Constant exhaustion, mental fogginess, headaches, inability to concentrate, impaired memory, sleep disorders, muscle or joint pain and depression have long been associated with exam stress for. Incidentally, all of these are also symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – medically known as myalgic encephalomyelitis. Scientists at the Centre for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, USA have now found physical evidence that CFS is not a psychological disorder but a biological illness with distinct stages. Also Read - Maharashtra: 35 Percent Schools Reopen After 8 Months, Only 5 Percent Students Attend

The used immunoassay testing methods to determine the levels of 51 immune biomarkers in blood plasma samples of 298 CFS patients and 348 healthy controls. They found that patients that had CFS for three years or less and several different types of immune molecules called cytokines. Fatigue after several viral infections was found to be strongly linked to presence of a cytokine called interferon gamma. Also Read - Puducherry Proposes 10% Quota For Government School Students in Medical Courses

This finding should help in correctly diagnosing the individuals or students with chronic fatigue and help in developing new treatment strategies for the patients. Also Read - West Bengal MBBS Seats Increased to 4,000: CM Mamata Banerjee

For early stage patients, human monoclonal antibodies are already available in the market to reduce levels of a cytokine called interleukin-17A which was among those found elevated in fatigue patients. However, clinical trials for any drugs will only be conducted when the researchers are able to replicate the current study for a year.

Till then, students can do the following to relieve CFS symptoms:

  • Adjust your study schedule to take advantage of the time when you have more energy.
  • Take frequent breaks and avoid becoming overtired. It may take several days to recover from the extreme tiredness.
  • Get adequate sleep and get up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid taking tea of coffee within 4 hours of your bedtime.
  • Take 20 to 60 minute nap breaks when your body demands it. Get rid of sound and light disturbances, find a good mattress and pillow and make sure that the room is at comfortable temperature.
  • To relieve headaches and muscle pain, you may take over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol or Advil.

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