Stress Test

Hate Mondays? You and me both!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying, there’s a little Garfield in all of us!

Everyone feels tired and overwhelmed sometimes! But for those with chronic fatigue syndrome, every day is Monday! Up to two million Americans suffer from C-F-S. It’s hard to spot – up to now, there’s been no lab test for it. But that might be changing!

Enter a team of Stanford researchers led by Ron Davis. They suspected the blood of C-F-S sufferers might have a unique response to stress. To test, they built a device that measures how blood conducts electricity. Researchers subjected blood samples from C-F-S patients and healthy subjects to stress, and compared their conductivity.


“Stressed” blood from C-F-S patients didn’t conduct electricity as well as blood from healthy subjects. The scientists used this difference to identify C-F-S patients with almost perfect accuracy.

This work is a step toward accurately diagnosing, and eventually treating, chronic fatigue syndrome.

Now, how to treat our inner Garfield? With some lasagna …. and a nap!