Friday, October 09, 2009

Health Update: Good News?

Yesterday Terri emailed me to tell me about a new link just announced between chronic fatigue syndrome and the XMRV retrovirus.

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.

So we are going to be closely watching this development. It's possibly very exciting. If you know anyone with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, direct them to the Science or Wall Street Journal articles. If you have trouble reading the WSJ article, the full text is available on this forum.

7 comments:

Tammie said...

this is exciting.

i havent read much about CFS either so i imagine that just having the info out there and more available is a step in the right direction.

Nymeth said...

Fingers crossed that this does turn out to be big!

Barefoot_Mommy said...

oh wow! That is really interesting! I will keep my fingers crossed for you guys too.

Kate said...

Hoorah... (cautiously optimistic...???!!!)

Anonymous said...

D'Arcy pointed me here. :) I've had Firbo for 20 years. I find this extremely interesting but like you said, I too am "cautiously optimistic and hopeful". I'm also seeing a Nartuopath who is already making a BIG difference (for the first time, ever!) so until there's a cure, that's something I would suggest for others. Thank you for the information.

Marcy

Daphne said...

Thanks, everyone!! It could be big news. I'll post periodic updates if anything develops...

Stefanie said...

I've been following this news. I hope they really are onto something!