Exciting new study results cause a big buzz
There’s a buzz in the world of “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” — formally known as “ME.” The buzz is about the publication of an important NIH/FDA study that found MLV gag sequences (bits of virus to you and me) in CFS sufferers.
This is mega important because it confirms an earlier study that found the retrovirus XMRV in CFS patients.
XMRV and MLV are related retroviruses that originated in mice and have crossed over to humans.
There are only 3 known human retroviruses — one of the others is HIV that causes AIDS. HIV crossed over to humans from monkeys…
The much underfunded world of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will now get a huge boost as the potential for a drug intervention becomes a real possibility and different organizations and companies see the potential for a piece of the pie…
What does it all mean?
For the sufferer, this doesn’t affect much in terms of treatment yet BUT this adds even more evidence that yes, CFS is a real physical disease with real physical causes. CFS patients always maintained this, it’s the medics that needed convincing in the past. Just getting rid of stigma will be a huge relief. It’s bad enough to live with an illness that takes away all your energy, puts you in an endless mental fog and feels like you’ve got acid for blood, without people telling you you’re imagining it :-)
Anyway, it might even be possible finally to have a BIOMARKER for CFS… a clear test that indicates CFS or not. This remains to be seen though as it’s likely CFS is caused by a number of interacting factors — viruses being one. We’ll see.
So what does it all mean?… we don’t know yet. At the moment, CFS sufferers can take heart that finally, a big breakthrough and probably lots more funding. More evidence for a real physical illness and a possible biomarker and treatment in the future.
AND if all this pans out… the silly label of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will finally be dropped in favor of something that reflects the gravity of this life destroying and very serious illness.
Fascinating things about XMRV
I was amazed to find out that XMRV is switched on by hormones. A retrovirus is a string of RNA code which somehow, via mysterious (to me) biological processes, turns into DNA and embeds in human cells. Anyway, the virus DNA is switched on i.e. “does its thing” by hormones, and one of those hormones is CORTISOL, the STRESS hormone.
This makes a whole lot of sense to me. Before CFS, I had a very calm nerve and after — I quickly learned to avoid stress like the plague!
This would also explain why CFS is more prevelant in women because some uniquely or more abundantly feminine hormones also switch on the virus.
It all seems to fit. We shall see. If you’re suffering from this very serious disease, please check out my article on How to overcome CFS/ME.