Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and its attenuation by olive extract

Possible role of oxidative stress and immunological activation in mouse model of chronic fatigue syndrome and its attenuation by olive extract.
By Gupta A, Vij G, Chopra K.

Pharmacology Division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UGC Center of Advanced Study, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160014, India.

Various putative theories involved in the development of chronic fatigue syndrome revolve around the role of stress, infection and oxidative stress. Scientific evidence highlighting the protective role of nutritional supplements in chronic fatigue syndrome is lacking.

Based on these assumptions, the present study was designed to evaluate the effect of olive extract in a mouse model of immunologically-induced fatigue, wherein purified lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Brucella abortus (BA) antigen were used as immunogens.

The assessment of chronic fatigue syndrome was based on immobility period during chronic water-immersion stress test for 10min daily. The stress-induced hyperalgesia was measured by tail withdrawal latency. Mice challenged with LPS or BA for 19days showed significant increase in the immobility time, hyperalgesia and oxidative stress on the 19th day. Serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels were also markedly increased with LPS or BA challenge.

Concurrent treatment with olive extract resulted in a significant decrease in the immobility time as well as hyperalgesia. There was significant attenuation of oxidative stress as well as serum TNF-alpha levels.

The results of the present study strongly indicate the role of oxidative stress and immunological activation in the pathophysiology of chronic fatigue syndrome and highlight the valuable role of olive extract in combating chronic fatigue syndrome."

XMRV: government branches battle it out


"Two groups of researchers studying a potential link between chronic-fatigue syndrome and a virus called XMRV have reached contradictory conclusions, according to people familiar with the findings.

One group found a link, and the other didn't.

Their reports were held from publication after being accepted by two science journals—a rare move that has caused a stir among scientists in the field."

""My understanding was HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] wanted to get it straightened out. Both reports are from different branches of the government," Dr. Jeang said.

In an email between scientists familiar with the situation, viewed by the Wall Street Journal, a researcher said the two teams were asked to put their papers on hold because senior public-health officials wanted to see consensus—or at least an explanation of how and why the papers reached different conclusions, said the people familiar with the situation."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What About ME?

By Double D Productions: "We would like you to know about our up coming film about ME/CFS titled, WHAT ABOUT ME?

For full info of the film please visit our official website

Double D promotes the facts!
Double D Productions
57 Poland St
London W1F 7NW"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

FDA and NIH confirm 'XMRV findings'

By Professor Vincent Racaniello, a virology Professor who unravels viruses at "A press release from the Netherlands indicates that the FDA and NIH have independently confirmed the association of XMRV with chronic fatigue syndrome as published last fall in Science.

Apparently two journalists for the Dutch magazine ORTHO obtained a copy of a lecture by Dr. Harvey Alter in Zagreb which confirms these findings. According to

The ORTHO journalists were able to obtain a pdf document of the lecture given by Harvey Alter at the IPFA/PEI 17th Workshop on ‘Surveillance and screening of Blood Borne Pathogens’ in Zagreb. The International Plasma Fractionation Association (IPFA) represents the not-for-profit organizations around the world involved in plasma fractionation. The IPFA is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The highly-experienced Dr. Harvey Alter is Clinical Studies Chief at the Infectious Diseases and Immunogenetics Section of the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda. “The data in the Lombardi, et al Science manuscript are extremely strong and likely true, despite the controversy”, was one comment on the XMRV findings reported by Alter in Zagreb."

Last picture is from Dr Alter's presentation, page 10.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Professor Wessely and horses and zebras ...

BY Michael Maes and Frank Twisk:
"We are pleased that BMC has published our critique on the (bio)psychosocial model for ME/CFS put forward by Harvey and Wessely in an article in BMC last year.

Chronic fatigue syndrome:
identifying zebras amongst the horses.
Harvey SB, Wessely S. BMC Medicine 2009, 7:58. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-7-58.

In our commentary
Chronic fatigue syndrome:
Harvey and Wessely's (bio)psychosocial model versus a bio(psychosocial) model based on inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress pathways.
Michael Maes N, Twisk FNM.
BMC Medicine 2010, 8:35. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-35. )

we substantiate why the Harvey and Wessely model for ME/CFS ('unexplained fatigue') ( is incoherent and invalid, and why the label biopsychosocial model is inappropriate."

Monday, June 14, 2010

BMJ Learning and the lying medical profession

"Dear Colleague,

A 25 year old man feels tired all the time. Physical examination is normal as are a range of blood tests. You suspect chronic fatigue syndrome. What should you say to him? And what should you do? This new audio module features Dr Esther Crawley and Professor Simon Wessely and covers the diagnosis and management of this important condition. Click on the link to complete it today.

BMJ Learning: Chronic fatigue syndrome: an update for primary care"

Has this man got ME, which Dr Esther Crawley and Professor Simon Wessely say is the wrong name for CFS?

No of course NOT, but the millions of pounds and dollars for silly CBT and denial psychiatry need to continue to flow towards the Pinocchio doctors of this world to the detriment of ME patients.

But who cares? Not Dr Esther Crawley or Professor Simon Wessely as we all know too well.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dr Martin Scurr: I was wrong, ME is real

Dr Martin Scurr: "I admit it, I was wrong. For many years, I - like many of my medical colleagues - have blamed ME on psychological or behavioural causes.

Then, last month, I attended the 5th World Conference on ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome).


At the conference, a number of plausible ideas were advanced for the condition, including one from Professor Brigitte Huber, an immunologist from Boston. She explained that 8 per cent of all the DNANA in our bodies is basically a form of infection - it's become incorporated into the genetic code of our cells.

This infection 'gene' gets switched on whenever you catch a common viral illness - such as glandular fever or herpes simplex (the type that gives you cold sores). T his triggers the immune system to pour out vast quantities of chemicals which cause widespread effects such as muscle pain and exhaustion.

In most patients, this reaction stops after a week or two as they recover - the immune system puts the infection gene back to bed.

But in a small number of people this doesn't happen, so the immune cells continue to be activated, causing grief, and the illness becomes ME/CFS.

Knowing why this happens still needs to be explored. But it is an exciting time and some solace to those who have this awful illness and have never been believed. "

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Detecting XMRV antibodies

VIP Dx received confirmation from representatives of the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) that a multiplex serological assay to detect XMRV antibodies should be available for use within the next 30 days.

“This serological test will allow our lab to quickly and accurately determine which individuals are positive for XMRV,” explained Marguerite Ross, director of marketing and client relations for VIP Dx. “Discovering who is positive is an important first step in helping to determine how XMRV is impacting human health.”

VIP Dx has also recently entered into an agreement to be acquired by the Whittemore Peterson Institute, and become an integral part of the Institute. The clinical laboratory will continue to operate under the name VIP Dx, until it moves to the University of Nevada's Center for Molecular Medicine in August 2010.

At that time, the lab will operate within the Institute under the name Unevx, providing services and revenue to the Institute in a manner similar to other institutional clinical reference laboratories.

"Our agreement to acquire VIP Dx is the culmination of years of planning and sacrifice,” said Annette Whittemore, president and founder of the Whittemore Peterson Institute. "It has always been our intent to offer a wide range of patient services, including diagnostic testing, within WPI’s new facility at the University of Nevada, Reno. The addition of comprehensive clinical laboratory services will significantly strengthen the translational clinical research program providing much needed answers to patients and their doctors."

Finally, in response to thousands of requests for testing, WP Biotechnologies (WPBio), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Whittemore Peterson Institute, finalized a non-exclusive license agreement with R.E.D. Laboratories N.V. of Belgium (R.E.D. Labs) to provide XMRV testing of European patients.

As part of this agreement, R.E.D. Labs will receive consulting services delivered by VIP Dx to ensure the Belgium laboratory delivers the proprietary tests with the utmost accuracy. “This activity will help implement the delivery and execution of XMRV tests by virus culture for patients all across Europe, using the WPI technology,” said Carli West Kinne, director of WPBio. “The European market is a significant part of our plan to move the work of the WPI forward on behalf of those who are ill.”

Friday, June 4, 2010

Professor Malcolm Hooper: The growing understanding of ME "The growing understanding of ME shown in the recent article (The trouble with ME, Guardian, 13 May 2010) by your medical correspondent, Sarah Boseley, is most welcome. However, there are a number of significant errors and omissions in the article.

ME is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, which signifies muscle pain with inflammation of the brain and spinal cord (inflammation has been shown to occur, in three recent UK post-mortems) and the disorder has been classified by the WHO as a neurological disorder since 1969.

The correct terminology is NOT myalgic encephalopathy, which is not classified and is a much less specific clinical term. The alternative term Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CFS, was introduced in 1988. Its use is restricted by the WHO to ICD-10 G93.3 and excluded from use elsewhere, particularly in somatoform, fatigue, chronic fatigue, and fatigue syndromes which are classified at F48.0. The similarities in these words used in F48.0 and in G93.3 have led to much confusion and some deception, by those seeking to reclassify ME as a somatoform disorder.

The identification of people with ME relies on accurate terminology and case definition which are essential for well designed research studies. The CDC-Fukuda 1994 definition has been shown to be non-specific, whilst the 1991 Oxford definition developed and favoured by certain influential psychiatrists who work for the medical insurance industry, excludes neurological conditions. Studies with such heterogeneous cohorts of patients cannot provide any meaningful data for interpretation. The current Medical Research Council PACE Trial on "CFS/ME" is seriously flawed in this way since it uses the Oxford definition which embraces all states of "medically unexplained fatigue" but by definition excludes those with ME, a situation that defies logic.

The 2003 Canadian Criteria were produced by very experienced clinicians who, between them, have diagnosed and treated over 20,000 patients with ME. They provide comprehensive clinical signs associated with ME, from which any competent physician should be able to make a diagnosis with the use of appropriate investigative tests many of which are restricted or proscribed in the UK by NICE.

Although the recent judicial review did find against the ME plaintiffs, the decision is the subject of a legal challenge due to the alleged failure of due legal process.

The undeclared vested interest of doctors associated with insurance companies was critically exposed in the report by senior Parliamentarians chaired by Dr Ian Gibson which exposed the severe difficulties experienced by patients with ME when they seek benefits and support. This is not conspiracy theory or paranoia but a daily reality for many patients, families and carers.

Over many years it has been demonstrated that numerous viruses are associated with ME, the most common being enteroviruses with herpes viruses (glandular fever etc) coming second.

People do die from the illness (Jason et al. Health Care for Women International 2006:27:615-626). The tragic story of Sophia Mirza, who died aged 32 from ME, has been published, together with her medical records.These demonstrate the ideological commitment of some clinicians to the somatoform model of the illness and the ignorance and inhumanity of some members of the medical profession, including sectioning of a very sick woman and accusations, in this and other cases, of MSBP (Munschausen's syndrome by proxy) with parents having only limited access to their children or even banned from any contact.

The offer of only behavioural modification and incremental aerobic exercise (CBT and GET, upon which the payment of benefits is contingent), which are management techniques and in no way curative, as allegedly effective treatments for people with a severe neurological disorder is unethical and a betrayal of doctor's Hippocratic oath. Many surveys by ME charities, including the 25% ME Group for the Severely Affected that represents the most severely ill have shown that CBT has no lasting value and that GET is positively harmful. The most severely affected are almost totally excluded from any research studies since they are housebound or bedbound.

The recent discovery in the US of the retrovirus, XMRV, in ME/CFS patients emphasises the urgent need for biomedical studies. The acclamation of the three subsequent studies that failed to find XMRV by those who subscribe to the behavioural model of ME (which did not attempt to replicate the US study) serve merely as vehicles to discredit any suggestion that ME/CFS is a serious organic disease.

Following the demonstrated association of a retrovirus with ME/CFS, the Canadian and New Zealand governments have banned patients with ME from serving as blood donors. This accords with the current UK position that people with ME must refrain from donating blood.

If Sarah Boseley attends the forthcoming Invest in ME conference on 24 May 2010 at 1, Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London, she will hear international experts addressing most of the above topics. She will be one of the few medical journalists who appear willing to listen and learn in order to understand more fully the complexities of the chronic multi-system illness that is ME. I look forward to meeting her there."

Malcolm Hooper (Emeritus Professor)
Sunderland University


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