Friday, December 23, 2011

Irish doctor opens new chronic fatigue syndrome clinic in NYC

Irish doctor opens new chronic fatigue syndrome clinic in NYC
Clinic opens after $1 million donation from Doctor Enlander's patients

By MOLLY MULDOON, IrishCentral Staff Writer
Published Friday, December 23, 2011, 8:13 AMUpdated Friday, December
23, 2011, 8:13 AM

An Irish doctor has launched a specialized research clinic in New York
for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) at the Mt. Sinai Hospital in

"I believe that an independent organization such as ours, which is not
funded by the government or answerable to the government, can be the
leader in new research," said Dr. Enlander.

The Mt. Sinai research team includes a geneticist, an immunologist and
a virologist. The center was established as a result of a $1 million
private donation from one of Dr Enlander's patients.

"I am very proud of it, we have got terrific people on board," Dr
Enlander told the Irish Voice.

"This is a very important center, it is the only ME/CFS center
attached to a major medical school," he added.

Dr Enlander has been a long-time advocate of the debilitating illness,
which he says many doctors misdiagnose.

"This is not a psychological disease," he notes, adding, "It's a
physical disease".

Born in Belfast, Enlander entered medical school at the age of 17.

"I wanted to be a doctor since I was five years old," he recalls.

He originally came to the U.S. in the sixties when he was offered a
fellowship to study at Stanford University Medical School.

"They gave me a faculty position in New York after Stanford," he said.

A faculty member of Mount Sinai Medical School, Dr Enlander is an
attending physician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

According to the Enlander's diagnosis, ME/CFS (myalgic
encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome), is a debilitating and
complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not
improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental

Symptoms include fatigue, loss of memory or concentration, unexplained
muscle pain, and extreme exhaustion. It is most prevalent among women
in their 40s and 50s.

The doctor's interest in the condition began while on vacation in
Ireland almost two decades ago when an old school friend was suffering
from CFS.

"He told me he felt terrible and it and it spurred my interest," he recalls.

Two decades later, the Irish doctor has established himself as leading
profession in the illness, having conducted extensive research.

Up to 75 percent of Dr Enlander's patients are female between the ages of 18-52.

"This is not just ordinary tiredness, this is a debilitative disease," he noted.

With patients travelling from England, Ireland, Peru, France,
Bulgaria, and Romania, there is a great demand for his specialty.

"Patients have travelled from all over the world to see us," he noted.

The definite cause of CFS has not yet been identified, but the New
York based doctor's research has led him to believe that the disorder
is connected to the immune system.

"We believe that CGS is an immune system dysfunction," said Enlander,

"People used to think patients were imagining that they were sick as
all their blood tests were normal, doctors didn't pay as much
attention," he notes.

"The longer they have had it, the longer it takes to recover," he said.

The Belfast born doctor offers various treatment plans for the
illness. The Manhattan research facility is working with Hemispherx
Biopharma, a biopharmaceutical company, based in Philadelphia, to
examine the potential of the drug Ampligen, as a treatment for CFS.

Worldwide, 17 million people suffer from the syndrome, including at
least one million Americans, according to the New York Times.

For more information log onto

Read more:

No comments: