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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

April 04, 1997

Free seminar to be offered Thursday, April 10

Dr. Peter C. Rowe, associate professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will present a free community seminar, "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: An Update and Recent Findings," Thursday, April 10, at 7 p.m., in the first floor conference room at Pangborn Hall, across from Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown.

Rowe is part of a research team that made a connection between a condition called neurally mediated hypotension and chronic fatigue syndrome. Neurally mediated hypotension is described as the profound drop in blood pressure experienced by some people after exercise, prolonged periods of standing or exposure to warm temperatures. Symptoms include fainting, light-headedness, nausea and fatigue which can last for days.

In the study, 23 people with chronic fatigue syndrome were placed on a horizontal tilt-table and rotated to a near-standing position. Twenty-two had resulting abnormal blood pressure.

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The results of research conducted by Rowe and three other physicians suggest that neurally mediated hypotension should be considered as a treatable cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. Blood pressure medication and a higher-salt diet have helped in some cases, but formal, randomized trials of medications are ongoing, Rowe points out.

People with chronic fatigue syndrome often have been disregarded as manipulative or thought to have more serious mental illness problems, Rowe says. He believes that neurally mediated hypotension, which is testable, measurable and treatable, is a major cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue patients are delighted with the research, he adds.

Those attending Rowe's seminar are asked to refrain from wearing fragrances. No preregistration is required. There is free parking in the garage. For information, call 790-8622 or 790-7984, telecommunications device for the deaf.

- Kate Coleman, Staff Writer

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