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Biol Psychiatry. 1995 Feb 15;37(4):245-52.

Neuroendocrine responses to d-fenfluramine and insulin-induced hypoglycemia in chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder characterized by severe physical and mental fatigue and fatiguability of central rather than peripheral origin. We hypothesized that CFS is mediated by changes in hypothalamopituitary function and so measured the adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, growth hormone, and prolactin responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia, and the ACTH, cortisol, and prolactin responses to serotoninergic stimulation with dexfenfluramine in nondepressed CFS patients and normal controls. We have shown attenuated prolactin responses to hypoglycemia in CFS. There was also a greater ACTH response and higher peak ACTH concentrations (36.44 +/- 4.45 versus 25.60 +/- 2.78 pg ml), whereas cortisol responses did not differ, findings that are compatible with impaired adrenal cortical function. This study provided evidence for both pituitary and adrenal cortical impairment in CFS and further studies are merited to both confirm and determine more precisely their neurobiological basis so that rational treatments can be evolved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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