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Chronic fatigue syndrome: an emerging sequela in COVID-19 survivors?

Journal of NeuroVirology | August 2, 2021

Mantovani E, Mariotto S, Gabbiani D, Dorelli G, Bozzetti S, Federico A, Zanzoni S, Girelli D, Crisafulli E, Ferrari S and Tamburin S

Journal of neurovirology. 2021:1-7

DOI: 10.1007/s13365-021-01002-x


SARS-CoV-2 survivors may report persistent symptoms that resemble myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). We explored (a) ME/CFS-like symptom prevalence and (b) whether axonal, inflammatory, and/or lung changes may contribute to ME/CFS-like symptoms in SARS-CoV-2 survivors through clinical, neuropsychiatric, neuropsychological, lung function assessment, and serum neurofilament light chain, an axonal damage biomarker. ME/CFS-like features were found in 27% of our sample. ME/CFS-like group showed worse sleep quality, fatigue, pain, depressive symptoms, subjective cognitive complaints, Borg baseline dyspnea of the 6-min walking test vs. those without ME/CFS-like symptoms. These preliminary findings raise concern on a possible future ME/CFS-like pandemic in SARS-CoV-2 survivors.

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