Chronic fatigue syndrome dating
(The panel voted 8-5 against it, citing insufficient safety and efficacy data.) In recent months, her blog has doggedly tracked the creation of a new, federally commissioned panel charged with reviewing and updating the diagnostic criteria for the disease. 27, Burmeister plans to tell the members of the panel why she thinks their project stinks.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced in September that it had requested the Institute of Medicine, an independent, highly regarded affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences, to conduct the study. Few would claim that describing an illness with enough accuracy for clinicians to recognize it and treat it effectively is simple.
"I went to work for two hours one day, hit a wall, and couldn't go back the next day," Burmeister, now 42, said in a recent telephone conversation. As with many people who have the illness, a battery of tests found that Burmeister had abnormally high levels of antibodies to a variety of common viruses, including Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6, parvovirus, and coxsackievirus.
The scientists also controlled for factors known to affect the immune system, including the time of day, season and geographic location where the samples were taken, as well as age, sex and ethnicity/race. Ian Lipkin, MD, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, and colleagues reported the results of a multicenter study that definitively ruled out two viruses thought to be implicated in ME/CFS: XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus [MLV]-related virus) and murine retrovirus-like sequences (designated p MLV: polytropic MLV). Hornig and Lipkin expect to report the results of a second study of cerebrospinal fluid from ME/CFS patients.
In separate ongoing studies, they are looking for "molecular footprints" of the specific agents behind the disease -- be they viral, bacterial, or fungal -- as well as the longitudinal look at how plasma cytokine patterns change within ME/CFS patients and controls across a one-year period, as noted above.
Researchers have identified distinct immune changes in patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, known medically as myalgic encephalomyelitis or systemic exertion intolerance disease.
The findings could help improve diagnosis and identify treatment options for the disabling disorder, in which symptoms range from extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating to headaches and muscle pain.