Specifically, these findings may help with diagnosis, help with the development of treatment drugs, help understand who is at risk for CFS, and help identify preventive measures.
This research underscores both the promise of genomic research and the complexity of it. Genes are rarely a black-and-white issue, and genes rarely work alone. Identifying genes is just the beginning. Understanding how they are expressed, and the factors that affect their expression, is the next step.
Dr. Suzanne Vernon of the CDC has been quoted in the recent flurry of news coverage. She mentions a prior study that distinguished different gene activity patterns between healthy people and people with CFS, and explains: “What we have shown now is that in addition to the differences in gene activity that we know occur, there are actual differences in the genetic makeup — the DNA code — that probably results in the differences in the gene activity and also results in the manifestations of the illness itself.”