Key CFS Symptoms — the Big Data answer

I had been thinking about doing a post on CFS symptoms (i.e. creating a checklist to track your status). This morning I found the perfect article in International Journal of Machine Learning and Computing which is available in full for free. If you have not worked professional as a data scientist or statistician, you may find it geek (fortunately I have).

  • Samuel P. Watson, Amy S. Ruskin, Valerie Simonis, Leonard A. Jason, Madison Sunnquist, and Jacob D. Furst, “Identifying Defining Aspects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome via Unsupervised Machine Learning and Feature Selection,” International Journal of Machine Learning and Computing vol.4, no. 2, pp. 133-138, 2014.

The bottom line is that they found 54 symptoms that predicted better if a person had CFS then any of the current research definitions.

The top 15 (in order of importance are below)

  1. Fatigue/extreme tiredness
  2. Next day soreness or fatigue after non-strenuous, everyday activities
  3. Minimum exercise makes you physically tired
  4. Physically drained or sick after mild activity
  5. Dead, heavy feeling after starting to exercise
  6. Feeling unrefreshed after waking up in the morning
  7. Problems remembering things
  8. Muscle weakness
  9. Difficulty finding the right word to say or expressing thoughts
  10. Only able to focus on one thing at a time
  11. Pain or aching in your muscles
  12. Difficulty paying attention for a long period of time
  13. Mentally tired after the slightest effort
  14. Absent-mindedness or forgetfulness
  15. Sensitivity to noise

I am hoping to be able to balance the rest of them (as well as create a program that uses this information)… stay tune.

I find this to be a very important list because:

  • If you have none of these and have a CFS diagnosis — your diagnosis is probably very wrong.
  • If you have all of them (as I have had during CFS periods), your diagnosis is likely correct.
  • Some only — I am waiting to get more information to build a program that would calculate those odds.