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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome History

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Australian Definition

In 1988, researchers in Australia also developed their own definition of CFS. The Australian definition uses the CDC's major criteria, and adds the symptom of "neuropsychiatric dysfunction," which includes impairment of concentration and short-term memory.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The British Definition

A 1990 consensus meeting of researchers in Great Britain found that the CDC and the Australian definition of CFS were not satisfactory. Therefore, a new guideline was created. This guideline came to be known as the Oxford criteria.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The International Definition

In response to criticisms of the original CDC definition of CFS, the International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group (which included the CDC, representatives from Australia, and representatives from Great Britain) proposed a revised chronic fatigue syndrome case definition in 1994. This definition, which is also known as the Fukuda, or research, definition, defines chronic fatigue syndrome as:
  • Clinically evaluated, unexplained, persistent or relapsing chronic fatigue that is new (has not been lifelong); is not the result of ongoing exertion; is not substantially alleviated by rest; and results in substantial reduction in previous levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities.
  • The concurrent occurrence of four or more CFS symptoms, all of which must have persisted or recurred during six or more consecutive months of illness and must not have predated the fatigue. CFS symptoms include:


    • Self-reported impairment in short-term memory or concentration
    • Tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes
    • Muscle pain
    • Multijoint pain without joint swelling or redness
    • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
    • Unrefreshing sleep
    • Postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours.


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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Information

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