Serum Levels of Carnitine in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical CorrelatesPlioplys A.V.a-c · Plioplys S.a,b
aChronic Fatigue Syndrome Center and bDepartment of Research, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center; cDepartment of Neurology, University of Illinois, Chicago, Ill., USA
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Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial energy production. Disturbance in mitochondrial function may contribute to or cause the fatigue seen in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients. One previous investigation has reported decreased acylcarnitine levels in 38 CFS patients. We investigated 35 CFS patients (27 females and 8 males); our results indicate that CFS patients have statistically significantly lower serum total carnitine, free carnitine and acylcarnitine levels, not only lower acylcarnitine levels as previously reported. We also found a statistically significant correlation between serum levels of total and free carnitine and clinical symptomatology. Higher serum carnitine levels correlated with better functional capacity. These findings may be indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction, which may contribute to or cause symptoms of fatigue in CFS patients.
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