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Currently Recruiting

The INIM is currently recruiting volunteers for a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Study in Men. You may qualify for this study if you meet the following criteria: 

  • Male
  • Between the ages of 18-65
  • Meet the following Criteria for fatigue, post-exertional malaise and/or fatigue, sleep dysfunction, and pain; have two or more neurological/cognitive manifestations and one or more symptoms from two of the categories of autonomic, neuroendocrine, and immune manifestations; and adhere to item 7:

    1. Fatigue: The patient must have a significant degree of new onset, unexplained, persistent, or recurrent physical and mental fatigue that substantially reduces activity level.
    2. Post-Exertional Malaise and/or Fatigue: There is an inappropriate loss of physical and mental stamina, rapid muscular and cognitive fatigability, post exertional malaise and/or fatigue and/or  pain  and  a  tendency  for  other  associated  symptoms  within  the  patient’s  cluster  of symptoms to worsen. There is a pathologically slow recovery period - usually 24 hours or longer.
    3. Sleep Dysfunction:* There is unrefreshed sleep or sleep quantity or rhythm disturbances such as reversed or chaotic diurnal sleep rhythms.
    4. Pain:* There is a significant degree of myalgia. Pain can be experienced in the muscles, and/or joints, and is often widespread and migratory in nature.  Often there are significant headaches of new type, pattern or severity.
    5. Neurological/Cognitive Manifestations: Two or more of the following difficulties should be present: confusion, impairment of concentration and short-term memory consolidation, disorientation,  difficulty  with  information  processing,  categorizing  and  word  retrieval,  and perceptual and sensory disturbances – e.g. spatial instability and disorientationand inability to focus vision. Ataxia, muscle  weakness and fasciculations are common. There may be overload  phenomena: cognitive, sensory – e.g. photophobia and hypersensitivity to noise - and/or emotional overload, which may lead to “crash” periods and/or anxiety.
    6. At Least One Symptom from Two of the Following Categories:

      • Autonomic Manifestations: orthostatic intolerance - neurally mediated hypotension (NMH), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), delayed postural hypotension; light-  headedness; extreme pallor; nausea and irritable bowel syndrome; urinary frequency and bladder dysfunction; palpitations with or  without  cardiac arrhythmias; exertional dyspnea.
      • Neuroendocrine Manifestations: loss of thermostatic stability – subnormal body temperature and marked diurnal fluctuation, sweating episodes, recurrent feelings of feverishness and cold  extremities; intolerance of extremes of heat and cold; marked weight change - anorexia or abnormal appetite;  loss of adaptability and worsening of symptoms with stress.
      • Immune Manifestations: tender lymph nodes, recurrent sore throat, recurrent flu- like symptoms, general malaise, new sensitivities to food, medications and/or chemicals.
    7. The illness persists for at least six months:  It usually has a distinct onset, although it may be gradual.   Preliminary diagnosis may be possible earlier. Three months is appropriate for children

      To be included: the symptoms must have begun or have been significantly altered after the onset of this illness. It is unlikely that a patient will suffer from all symptoms in criteria 5 & 6.  The disturbances tend to form symptom clusters that may fluctuate and change over time.   Children often  have  numerous prominent symptoms but their order of severity tends to vary from day to day.  There is a small number of patients who have no pain or sleep dysfunction, but no other diagnosis fits except ME/CFS. A diagnosis of ME/CFS can be entertained when this group has an infectious illness type onset.  Some patients have been unhealthy for other reasons prior to the onset of ME/ CFS and lack detectable triggers at onset or have more gradual or insidious onset.

      Exclusions:  Exclude active disease processes that explain most of the major symptoms of fatigue, sleep disturbance, pain, and cognitive dysfunction.  It is essential to exclude certain diseases, which would be  tragic  to  miss:  Addison’s  disease,  Cushing’s  Syndrome,  hypothyroidism,  hyperthyroidism,  iron deficiency, other treatable forms of anemia, iron overload syndrome, diabetes mellitus, and cancer.  It is also  essential  to  exclude  treatable  sleep  disorders  such  as  upper  airway  resistance  syndrome  and obstructive  or  central  sleep  apnea;  rheumatological  disorders  such  as  rheumatoid  arthritis,  lupus, polymyositis and polymyalgia rheumatica; immune disorders such as AIDS; neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinsonism, myasthenia gravis and B12 deficiency; infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, chronic hepatitis, Lyme disease, etc.; primary psychiatric disorders and substance abuse. Exclusion of other diagnoses, which cannot be reasonably excluded by the patient’s history and physical examination, is achieved by laboratory testing and imaging. If a potentially confounding medical condition is under control, then the diagnosis of ME/CFS can be entertained if patients meet the criteria otherwise.

      Co-morbid   Entities:   Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS), Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Interstitial Cystitis, Irritable Bladder  Syndrome,  Raynaud’s  Phenomenon,  Prolapsed  Mitral  Valve,  Depression,  Migraine,  Allergies, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Sicca Syndrome, etc. Such co-morbid entities may occur in the setting of ME/CFS. Others such as IBS may precede the development of ME/CFS by many years, but then become associated with it.  The same holds true for migraines and depression.  Their association is thus looser than between the symptoms within the syndrome.  ME/CFS and FMS often closely connect and should be considered to be “overlap syndromes”.

      Idiopathic Chronic Fatigue: If the patient has unexplained prolonged fatigue (6 months or more) but has insufficient symptoms to meet the criteria for ME/CFS, classify it as idiopathic chronic fatigue.

You will receive a complete immune check-up for free & will be compensated for time and travel. 

If interested, please contact Fanny Collado at 305-575-7000 ext.6706 or fanny.collado@va.gov

As always, we thank you for your participation and continuous interest in our research.

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