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Chronic Fatigue
2 Replies
Fantod - May 31

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two new studies say a link between a virus and chronic fatigue syndrome probably was a false alarm, the latest possible culprit that could fall by the wayside.

In 2009, a group of researchers in Nevada and Maryland announced they'd found traces of a mouse-related virus named XMRV in the blood of a number of chronic fatigue patients. The headline-making discovery fueled hope that perhaps a cause had finally been found for the mysterious illness thought to afflict about 1 million Americans. The virus also was found in certain prostate tumors.

But doubt was growing among independent researchers as numerous other studies failed to find any connection between the purported infection and human illness.

Tuesday, the journal Science took the unusual step of declaring the XMRV link "seriously in question" — as it published research that concluded the earlier connection almost certainly was the result of laboratory contamination.

Sophisticated genetic tracing from the National Cancer Institute found the XMRV virus itself arose from the combination of two other mouse viruses during some experiments about a decade ago that involved growing human prostate tumors in the animals. The virus' genetic fingerprint so closely matches what was later found in samples taken from patients, that it's extremely unlikely the XMRV could have come from another source than contamination in laboratories, the researchers concluded.

In a separate study, yet another team of researchers tested blood from the same chronic fatigue patients used to make that first 2009 link with XMRV. This new testing, which avoided using lab products derived from mice, found no evidence XMRV, further supporting the lab-contamination explanation.

In fact, substances in human blood are able to kill the mouse-related virus, said lead researcher Dr. Jay Levy of the University of California, San Francisco.

The National Institutes of Health already had begun still other studies to settle the issue.

But Levy argued it's time to move on, saying there's evidence that chronic fatigue involves an immune disorder: "Let's use the money to find the real culprit."

Researchers at Nevada's Whittemore Peterson Institute, who first reported a possible XMRV link, didn't immediately comment Tuesday.

Various viruses have been linked to chronic fatigue over the years, only to be ruled out as potential culprits. Chronic fatigue is characterized by at least six months of severe fatigue, impaired memory and other symptoms, but there's no test for it — doctors rule out other possible causes — and no specific treatment.


kvc33 - May 31

I read a couple of months after this so-called link to XMRV was announced that it had been debunked. The problem with media today is that they report on one or two studies and make it sound like the results are reliable. Results have to be replicated in many studies with various populations in order to be proven. The problem with vaccines is that they are often grown on animal tissue and become infected with a virus that the animal was carrying. Often the virus isn't tested for because it isn't yet known. The HIV virus was transferred from monkeys to humans through the small pox vaccine as their kidneys were used to grow it. There was a big campaign to vaccinate Africans for smallpox in the 1960's and then AIDS appeared about twenty years later. It takes HIV about twenty years to go from HIV to full-blown AIDS. I don't even vaccinate my cat anymore. He is now allergic to grains and fleas and I believe it is because of the vaccines he had when he was younger. Anything that messes with a person's immune system is dangerous in my view, other people believe in the value of vaccines.


January - May 31

Fantod, thanks! Very interesting, I hadn't run up on this yet. I'm glad to hear it - I used to bring little mice home from the lab and keep them as pets! When I heard about this virus, I thought there was no way I missed it. But there are other viral theories out there too. It is all controversial; it takes a long time to get something really nailed down. Immune disorder could even tie in somehow in terms of susceptibility to infections - and it could be prion-related. Anyway, keeping a wide open mind… LOL - pun intended! (i.e., sometimes my mind feels like a wide open space!)

As kvc notes with the vaccines... They really were wonder drugs in the last century. I remember the fear of polio. Now we are starting to learn things we didn't know then, like the way an animal virus "jumps" into humans. There's always that unknown factor; we need to keep in mind that nothing is written in stone.

kvc, about the cat vaccines - years ago, I met a veterinarian who was struggling with a serious illness and would only deal with Asian healers - who were keeping him going. He said Western medicine was killing him (at the time I was feeling the same way). He was a changed man, and refused to give my dog vaccinations or flea meds. He used alternative methods. And he emphasized I should not feed my dog anything packaged, but should cook fresh meat, rice and veggies for her. Just support her immune system, he said.



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