University of Western Australia recruits for chronic fatigue syndrome muscle study


By Sasha Nimmo 

The School of Sport Science, Exercise & Health are conducting a study into the muscle function of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (Fukuda criteria) aged 18 to 40.

The study will measure the oxygenation levels, take an x-ray, blood and a muscle biopsy of the leg muscle “to examine the responses of the thiol oxidation state of your muscle proteins to contraction and recovery”.

The researchers plan to look at 12 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and 12 controls.

The study requires visits to the Perth campus at the University of Western Australia, which poses a challenge to include 25% of patients who are severely ill.

When asked about including severe patients researchers offered to provide transport for moderate or severe patients.

The study has already begun but they are still recruiting. For more information, contact Kristina Abramoff at

Earlier research
In 2004, Adelaide researchers worked on lactic acid in chronic fatigue syndrome but researcher Dr Garry C. Scroop found that money available for research was small so “research funding and collegiate support are thin on the ground and our progress, like that of our patients, is frustratingly slow.”

“I can honestly say that after 35 years of basic scientific research the lactic acid finding is without question the most exciting and potentially beneficial piece of research I’ve been involved with,” said Dr Scroop.

US research demonstrates that chronic fatigue syndrome patients have a reduced capacity to exercise when they repeat a maximum exercise test one day on – unlike healthy controls.

In the UK, finding that CFS patients developed twenty times more acid in their muscles than those without the illness prompted researchers to trial drugs that are already available.

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