Article on POSSIBLE cause for CFS

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Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 10/10/2009 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
HI all...

Another mod, Lindalou, found an interesting article posted yesterday in the journal 'Science'. Studies indicate there is a possible link between a virus and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Since many with fibro also suffer from CFS or at least the fatigue part, this minght be just the tiny opening scientists were looking for to peer into why millions of people suffer with Fibromyalgia. I sure do hope so!

Chutz

From the New York Times...

Many people with chronic fatigue syndrome are infected with a little known virus that may cause or at least contribute to their illness, researchers are reporting.

The syndrome, which causes prolonged and severe fatigue, body aches and other symptoms, has long been a mystery ailment, and patients have sometimes been suspected of malingering or having psychiatric problems rather than genuine physical ones. Worldwide, 17 million people have the syndrome, including at least one million Americans.

An article published online Thursday in the journal Science reports that 68 of 101 patients with the syndrome, or 67 percent, were infected with an infectious virus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV. By contrast, only 3.7 percent of 218 healthy people were infected. Continuing work after the paper was published has found the virus in nearly 98 percent of about 300 patients with the syndrome, said Dr. Judy A. Mikovits, the lead author of the paper.

XMRV is a retrovirus, a member of the same family of viruses as the AIDS virus. These viruses carry their genetic information in RNA rather than DNA, and they insert themselves into their hosts’ genetic material and stay for life.

Dr. Mikovits and other scientists cautioned that they had not yet proved that the virus causes the syndrome. In theory, people with the syndrome may have some other, underlying health problem that makes them prone to being infected by the virus, which could be just a bystander. More studies are needed to explain the connection.

But Dr. Mikovits said she thought the virus would turn out to be the cause, not just of chronic fatigue, but of other illnesses as well. Previous studies have found it in cells taken from prostate cancers.

“I think this establishes what had always been considered a psychiatric disease as an infectious disease,” said Dr. Mikovits, who is research director at the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno, a nonprofit center created by the parents of a woman who has a severe case of the syndrome. Her co-authors include scientists from the National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Mikovits said she and her colleagues were drawing up plans to test antiretroviral drugs — some of the same ones used to treat HIV infection — to see whether they could help patients with chronic fatigue. If the drugs work, that will help prove that the virus is causing the illness. She said patients and doctors should wait for the studies to be finished before trying the drugs.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said the discovery was exciting and made sense.

“My first reaction is, ‘At last,’ ” Dr. Schaffner said. “In interacting with patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, you get the distinct impression that there’s got to be something there.”

He said the illness is intensely frustrating to doctors because it is not understood, there is no effective treatment and many patients are sick for a long time.

He added, “This is going to create an avalanche of subsequent studies.”
Play fair. Don't hit people. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
~Robert Fulghum

(\o/)Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
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upbeat
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 10/10/2009 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
This is so interesting - wouldn't it be amazing if Chronic Fatigue became a condition that could be managed and people could have their life back?

Thanks for posting this!
Fibro dx 2004, RLS, raynauds


yo-yo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 10/10/2009 12:51 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Chutzie.

I'm always interested in new research.  I find this very fasinating about a virus.  My theory has always been about the involvment of a virus or a bacteria.  Whether it is causing the CFS or just is an oportunistic  resident that  comes and makes a home after  the body is already in a weaken  position, either way, maybe science can find something to knock it out!  Wouldn't that be great?  The virus could also be involved  in fibro in that it tries to screw up our CNS.  Further studies on fibro people are in order is what methinks!

Yo-yo


Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 10/10/2009 1:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I totally agree, yoyo. If we could get the biomedical community on board in addition to the 'popular' diseases/disorders they study, then we might have some hope. It only makes sense that we are so vulnerable to many diseases when the immune system has no idea what or who to fight. So, it turns on us. And in that compromised state we get hit by all sorts of unexplained ailments. I know this isn't a nice thing to say, but if a few people 'in power', like the head of major medical institutes, pharmaceutical companies, or 'BP's (beautiful people as they call themselves) had to live with the ravages of fibromyalgia then we just may get something done about not even a cure but some reliable treatment and get rid of the stigma of pain treatment. This article gives us hope though and is something to celebrate!

Chutz
Play fair. Don't hit people. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
~Robert Fulghum

(\o/)Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
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