Friday, February 27, 2015

Scientists Discover Robust Evidence That Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is Biological

The study supports the idea that ME/CFS may reflect an infectious "hit-and-run" event. Patients often report getting sick, sometimes from something as common as infectious mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus), and never fully recover. The new research suggests that these infections throw a wrench in the immune system's ability to quiet itself after the acute infection, to return to a homeostatic balance; the immune response becomes like a car stuck in high gear. "It appears that ME/CFS patients are flush with cytokines until around the three-year mark, at which point the immune system shows evidence of exhaustion and cytokine levels drop," says Dr. Hornig. "Early diagnosis may provide unique opportunities for treatment that likely differ from those that would be appropriate in later phases of the illness."

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Findings May Lead to Diagnostic Tool


The immune systems of people with chronic fatigue syndrome differ from those of healthy people, and patients with recent diagnoses can be distinguished from those who have had the condition for longer, researchers reported on Friday.

The findings do not have immediate clinical applications for patients, experts said. But the biomarkers discovered by the scientists eventually may form the basis of the first diagnostic test for the illness.

Distinct plasma immune signatures in ME/CFS

No, it's NOT all in our heads.....
distinct alterations in plasma immune signatures early in the course of ME/CFS (n = 52) relative to healthy controls (n = 348) that are not present in subjects with longer duration of illness (n = 246). Analyses based on disease duration revealed that early ME/CFS cases had a prominent activation of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines as well as dissociation of intercytokine regulatory networks. We found a stronger correlation of cytokine alterations with illness duration than with measures of illness severity, suggesting that the immunopathology of ME/CFS is not static.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

ME/CFS is indeed an inflammatory disease

The disease process that most resembled CFS was Systemic Inflammatory
Response Syndrome, also known as SIRS; this correlation had a staggering 100%
resemblance. From the Lipkin/Hornig data and our data the picture that
clearly emerges is that ME/CFS is indeed an inflammatory disease."
-- Dr Montoya (of Stanford) on the CDC call at 36:40

Slightly Alive: The IOM Report on ME/CFS (SEID)

Mary Schweitzer's review of the IOM report:
Slightly Alive: The IOM Report on ME/CFS (SEID)
"in part because of a continuing prejudice in the medical profession against the possibility that a person can have a chronic viral infection (except for AIDS patients), all of the literature on pathogens (except EBV as a possible trigger) and most of the literature on immune system dysfunction was ignored.  Did not appear in the report. ... this disease was originally named atypical polio" (another enterovirus that causes lifelong problems).
Mary notes "the incidence of secondary depression is similar to that in MS patients" -- you'll find secondary depression (depression as a result of being ill) in any serious disease, but no one would ever suggest that depression is the cause of cancer or stroke or emphysema ... only with CFS. 
There are a number of symptoms that appear in CFS that don't appear in depression.  The two are easy to differentiate if you know what you're looking for.  Unfortunately, too many people (including doctors) hear "fatigue" and leap straight to depression without considering that fever, rash, swollen glands, etc. aren't symptoms associated with depression, but are symptoms of CFS.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New chronic fatigue syndrome report doesn’t help us - Washington Post

Three decades ago, the U.S. government burdened a group of seriously ill patients with a trivializing name — "chronic fatigue syndrome" — and a broad set of criteria that did nothing to distinguish true sufferers of this debilitating disease. Now, thegovernment is trying to do it again, under the guise of helping us, with a new report from the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Needs Effective Treatments -


A Disease Doctors Refuse to See

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Needs Effective Treatments


TOO often, doctors don't understand chronic fatigue syndrome. They don't know how to diagnose it, and they frequently even believe that patients with the disease are just whining or suffering from psychological problems. This needs to change.

That was the message from the Institute of Medicine's recent report on the illness...

I hope, and believe, that this report will help some patients get diagnoses more quickly and accurately. But to get anywhere close to the care that patients so desperately need, no report is enough. It will require objective tests and effective treatments. For that, federal agencies will have to start making an investment in this disease that's proportional to the devastation it causes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

20-page SEID for Physicians Report

Since doctors won't read a 300-page report, here's the short version -

Full link:

New Name For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? The Community Weighs In

Not surprisingly, myalgic encephalomyelitis was preferred over CFS.
SEID, eh....