Abst). European Society for Clinical Investigation, Maastricht, 25-28 April 1990. 16 Wessely S, Powell R. Fatigue syndromes: a comparison of chronic "postviral" fatigue with neuromuscular and affective disorders. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1989;42:940-8. 17 Wood G, Bentall R, Gopfert M, Edwards R. A comparative psychiatric assessment of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and muscle disease. Psychological Medicine (in press). 18 Katon W, Buchwald D, Simon G, Russo J, Mease P. Psychiatric illness in chronic fatigue syndrome. J General Int Medicine (in press). 19 Abbey S, Garfinkel P. Neurasthenia and chronic fatigue syndrome: the role of culture in the making of a diagnosis. Am J Psychiatry (in press). 20 Abbey S, Garfinkel P. Chronic fatigue syndrome and the psychiatrist. Can J Psychiatry 1990;35:625-33. 21 David A. The postviral fatigue syndrome and psychiatry. British Medical Bulletin (in press). 22 Kendell R. Chronic fatigue, viruses, and depression. Lancet 1991;337:160-3. 23 Ray C. Chronic fatigue syndrome and depression: conceptual and methodological ambiguities. Psychological Medicine 1991;21:1-9. 24 Wessely S. The history of the postviral fatigue syndrome. British Medical Bulletin (in press). 25 Jones J. Serologic and immunologic responses in chronic fatigue syndrome with emphasis on the Epstein Barr virus. Reviews of Infectious Diseases 1991;13(Suppl 1):26-31. 26 Gow J, Behan W, Clements G, Woodall C, Riding M, Behan P. Enteroviral RNA sequences detected by polymerase chain reaction in muscle of patients with postviral fatigue syndrome. BMJ 1991;302:692-6. 27 Miller N, Carmichael H, Calder B, et al. Antibody to coxsackie B virus in diagnosing postviral fatigue syndrome. BMJ 1991;302:140-3. 28 Smith D. Myalgic encephalomyelitis. Members Reference Book. Roy Coll Gen Pract: London: Sabre Crown, 1989:247-50. 29 Prasher D, Smith A, Findley L. Sensory and cognitive event-related potentials in myalgic encephalomyelitis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1990;53:247-53. 30 Powell R, Dolan R, Wessely S. Attributions and self esteem in depression and the chronic fatigue syndrome. J Psychosomatic Research 1990;34: 665-73. 31 Sharpe M, Archard L, Banatvala J, et al. Guidelines for Research in Chronic Fatigue Syndromes. J Royal Society Medicine 1991;84:118-21. 32 Buchwald D, Komaroff A. Review of Laboratory Findings for Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Review of Infectious Diseases 1991; 13(Suppl 1):12-18. 33 Straus S. The chronic mononucleosis syndrome. J Infectious Diseases 1988;157:405-12. 34 Lewis G, Wessely S. The epidemiology of fatigue: more questions than answers. J Epidemiology Community Health (in press). 35 Buchwald D, Freedman A, Ablashi D, et al. A chronic "Postinfectious" fatigue syndrome associated with benign lymphoproliferation, B-cell proliferation, and active replication of human herpesvirus-6. J Clinical Immunology 1990;1O:335-44. 36 Karpati G, Carpenter S, Weller B, Massa R. Muscle biopsy experience in the chronic fatigue syndrome. J Neurological Sciences 1990;98(Suppl):96. 37 Jamal G, Hansen S. Post-viral fatigue syndrome: evidence for underlying organic disturbance in the muscle fibre. Eur Neurol 1989;29:273-6. 38 Gantz N, Holmes G. Treatment of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Drugs 1989;38:855-62. 39 Editorial. Chronic fatigue syndrome-false avenues and dead ends. Lancet 1991;337:331-2. 40 Goldenberg D. Review of the role of tricyclic medications in the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome. J Rheumatology 1989;16(Suppl 19):137-9. 41 Cox I, Campbell M, Dowson D. Red blood cell magnesium and chronic fatigue syndrome. Lancet 1991;337:757-60. 42 Behan P, Behan W, HorrobinD. Effect ofhighdosesofessentialfatty acids on the postviral fatigue syndrome. Acta Neurol Scand 1990;82:209-16. 43 Wessely S, Edwards RHT. Chronic Fatigue. In: Greenwood R, Barnes M, McMillan T, Ward C, eds. Neurological Rehabilitation. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone (in press). 44 Denman A. The chronic fatigue syndrome: a return to common sense. 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50 Armon C, Kurland L. Chronic fatigue syndrome: issues in the diagnosis and estimation of incidence. Review of Infectious Diseases 1991;13(Suppl 13):68-72. 51 Natelson B, Ye N, Cheng Y. Evidence of actively replicating Epstein Barr virus in patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome. Ann Neurol 1990;28:257.
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