In this medicinal video learn about the new research on chronic fatigue, and how a drug for cancer patients might help boost energy levels.
Jennifer Matthews: At work, Toni Cueto is an overachiever. Toni Cueto: I'd always get my work done. Ask for more work. Jennifer Matthews: But five years ago, she lost her energy and her desire to work. After failing her real estate exam, she knew something was wrong. Toni Cueto: I just didn't have that quote, 'Get up and go,' that I normally have. Jennifer Matthews: Through extensive testing, doctors at the University of Miami diagnosed Toni with chronic fatigue syndrome. There is no known cause or cure for CFS. Doctors in Miami now think the condition is linked to a decrease in red blood cells. Dr. Barry Hurwitz: Because the red blood cell transports oxygen and glucose to the cells, it's vitally important in providing these nutrients. Without it, we feel fatigued. Jennifer Matthews: Barry Hurwitz and colleagues are studying the drug Procrit to help patients like Toni. The drug is typically used in cancer patients. In CFS patients, Procrit raises red blood cell volume by triggering a hormone in the kidneys. Dr. Barry Hurwitz: Some people have shown remarkable improvement and have gone back to work, and in others it's been less effective. Jennifer Matthews: It's working for Toni. She got her real estate license, and she's already doubled last year's sales. Toni Cueto: I've got my life back. I'm working full time. I'm enjoying life. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.