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Funding News - Applications for Research on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Sought

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  • The information on this page is for historical and research purposes only.
  • For the most current NINDS funding announcements, please see the NINDS list of Active Funding Initiatives or Follow Us on Twitter for the latest funding news.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) encourages grant applications for research on the pathophysiology and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This announcement is made together with 12 other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).*

CFS is a debilitating and complex syndrome that involves multiple body systems. It is characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and may be exacerbated or re-kindled by physical or mental activity. Neither a specific cause nor any specific diagnostic test has been identified for this illness. Research is needed to provide a better understanding of the prevalence, pathogenesis, and pathophysiology of CFS, with the goal of developing improved diagnostic and intervention strategies.

Potential areas of research interest include, but are not limited to, studies to: define the prevalence of the disorder and identify distinct subgroups; explore whether pathogenesis and pathophysiology differ relative to age, sex, developmental period, and racial/ethnic background; develop novel and objective biological markers for the diagnosis of CFS; explore the role of neuroimaging modalities in the diagnosis, treatment, and progression of CFS; identify environmental and other precipitants and geographic correlates of CFS; explore multi-systemic factors as precipitants to CFS symptoms; elucidate the factors/mechanisms that elicit chronic pain and inability to sustain physical exertion in CFS patients; examine the relationships between cognitive deficits and sleep disturbances or sleep disorders; examine the role of neuroendocrine and neuroimmune functions in CFS pathogenesis and pathophysiology; examine the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of CFS and marginal nutritional deficiencies in the etiology of CFS; determine the effectiveness of currently prescribed pharmacological, behavioral, and other treatments used in CFS; and examine the role of self-medication with alcohol and illicit and prescription drugs in CFS patients.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Linda Porter, Program Director, Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2113, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-9964; fax: 301-402-2060; e-mail:

*For a full list of supporting NIH components and a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: