The journal Science published this very interesting article detailing the recent discovery that 67% of people who have severe chronic fatigue syndrome have this virus, as compared to 4% of the general population.
That's not saying that this is for sure the cause, or what role it has to play, but the fact that Science, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, etc., are all reporting on this discovery, means it is pretty big news. I never see articles about CFS anywhere, so it's pretty cool to suddenly see all this information out there. The Wall Street Journal article is particularly interesting and informative.
Researchers are already investigating whether current anti-retrovirus medications could be used, and comparing this to the discovery of the HIV virus and subsequent HIV/AIDS-suppressing drugs. XMRV is a retrovirus like HIV, which means that it knits itself into the DNA of a person -- so you have this virus forever. However, the huge amount of research and progress done with AIDS could be a big help in figuring out how to develop similar virus-suppressing drugs, if this virus is proven to be a major part in chronic fatigue syndrome.
I am cautiously optimistic and hopeful -- I'll get really excited if they show that medications aimed at the retrovirus get good results. Terri is going to be contacting her doctors with this article to see what they think, and if we can try anything immediately. She has classic chronic fatigue syndrome, which appears to be viral-induced. So I would think that she's a good candidate for treatment. I am wondering if she can apply for clinical trials, etc.