Science has finally caught up to one of my favorite episodes of “The Golden Girls”: new brain scans prove that chronic fatigue syndrome, a mysterious illness with exhaustion as its primary symptom, is very real.As Dorothy discovered when she was so tired she couldn’t lift her hands to wash her hair at the start of season five, chronic fatigue is not just hard to cure — doctors are reluctant to diagnose it in the first place without scientific evidence. According to the CDC, of the one to four million Americans who have chronic fatigue, less than 20% have acutally been diagnosed. That may change with new brain scan technology discussed in the journal Radiology, which found that chronic fatigue patients had less white matter in the right hemisphere of their brains. The scanner may also identify the chronic fatigue-specific biomarker — a molecule that can signify a disease an infection — in the brain, says Jose Montoya, senior author of the paper and Professor of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at Stanford.Those suffering from undiagnosed chronic fatigue are often advised to seek treatment in alternative solutions like homeopathy, acupuncture and simply getting more rest. But a report on homeopathic treatments by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, tested specifically on chronic fatigue patients, found no positive effects of homeopathic medicine on symptoms. With the new findings, patients such as Lindsay Sihilling, a former long-distance runner who now can’t even walk a mile some days, are able to get a hard diagnosis and go on to seek treatment.On “Golden Girls,” half the battle was acknowledging the disease exists in the first place. “I really am sick, I have chronic fatigue syndrome. That’s a real illness. You can check with the Center for Disease Control,” Dorothy laid it out for a doctor who misdiagnosed her in a scene inspired by real-life “Golden Girls”’ creator Susan Harris’ experience with the disease. We have hope this new research will lead to relief for real-life sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome soon.