New Treatment May Benefit CFS Sufferers
According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, a new therapy that could successfully treat two-thirds of children with chronic fatigue syndrome is undergoing clinical trials. Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), CFS affects about one in 50 children and teens in the UK. Chronic fatigue can lead to mental health problems and missed school days—some studies show that one child in 100 misses at least one day of school each week because of CFS.
Approximately 50 percent of adolescents are "tired," but chronic fatigue is different. Young people with the disease are often unable to do the things they want to do—the things their peers are able to do. The new treatment involves behavioral therapy and changes in sleep and activity patterns. In trials conducted in the Netherlands, 63 percent of study participants had no symptoms of CFS after six months.
This therapy is somewhat controversial. Some argue that it treats chronic fatigue syndrome—a biological condition—as a psychological issue. Others contend that changing sleep habits can affect biology—hormone levels, for example—and reduce CFS symptoms.
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