Diagnosing a chronic pain

BRONWYN Sonter will participate in a Bond University study researching a faster method of detecting chronic fatigue syndrome.

The co-ordinator of the Tweed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Support Group said she was diagnosed with the illness in 2002 after experiencing neck and shoulder pain.

“After a couple of months of having acupuncture my acupuncturist said she thought I might have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) because she couldn't treat me,” Ms Sonter said.

Symptoms of CFS include fatigue, pain, and sleep disturbance.

“There is no one test for chronic fatigue syndrome and it can take more than six months to diagnose,” Ms Sonter said.

Researchers from Bond University will talk to CFS support group members at their next meeting on November 6 about joining the study.

Ms Sonter said she planned to join the study along with other members.

Bond University's Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology Dr Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik will head the research team, which aims to develop commercially viable tests to diagnose the syndrome faster and more accurately as well as establish guidelines for diagnosis.

The university needs 150 locals aged 20 to 65 years old to take part in the study - 50 people diagnosed with CFS, 50 who constantly feel exhausted but have not been diagnosed with the syndrome, and 50 healthy people.

Participants in the project must be available for 30-minute check-ups every six months for two years, including a blood test.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Dr Marshall-Gradisnik at smarshall@bond.edu.au

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