Scientists discover chronic fatigue breakthrough

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Joined: Nov 4th, 2008, 12:46 pm

Scientists discover chronic fatigue breakthrough

Post by Geode »

For the longest time, Chronic fatigue syndrome has been an enigma to medical science, with doctors telling their patients that their symptoms are psychological. Late last year, a virus known as XMRV or Xenotrophic Murine Retrovirus (Murine meaning mouse) was isolated in 68 out of 101 CFIDS sufferers. Follow-up studies by other labs to confirm the findings had even more startling results - 98.9% of people with chronic fatigue had positive antibody titers to the virus, meaning that it is almost universally present in afflicted individuals. The virus is a retrovirus like the virus that causes AIDS, and studies are underway to see if reverse-transcriptase inhibitors are effective against the virus. Protease inhibitors have nil effect on the virus, as this virus has a different protease. A yet unpublished study has shown the virus to be universally present in persons with Gulf war syndrome, persons with fibromyalgia, and in cases where lyme disease is suspected but no trace of the bacteria is present. It is also of note that a strain or subtype of the virus has been linked to prostrate cancer.

The reservoir of the virus is known to be present in mice, rats, rabbits, and other rodents. The virus does not spread through airborne means, but rather through body fluids. It is hypothesized that zoonotic (animal to human) transmission of the disease occurs through an insect vector such as mosquitoes, sandflies, or other blood sucking insects. Carnivores lack the particular cell receptor for the virus to attach itself, meaning that it cannot infect your dog or cat, and you cannot get it from your dog or cat. It is not known how human to human occurs, though there have been two published accounts of persons developing chronic fatigue after receiving a blood transfusion.

For persons with this disorder, it is good news in that it offers hope for an effective treatment. Some of the newer reverse-transcriptase inhibitors produce little or no side effects, as compared to protease inhibitors which have a myriad of health damaging effects, which would make them unsuitable for treating a disorder as such. I am sure that big pharma is going to go all guns blazing on this one, as CFIDS and Fibromyalgia are by no means rare diseases. Maybe in the not too distant future, we'll see new fusion inhibitors, and monoclonal antibody therapies targeted at this virus, and hopefully a vaccine that is safe for the general public, although one has to look at how elusive an AIDS vaccine has been.
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Joined: Nov 13th, 2007, 4:52 pm

Re: Scientists discover chronic fatigue breakthrough

Post by SheilaO »

Doctor Oz spoke on this virus today - quite startling!
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Steve from Canada
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Joined: Mar 9th, 2010, 3:42 am

Re: Scientists discover chronic fatigue breakthrough

Post by Steve from Canada »

This topic peaked my interest so I took a gander on the ol' google about the subject, and according to a number of sites including wikipedia,, and the CFIDS notes on facebook, there have been negative results in 2 or more follow up studies on the link between XRMV and CFIDS.

Whether or not the link exists, I must confess I love science and respect the work these people are doing.

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