Patient: "Zombie sickness" chronic fatigue syndrome needs more research

The Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, has decided that more research needs to be done on chronic fatigue syndrome - the so-called zombie sickness - at the insistence of patients suffering from this disease. Patient association ME/CFS collected 56 thousand signatures for this purpose.

The spokesperson for the patient association, Rob Wijbenga, told AD that more research is sorely needed. "Hardly anything is known about the causes of the disease. With this the best treatment is also unclear."  People with CFS suffer from symptoms such as chronic fatigue, abnormal blood circulation, concentration and memory problems, dizziness and gastrointestinal complaints.

In 2005 former health minister Hans Hoogervorst gave the Health Council 2 million euros to research CFS. "The patients themselves were not involved, but psychiatrists and psychologists", Wijbenga told the newspaper. According to him, the Health Council concluded that CFS has especially psychosomatic effects and suggested intensifying behavioral therapy and physical exercises. "In many patients this is counterproductive."

According to the AD, between 18 thousand and 150 thousand people suffer from CFS in the Netherlands.