August 26, 2010 · 2:28 pm
So many years on and we still do not have the cause of ME (myalgic encephalitis), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) but as the research continues we may be getting a step closer. Recent findings have found a “strong link” with a retrovirus called XMRV.
Studies on 2009 found evidence of the xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) in about two-thirds of the people with CFS and less than 4% of people without the disease. However, these findings alone do not prove that the virus causes CFS, because they do not show whether the infection occurred before or after CFS developed. The research paper is cautious in its conclusions, saying that XMRV “may” be a contributing factor to CFS, but the opposite may also be true: CFS may make people more susceptible to infection with this virus. The research lead by Dr Vincent Lombardi and entitled “Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” published in the journal Science can be viewed here.
The research found that blood from 67% of people with CFS contained XMRV DNA compared with 3.7% of controls, overall samples from people with CFS were 54 times as likely to contain viral sequences as samples from healthy controls. This lead the researchers to conclude that XMRV may be a contributing factor in the development of CFS. They suggest that infection with the XMRV virus could be responsible for some of the abnormal immune response and neurological problems seen in CFS.
In a recent developement, a follow on study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNSA) showed that evidence of XMRV virus (and related viruses called “MLV”) was present in 86.5% of CFS patients vs. less than 7% of healthy controls. This is a dramatic difference and corroborates the previous findings. For details of the study click here.
To view more discussions relating to these new findings visit Dr Jacob Teitelbaum web site, click here. He has been following these developements with interest and has a wealth of resources on the subject. Click here.
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