Saturday, December 20, 2014

Study Provides More Evidence that Gulf War Illness and CFS/ME are different

 
 
Our analysis identified a group of cytokines that identified ME and GWI cases with sensitivities of 92.5% and 64.9%, respectively. The five most significant cytokines in decreasing order of importance were IL-7, IL-4, TNF-α, IL-13, and IL-17F. When delineating GWI and ME cases from healthy controls, the observed specificity was only 33.3%, suggesting that with respect to cytokine expression, GWI cases resemble control subjects to a greater extent than ME cases across a number of parameters. 
These results imply that serum cytokines are representative of ME pathology to a greater extent than GWI and further suggest that the two diseases have distinct immune profiles despite their overlapping symptomology.
 
 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Unbreakable Laura Hillenbrand - NYTimes.com

 
 
One peculiarity of chronic fatigue syndrome is the degree to which it can remain invisible: A patient may be in excruciating pain without showing any outward sign of illness. There is still no simple laboratory test for the disease, nor any way to confirm its diagnosis. There is even some debate over what to call it. Many doctors and patients, including Hillenbrand, believe the words "chronic fatigue" sound trivial. They prefer the term "myalgic encephalomyelitis," or M.E., which refers to inflammation in the brain and spine. Other doctors resist this name, questioning whether patients with the disease reliably exhibit this inflammation. Dr. Charles Shepherd, a medical adviser to the ME Association in Britain, told me that decades of mystery around the illness have only worsened the suffering of victims. "I was taught at medical school 40 years ago that this was all hysterical nonsense," he said. "It was an illness which was either ignored, or dismissed, or regarded with extreme skepticism."