Sunday, August 30, 2009

Inside the Labyrinth

It’s hard to imagine a general patient population that has suffered more horribly than the English
, given the remarkable sway of a handful of British psychiatrists, such as Simon Wessely, who dominate and even define the field there.

This cabal continues to propose ever more preposterous explanations for the emergence of this disease in England, their influence leading directly to the incarceration of patients in psych wards, the arrest of parents of patients, one might even claim the death of patients, and certainly all manner of abuse in the realm of treatments and therapy.

Their influence over the fate of the disease “M.E.” in the upcomming 2012 American-issued DSM, the equivalent of the Physician’s Desk Reference for psychiatrists, is a deadly serious matter. Suzy Chapman has been plugging away at this issue for some time now in her worthy series, “Elephant in the Room.” Chapman’s title says it all.

All this bad karma has gone in two directions. Just as CDC definitions have poisoned the discovery process abroad, the British shrinks have been warmly welcomed and courted by various personnel at the Centers for Disease Control ever since Simon Wessely wrote an overture letter to the agency in 1988 hailing the new name and definition. If CDC employees were confused and didn’t know what to think of this new outbreak in the 1980s, the British psychiatrists were happy to give them a leg up on the psychoneurotic theory of the disease that is today the agency’s bedrock position.

A reminder that I was deep in Wessely territory came in the form of news of an invitation refused. Organizers invited Sir Liam Donaldson, the United Kingdom’s chief medical officer, to attend this forum. Indeed, they wanted Sir Liam to hear what would be said on May 29th in the auditorium at One Birdcage Walk so badly that they gathered 2,500 signatures and added them to their invitation. And yet, Sir Liam sent his regrets.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


'But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.'

Carl Sagan, US astronomer & popularizer of astronomy (1934 - 1996)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Scientists falsify the findings of their research ...

(NaturalNews) One in seven scientists report that they have known colleagues to falsify or slant the findings of their research, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and published in the journal PLoS One.

A number of scientific data falsification scandals have emerged in recent years, such as the case of a South Korean researcher who invented data on stem cell research. At the same time, increasing controversy over close industry ties to medical research has called into question whether researchers who take money from drug companies might be induced to falsify
their data.

"Increasing evidence suggests that known frauds are just the tip of the iceberg and that many cases are never discovered," said researcher Daniele Fanelli.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Doing nothing is ...

Doing nothing is very hard to do ... you never know when you're finished.
BY: Leslie Nielsen
US (Canadian-born) comic movie actor (1926 - )

Monday, August 24, 2009

CPT ...

"Lloyds is pants" Password changed by a member of staff

BBC NEWS | UK England | Shropshire | A man who chose "Lloyds is pants" as his telephone banking password said he found it had been changed by a member of staff to "no it's not".

Steve Jetley, from Shrewsbury, said he chose the password after falling out with Lloyds TSB over insurance that came free with an account.

He said he was then banned from changing it back or to another password of "Barclays is better".

The bank apologised and said the staff member no longer worked there.

Mr Jetley said he first realised his security password had been changed when a call centre staff member told him his code word did not match with the one on the computer.

"I thought it was actually quite a funny response," he said. I tried 'Barclays is better' and that didn't go down too well either

"But what really incensed me was when I was told I could not change it back to 'Lloyds is pants' because they said it was not appropriate.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The message is simple ...

Imagine being tied in a sack and pushed into the most vicious rapids on the Colorado River while listening to rap music at full volume ...

I'd rather have cancer, says Alex Wilson-Glab

Teenager Alex Wilson-Glab has barely been out of bed in 10 years and dreams of a good night's sleep.

She is so chronically tired some days she can't sit up, can't eat or leave the house and lives nearly every day in her single bed in her small bedroom in Brunswick, Melbourne.

"I stay in bed. I can't study anymore and I can't even celebrate my birthday anymore," said Alex, 18.

"I haven't had a birthday since I was 13. After a shower I need to lie down for 45 minutes and for things like brushing my hair and doing my teeth I need to lie down again for 20 minutes."

Alex contracted glandular fever in grade 3 and has suffered the affects of chronic fatigue syndrome since.

"I really wish I had cancer because then they could give me some form of prognosis," she said.

"People would sympathise, people would care and people wouldn't tell you to shut up because they don't care about your disability.'

Alex has muscle pain, fevers, chills, nausea, severe fatigue and can barely walk from bed to the bathroom.

Friday, August 21, 2009

To exercise or not to exercise in chronic fatigue syndrome?

BY Professor Garry C Scroop,* Richard B Burnet†

* Visiting Associate Professor in Exercise Physiology, Department of Thoracic Medicine; † Endocrinologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA 5000

"To the Editor: A recent editorial1 and article2 continue to promulgate and link the unproven concepts that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are “deconditioned” and exercise is beneficial in treatment."

"In summary, patients with CFS are not “deconditioned”.

Neither their muscle strength nor their exercise capacity is different from that of other sedentary members of the community (> 70%).

We remain unaware of any incontrovertible evidence that the various “exercise training” programs suggested in previous articles improve either the physiological or clinical status of people with CFS."

CBT = doctrine and communal stupidity

Robertson Davies:
There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Zealand M.E. pioneer, the late Dr Peter Snow, remembered

The work of New Zealand M.E. pioneer, the late Dr Peter Snow, was remembered in a simple ceremony at Tapanui, West Otago, South Island, on Saturday, August 8.

About 100 people who had all known Dr Snow during the 37 years that he worked as Tapanui's only family doctor gathered at the inveiling of a memorial plaque.

Dr Snow, who later became president of the Royal New Zealand College of GPs, brought 'Tapanui Flu' – later re-diagosed as ME – to the attention of the medical world in 1984 when he wrote about an unusual outbreak of the disease in the sheep-farming area in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

He described how three years earlier he had noticed a number of patients presenting with extreme fatigue and an inability to continue in their jobs. All but three were under the age of 45. Most were young people and schoolchildren who did not regularly see a doctor. Snow observed that most had been ill for four to six weeks when they came to his clinic.

The plaque was erected next to what local reporter Glenn Conway with the Otago Daily Times described as "a large chunk of moonrock" – reflecting Peter Snow's interest in meteorites. A meteorite collision with the moon resulting in a meteorite shower over West Otago was recorded in 1766.

Dr Snow's three sons were all present on Saturday – one of them, Adrian, saying his father would have been "chuffed" to be at the event which was the culmination of years of consideration to work out how best to remember a man who gave so much to the area.

Peter Snow was president of his royal college 1998-99. Shortly before his death in February 2006, at the age of 71, the royal college granted him their "Distinguished Fellowship", their highest award

Monday, August 17, 2009

‘Untruths’ about NHS system of healthcare

"Sir, The quarter of a million sufferers of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) in this country, who can access no effective NHS treatment for their physical illness, might agree with Mr Hannan in that they would not wish their NHS “care” on anybody.

ME has been classified as a physical, neurological illness (alongside MS and Parkinson’s) by the World Health Organisation since 1969. Instead of receiving biomedical treatment, ME sufferers are mixed up with sufferers of other fatigue-causing conditions, including mental ones, under the meaningless umbrella term “chronic fatigue syndrome”. In the UK no other neurological illness is treated solely by psychological interventions.

All UK taxpayers’ research and treatment millions have gone to the psychiatric profession that insist, against all scientific evidence, that it is an “abnormal illness belief”. No funding has ever been allotted to developing a diagnostic test. The parliamentary Gibson report recommended that these psychiatrists be investigated for a possible conflict of interest in also working for large insurance companies. This has never been done. Is healthcare here also, in President Obama’s words, “working better for the insurance companies” than for ME sufferers?"

BY: H. Patten

Frome, Somerset

Moderate exercise increases expression for genes in CFS

ProHealth reports on the results of a study involving exercise, CFS and genes. The results were published in The Journal of Pain.

Moderate Exercise Increases Expression for Sensory, Adrenergic, and Immune Genes in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome [and CFS/FMS] Patients but Not in Normal Subjects – Source: The Journal of Pain, Jul 30, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

An astronaut with titanium hair follicles ...

"My old mate Tiff Needell, from commercial television, is perfectly capable of power-sliding a space shuttle but argues to this day that the most fun he’s ever had is in a Morris Minor, because it can be provoked into some tail-out action at about 2mph. So it goes with the Mazda. In short, you don’t need to be an astronaut with titanium hair follicles to get the best out of it."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Unite ...

They got their £40m – but what can they do with it?

An image from CCTV footage of two smartly-dressed armed robbers entering Graff Jewellers in London's West End
By Mark Hughes

As the two men stepped out of their black cab and buzzed to be let into Graff Diamonds' exclusive New Bond Street store, the staff inside could have had no idea what was about to happen.

The men, however, had everything planned. Dressed in smart suits, they were aware they had to look the part to get inside. Once through the two doors and the security guard, they had planned which items they were there for. And, crucially, they knew exactly what they were going to do with their haul.

This last detail will trouble the most the Metropolitan Police's Flying Squad attempting to piece together a jigsaw of information they hope will tell them more about the men who managed to pull off Britain's biggest jewel heist in a busy London street in broad daylight.

A haul of £40m worth of diamond-encrusted jewellery and watches cannot be inconspicuously sold on. The thieves must have had a market for their goods in mind. It is also, according to those in the know, unlikely that the gang would attempt to sell the goods in Britain, due to the amount of publicity the case has already garnered.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Treatment of a Positive H2S Test Result

Treatment of a Positive H2S Test Result
; Dr. Myhill Puts It All Together Simply and Suggests Things to Try:

"If one has the wrong bacteria in the upper gut, then H2S could be produced as a result of this fermentation process. So, improving gut function and restoring the normal gut flora will be centrally important to tackling gut fermentation producing hydrogen sulfide. The important issues that must be tackled are as follows:

Stoneage Diet - the evolutionarily correct diet which encourages growth of friendly bacteria;

Hypochlorhydria - acid is essential for sterilizing the stomach and upper gut;

Pancreatic function - essential for quick and efficient digestion of foods so they cannot be fermented downstream.

Gut dysbiosis - having the wrong bugs, possibly also in the wrong place;

Probiotics - essential to introduce the friendly bacteria to the gut. Kefir is an excellent cheap source of friendly bacteria.

However ......"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What are the next steps if I am positive?


"The test is a first step in the characterization of your condition.

Other more specific diagnostic tests can then be performed, that will lead to the definition of your treatment by a health care professional.

Because the test is not yet officially approved we cannot make any claim regarding its medical interpretation.

A health care practitioner (physician, dietician) will advise you on the next analysis that should be performed.

If your health care practitioner has questions regarding the possible treatments, he may contact "

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What to do if the ME test is positive?

Does anybody know what to do if the ME test is positive?

I have received quite a number of e-mails about this and I have not got a clue.

all I know is that I read somewhere that enteric coated are recommended but I don't know any specifics.

so Does anybody know what to do if the ME test is positive?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Author Hillary Johnson:

"We’re in a whole lot of trouble, people. I’m sorry, but it’s bad. There’s no easy way to break this and one shouldn’t even try because this requires real speak.

Appreciation and hats off to Craig Maupin’s excellent summary on July 30 (posted on Co-Cure) of an editorial in a journal called, “Future Neurology.” The five-page (including citations) editorial was penned by a former CDC-employee (Senior Scientist, 2001-2006), now employed in the psych dept. at Emory University. Her name is Christine Marcelle Heim; she reveres Sigmund Freud and she even has a breathy German accent to complement that veneration. You can write to her at

Thank you Mr. Maupin, once again, for putting it out there. You are not an army of one. You are not alone. You get it, and I suspect there are thousands of others who get it, too, people who are so discouraged and ill and lacking a voice they can only acknowledge the purport of Heim’s pretend-authority—and roll over in despair.

Christine Heim cut her teeth in the Centers for Disease Control and Promotion “CFS” program, the little propaganda mill run by Bill Reeves at the agency in Atlanta. She’s a graduate of that pogrom—I mean, program. If there was any doubt that she is a mouthpiece for the CDC’s attack strategy, the first sentence in her competing interests disclosure is, “The work discussed in this editorial was supported by the CDC (Atlanta, Ga., USA).”

She is a psychologist and a member since 1988 of the American Psychosomatic society. She put in her time with Wm. Reeves, thereby copping enough CDC swagger to allow her to make the short trip from 1600 Clifton Road to Emory and be awarded an associate professor title and tenure. Emory is lousy with CDC émigrés; the money’s better; it’s more prestigious. Just a quick turn to the right and a ten minute walk—and a demonstrated commitment to CDC pod-speak—will get you there. Heim carried the CDC mission statement into the department of psychiatry, whose shrinks and hangers-on, as the redoubtable Mary Schweitzer noted in her July 19 blog post, “Political Psychiatry vs. Medical Theories of Illness in ME and CFS," “…have received more CFS consulting contracts from CDC than any other single group of researchers.”

Allow me a big digression here: I would amend Schweitzer’s excellent observation to name two more beneficiaries of CDC largesse: let us never forget Abt Associates, the Haliburton of “chronic fatigue syndrome.” Abt has been clowning around purporting to collect “data” on CFS since 1988.

And let us also never forget the Bechtel of “CFS: the CFIDS Association of America, its director Kim McCleary, and its lobbyist, Tom Sheridan. The latter two don’t qualify as researchers, of course; they qualify as the principal enablers of Reeves and his strategies given that they a) coddled and protected Reeves from public disapprobation and possibly arrest for more than a decade and b) put their backs into the job of keeping the agency’s lies front and center in the media after accepting $4.5 million in a no-bid contract by the CDC to do so. Is it coincidence that the two websites Heim apparently feels worthy of listing at the end of her editorial for additional information about her child abuse+stress theory of “chronic fatigue syndrome” are the CAA and the Centers for Disease Control?

A final digression while I’m on this subject: Does it make your skin crawl, like it makes my skin crawl, to think of Kim McCleary speaking on behalf of people who are sick with this appalling disease to members of Congress? Or to the press? Or cutting deals with CDC on behalf of patients? Here’s an idea: Kim Must Go. Put that on a T-shirt or a coffee mug. She doesn’t get to explain. I don’t care what her explanation is. All Kim gets is the sound of the door slamming behind her.

I know—with so much betrayal going on--by our friends and families, by our government, by our medical establishment—it’s almost more than one can bear to acknowledge our betrayal by a very rich organization whose extremely well-compensated director has for twenty-two years claimed to represent patients but has instead represented the U. S. government in its pogrom against patients. For the moment, on this incredibly painful issue, let’s simply try to remember that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I know there will be no group hugs after such a desolate declaration of What I Really Think. But maybe it's time to take the idea under advisement. With CDC laying down its glove, time is running out.

Back to Heim: By my count, she is the third member from the CDC “cfs” shop to make that quick stroll over to Emory. Reeves was the first. James Jones—formerly a respectable clinician researcher in this field in the early 1980s, now a shadow of a man mouthing Reeves-like-like pod-speak—was the second. There may be more before this reign of terror ends.

Heim’s editorial is, as I read it, a formal-if-gently stated declaration of war on people who suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis. It is more a declaration of war even than the agency’s 2006 press conference, hosted by Kim McCleary, wherein Kim introduced, one by one, agency quacks with whom she’s had such cozy relations over the years and invited them to unveil their comprehensive “cfs” strategy. By then, after years of trial and error, the agency seemed to have finally settled upon a lie that they hoped would stick to the wall like well-cooked pasta: blame the pandemic on ill-defined genetic “predispositions” to being unable to handle stress, and the equally vague, scientifically unquantifiable “child abuse.”

In other words, cast the outbreak in such a way that all blame falls on people who have this “illness” (pod-speak doesn’t allow the word disease) or their abusive parents, link its origins to psychiatry and simultaneously assure the public that, although “real”—at least in the minds of those who suffer—and costly, “chronic fatigue syndrome” is the last thing they need to worry about. Obesity? Certainly. Swine Flu? For sure!

Heim’s editorial will receive greatly less publicity than the 2006 blow-out press conference. It’s highly unlikely that the Associated Press or the New York Times will feel obliged to describe it. In my view, its significance is hardly diminished, however. I read it as a comprehensive preview of the government’s strategic operating plan for the foreseeable future. It has the leaden feel of policy, of mission accomplished, and not in the ironic sense that the Bush administration’s premature announcement about its effort in Iraq came to represent. Read Heim’s treatise and weep.

Anyone who thought, for instance, that the request by that little committee in Washington for new “leadership” at CDC would somehow actually lead to new leadership—in the sense of a new day wherein upper-level agency staff actually ingest the massive accretion of scientific data about “cfs” and belatedly bear down on isolation of the pathogen causing this disease—may have to get a grip.

Heim’s piece is as much a roadmap as it is a clever piece of propaganda. She hews to the government lies on everything from excessive prevalence rates (2.5 percent) to excessive under-diagnosing—“less than 20 percent” and claims people are ill an “average duration” of 5-7 years. (If only!) Some of her sentences seemed ripped from the CDC website, the CAA website, or the agency’s 2006 press release. Like the agency pods who spawned her, she predictably employs that irritating phrase that’s part of the fake-compassion sentence that inevitably pops up whenever we are in pod-speak territory: “cfs” confers suffering and debilitation upon the (sic) “affected individuals.”

Do we hear this peculiar phrase, about how the disease imposes its burden of suffering on the (sic) “affected individuals,” when the topics are diseases like cancer, heart failure, COPD, AIDS or lupus? Isn’t that implied, as in, who else would the disease cause to feel debilitated? The cockatoo? The guy who reads the water meter? Call me a nit-picker, but the phrase seems to broadcast a message that one must feel sorry for “cfs” sufferers--even if (wink, wink) it’s all in their heads. Someone please furnish an example where this odd turn of phrase appears in discussions of other diseases and prove me wrong. I would be happy to concede this point.

And if you read Heim, that IS the message. Her arguments swing between the 1930s relic Hans Selye, who invented the concept of “stress," and the 19th century relic, Sigmund Freud, who invented the concept of female hysteria.

Heim points out that “some people” believe “cfs” is a “classic manifestation of Freud’s concept of hysteria…the unconscious simulation of organic disorders…” “Some people” being perhaps herself, the pods at CDC, and that charmer Peter Manu in Connecticut. She adds, helpfully, “Of note, Freud thought that hysteria is brought about by an infantile traumatic experience.” This is important to Heim, because the new, post-Osler’s CDC has become a towering monument to the childhood sex-abuse=CFS mantra. (When I started covering this story in 1986, the theory was just a gleam in their collective eye; they began by creating questionnaires, never actually administered, which focused quite intensely on bed-wetting histories.)

Heim conveniently avoids noting that Freud denied the reality of much of the sexual abuse adult women told him that they experienced in their childhoods. His grounds? He refused to believe sexual abuse of female children could be so widespread. Ergo, it was all in their heads.

Heim shows little interest in science that has come civilization’s way since Hans Seyle invented stress. Stuff like penicillin, artificial hearts, organ transplantation, stem cell research, MRI’s, CAT scans, anti-viral drugs, immunology. Heim so conveniently ignores developments in modern medicine, even her citations at the end of the paper were published years ago, and in the case of one, published by none other than Hans Seyle in 1949! A little writerly advice to Heim: I would not try to make my readers feel more confident about my argument by referencing a sixty-year-old paper.

Heim fails to cite a single study having to do with biological abnormalities in “cfs,” but there are papers on stress, childhood abuse, and even one about stress in baby rats and their mothers. Awesome. Her referenced authors include a few from the UK’s toxic shrink lobby, one from Canada’s denialist in chief—an old hack from way back named Irving Salit—and some authored by Heim and her colleagues at CDC.

Grasping the depraved agenda in Heim’s piece requires almost sentence by sentence deconstruction in order to demonstrate how much is being covered up rather than revealed.

Take this line, wherein she argues on behalf of the disease being a psychiatric problem because, “To date, more than 4,000 research studies have failed to identify a unanimous cause of CFS..” Her figure is actually fairly representative, if a tad understated, of the number of papers which have in fact demonstrated a multitude of grave biological abnormalities. She might have stated that these 4,000 papers all find serious abnormalities, but one can easily imagine how inconvenient to her argument such information would be. Indeed, not only would her career at Emory be in jeopardy, she would be committing an unforgivable act of disloyalty to staff at the Centers for Disease Control next door, who prepped her for her post at Emory. As we know, a critical piece of the agency’s marketing strategy is wrapped up in maintaining the lie that there are no biological abnormalities in “cfs.”

“High rates of psychiatric comorbidity have been reported for cases with CFS,” she lies in order to buttress the child abuse+stress=cfs explanation for the disease.

Check out this paragraph:

Psychological or behavioral factors contributing to the development or maintenance of CFS include inactivity, avoidance behavior, anxiety sensitivity and stress…Behavioral interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral and graded exercise, are among the most effective treatments for CFS, perhaps providing the strongest support for the importance of psychological factors in CFS.”

I won’t drag you through Heim’s piece paragraph by paragraph, but will quote a choice line from her concluding paragraph, in which she exalts “modern developmental neuroscience” as the “key to CFS.”

“ …Insights from this line of research may help to overcome the prevailing rejection of the idea that psychological factors may play a role in CFS…Perhaps patients and advocacy groups fear to be labeled with the stigma of ‘simulating’ symptoms, as initially suggested by Freud…”

You bet, Chris! Fear doesn’t even cover it. Chris, can you say, “Cover up?”

Lastly, I would add that we are unfortunate to be suffering from an appallingly severe infectious disease during a period when the entire nation, indeed, Western culture, has come under the spell of a kind of neo-Christian Science. Should we blame Bernie Siegle and his wildly popular books in the 1980s about curing cancer with optimism? Do we look to the pompous Depak Chopra, or the quackish Dr. Weill, who have popularized the notion that vibrant health is within anyone's control if they think the right thoughts and eat the right food?

In this era of unconscionable scientific behavior on the part of our own government, it seems nearly every malady but cancer and HIV disease, the only two that appear to be unassailable, can be blamed on personality failings--or simply personality--but none more so than the grotesquely named "chronic fatigue syndrome." Indeed, it is the premier model for this distorted thinking; it's not only driving the movement, it's become the primary focus of the movement.

The CDC has had 26 years to bury reality under a barrage of propaganda. A generation has passed, a period during which collective memory of what actually occurred has dimmed. At the beginning of the 1980s the number of "cfs" cases was so small the disease went unmentioned in the medical literature. By the late 1980s, the emergence of "cfs" was an intensely debated and reported phenomenon due to the astonishing numbers of people affected. An entirely new generation of people diagnosed with "CFS" in recent years may not even appreciate the degree to which they've been maligned and victimized. They may not even understand that if the CDC had done it's due dilligence twenty-five years ago, there is a reasonable possiblity their lives would NOT have been ruined by so-called "cfs" at all, because preventative measures would have been initiated long ago.

What is fearful to me is not anything Heim has to say--because it's nonsense. I fear that the agency will increasingly be able to get away with this propaganda because the collective memory will begin to forget, if it hasn't already, how this all began.

My citation (and inspiration):
Craig Maupin's post to Co-Cure, July 30, 2009

"The following is a summary and a link to a recent editorial from one of the principal voices of the CDC's Emory collaboration. (Future Neurology July 2009, Vol. 4, No. 4). Dr. Christine Heim is a psychiatrist and expert in stress/anxiety disorders. She was brought onboard the CDC's
efforts at Emory around 2002. The CDC has promised CFS advocates that they would do more to use their position to educate researchers, clinicians, and the public on CFS.

In her editorial, Dr. Heim explains the CDC program and the CDC's conceptualization of CFS. Some of her main points revolve around a staple of introductory-level psychiatry texts, how past experiences affect the brain and neuroendocrine system.

"It must be demonstrated that early adverse experience is a risk factor for CFS and: second, that this risk factor is associated with the cardinal biological features of CFS." She encourages readers to conceptualize CFS as a plastic encephalopathy -- "the causes of CFS are most likely to be found at the brain level". Stress/trauma leads to brain deregulation, which leads to low levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This biological model is the same seen in post-traumatic stress disorders and, to some extent, anxiety disorders.

Heim also covers the demographics of the CDC's CFS researchsubjects:

"First and foremost, the condition is very common with up to 2.5 percent of the population suffering from CFS in the USA. CFS affects four-times more women than men, and most cases are middle aged individuals. The average duration of CFS is cases identified form the population is 5-7 years."

According to Heim, an abusive and neglectful childhood environment has been the best predictor of who will suffer from CFS. She bases this claim on the research subjects who have been enrolled in CDC studies:
"Emotional neglect and sexual abuse were the best predictors of CFS.... Childhood trauma was further associated with CFS symptom severity and with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) symptoms".

She talks about what she feels is the importance of research into subgroups of CFS. However, she is clear that future "subgroups" will lead to the "same clinical picture".

In her final conclusion, Heim cites Freud and contends that neuroscience will build a bridge of understanding and cooperation between psychiatry and CFS patient groups who, she believes, have an irrational fear of non-biological approaches to CFS research/treatment:

"In conclusion, adopting a developmental neuroscience perspective has significant potential to advance our understanding of CFS. Insights from this line of research may help overcome the prevailing rejection of the idea that psychological factors may play a role in CFS, at least for a proportion of cases. Perhaps patients and advocacy groups fear to be labeled with the
stigma of 'simulating' symptoms, as initially suggested by Freud.

However, modern neuroscience clearly demonstrates that experience shapes biology (and vice versa), and, in this way, can create 'real' organic symptoms.""

Author Hillary Johnson:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Running scared of exercise ...

By Dr James Le Fanu:

"Even though it now appears French president Nicolas Sarkozy only suffered a “vasovagal episode” when out running last week, his collapse is a salutary reminder to middle-age joggers that exercise is not necessarily good for one’s health. The exact risk is difficult to quantify, but a study in the New England Journal of Medicine a decade ago estimated (surprisingly) that perhaps as many as 40,000 deaths a year in the United States might be associated with vigorous exertion.

For this reason, the no-longer-young are advised to go running in twos so, if either keels over with a coronary, the second is on hand to raise the alarm and start resuscitation.

And to its credit, jogging has the richest repertoire of exotic ailments of any form of exercise. These include jogger’s nipple pain and inflammation from friction against the shirt in women who fail to apply a precautionary layer of petroleum jelly; jogger’s penile frostbite from venturing out insufficiently clad in sub-zero temperatures; and jogger’s infertility – the suppression of ovulation in women who run more than 20 miles a week.

Joggers are also prone to attacks from birds of prey, dogs and malicious onlookers: in one survey almost 10 per cent reported having been hit by a thrown object such as cans, bottles, ice and even a rock-filled bag.


It was perhaps surprising to read in this paper last week that surgeon Sarah Stapley and her colleagues at the Camp Bastion Military Hospital in Afghanistan treat members of the Taliban alongside seriously injured British soldiers. There is, however, an interesting, and military significant, precedent for this practice of treating enemy combatants, which was set during the counter-insurgency campaign against Communist guerrillas in Malaya in the Fifties.

Army medic Duncan Campbell, writing in the British Medical Journal, recalls one occasion where five wounded, “uncommunicative and resentful” Communists were admitted to the Military Hospital. He was thus rather taken aback when doing a ward round the following day to find them all engrossed in a game of pontoon with a group of wounded British soldiers.

Once recovered they were reluctant to be discharged, claiming that they would only be rearmed and ordered to fight again which “after all our kindness they did not want to do”.

There followed a progressive decline in hostilities that Dr Campbell believed was directly related to their turning “the enemy wounded into grateful patients”."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gastroparesis – can you help?

"One of our severely affected members, who has severe gastroparesis, has been advised to have a feeding tube (jejunostomy) inserted. She would like to hear from anyone else in a similar position. Please make contact via ME Connect ( This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it ) and we will forward your message."

'Teenager took his life after suffering years of ill health'

From the Eastbourne Herald, 31 July 2009

A TEENAGER took his own life after struggling to come to terms with having ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).

Guy Ramsey was diagnosed with the condition when he was 12 and as a result had to take time off school and was often in pain. ME/CFS is a condition that causes marked long-term fatigue, pain and other symptoms.

An inquest into the 18-year-old's death at Eastbourne Magiatrates Court heard that he had previously taken an overdose and ws desperate to get better.

His body was found at the foot of cliffs at Beachy Head after two visitors to the area saw the art and design student jump from the cliff edge in February this year.

A statement read out on behalf of Guy's mother, Alison Ramsey, who attended the inquest, explained that he would often become withdrawn and irritable.

The inquest heard that Guy, who lived at Chedworth House, Avon Buildings, in Boscombe, Dorset, took an overdose in July 2007 and was taken to hospital.

The casualty doctor said he would look into arranging an out-patient appointment. Guy's condition improved during that summer and he started at college in September that year.

But his mother said the following summer he began to deteriorate physically and mentally after suffering problems with his eyesight.

The statement added that Guy, who was interested in computer animation, tried a number of treatment such as acupuncture and a natural light box to help his condition.

Monday, August 3, 2009

CBT Explained part ..

Some say that our beloved professor thrives on vested interests, others say that you should leave neurological illnesses to neurologists, all we know is that a mouse is a mouse.


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