Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Eleni-fest: more on CFS

This week is my focus on CFS. Why as part of Eleni-fest? Well CFS was the reason I was eligible for my grant and because of it, I haven't been able to work for the last few years, hence the reason for needing a grant.

But I am glad to have focused on the subject. Thank you for everyone to responding and telling me their own personal stories in the comments.

And this seems to have been a good week to talk CFS because there has been a new study that possibly links a virus to it. The key word here is possibly.

Here are the links to a few articles:

Retrovirus implicated in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia - About.com

Virus is found in many with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - New York Times

Is a Virus the Cause of Fatigue Syndrome?  - New York Times

(Thanks Anna, Neely and Vanessa for the links)

I think for me even though it's a possibility, the more important thing is that research continues to be done and that exposure in the NYT is a good thing. Changing attitudes hopefully - 'The NYT says there's CFS - oh, there must be CFS'. 

I emailed my doctor about this and he wrote back with the following (which he has given me permission to place here. Thanks Dr G):

  "The better forms of evidence suggest that there are subgroups of CFS with different interplays of genetic vulnerabilities and effects from infections, changed gut flora, cytokine activations and brain changes.

The difficulty with viral isolations is the likelihood that most creatures contain virus materials and always have. It is harder to tell when studies like this are published whether other factors have also been covered.

When we look at the difficulty in dealing with retroviruses, we are faced with viruses which have reverse transcriptases which insert the viral gene pieces into our DNA sequences. As well the retroviruses seem to change their immunological faces such that adequate immune responses and anti viral therapies are thwarted!
Certainly we will watch this kind of research.

You will know that with the best of intentions, human beings do not carry out known strategies for reversing common diseases."
 That is while I do my own reading here and there, I know my doctor is keeping up with the latest and let's me know.  So while this new research may be important, and we can keep an eye out for it, more research is needed as the researchers of this study indicate in the articles.

Hopefully though the mystery of CFS will be unravelled soon.

Be well.

Also let me know what you think of the Fatiguedom Blog if you get the chance...either comments here or on Fatiguedom or email me at eleni@elenikonstantine.com. Thanks.


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