The chronic fatigue syndrome is a recurring illness of unknown cause characterized by incapacitating fatigue and a range of symptoms and laboratory findings suggestive of hypothalamic dysfunction [1-3]. Rare patients who have died from other acute causes have had cellular infiltrates in the hypothalamus [4]. The syndrome usually follows a flu-like illness, and circumstantial evidence has implicated enteroviruses [1]. We therefore examined the central nervous system of a woman with the syndrome who died from suicide for the presence of enterovirus.

In June 1992, a 30-year-old woman who had met all criteria for the syndrome for 5 ...


  • 1. Bakheit AM, Behan PO, Watson WS, Morton JJ. Abnormal arginine-vasopressin secretion and water metabolism in patients with postviral fatigue syndrome. Acta Neurol Scand. 1993; 87:234-8. Google Scholar
  • 2. Bakheit AM, Behan PO, Dinan TG, Gray CE, O'Keane V. Possible upregulation of hypothalamic 5-HT receptors in patients with the postviral fatigue syndrome. Br Med J. 1992; 304:1010-2. Google Scholar
  • 3. Demitrak MA, Dale JK, Straus SE. Evidence for impaired activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1991; 73:1224-34. Google Scholar
  • 4. Crowley N, Nelson M, Stouin S. Epidemiological aspects of an outbreak of encephalomyelitis at the Royal Free in the summer of 1955. J Hygiene. 1957; 55:116. Google Scholar