Monday, August 23, 2010

Chronic Fatigue Findings

Instead of blogging on my case study, I offer this. I found it very interesting. Especially the end comment that this virus was also found in prostate cancer patients.

Makes one think...

Monday August 23, 2010

Chronic Fatigue Linked to Mouse Virus in U.S. Government StudyAugust 23, 2010, 3:13 PM EDT

By Michelle Fay Cortez
Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Almost 90 percent of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome showed signs of infection with a novel mouse virus in a U.S. government study, raising fresh questions about the cause and treatment of the debilitating condition.
Researchers from the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and Harvard Medical School found the virus in blood samples taken from 32 of 37 patients with the syndrome, bolstering a finding with a related virus last year. The new infectious agent was also found in three of 44 samples from healthy blood donors, according to the study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It was the first time the mouse virus has been found in people or in the blood supply, deepening the mystery surrounding CFS, a condition that affects more than 1 million Americans, mainly women ages 30 to 50. A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had said there was no sign of the virus in a similar study earlier this year. Those results were confirmed by the current FDA researchers, who analyzed some the CDC’s samples using their own laboratory methods.
“The study doesn’t prove these viruses are the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome,” said Celia Witten, director of the FDA’s Office of Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies, who oversees the lab where the research was conducted. “More research is needed.”
Testing Drugs
Antiviral drugs, including Merck & Co.’s Isentress and Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Viread, should be used to treat the patients to see if it gives them any respite, French and Canadian researchers wrote in an editorial accompanying the study.
While there isn’t sufficient proof that the mouse viruses cause chronic fatigue syndrome, a study showing whether antiviral drugs are an effective treatment could help confirm the hypothesis, said the doctors led by Valerie Courgnaud, from the University of Montpellier in France.
There is no evidence that the viruses are transmitted by blood transfusions or that they lead to any type of human disease or illness, Witten said in a telephone interview.
There are no specific tools to pinpoint chronic fatigue syndrome, which is typically diagnosed after patients experience extreme fatigue for at least six months. The condition is marked by a relapse of symptoms after mental or physical exertion, sleep that doesn’t refresh, and joint and muscle pain.
The link between chronic fatigue and the retroviruses was identified previously by a team led by Vincent Lombardi of the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease, in Reno, Nevada, and published in October in the journal Science. The researchers analyzed the genes in tissue samples collected from 101 patients with chronic fatigue, and in 68 the scientists found evidence of a related virus known as XMRV. The virus was also identified in some prostate-cancer patients.
--Editors: Donna Alvarado, Jeffrey Tannenbaum
To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Fay Cortez in Minneapolis at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at

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