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Posted by Cort Johnson

The funder of big, complex and expensive studies whose costs often run into the millions of dollars, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) presents a resource like no other.  It’s never been easy to secure an NIH grant; for one thing, substantial data backing up one’s hypothesis is needed – which means researchers need to access substantial sums of money before they apply for the grant.  The pre-grant stage is where non-profit organizations, which can provide seed money (about $100,000) for researchers to get the data they need to apply, shine.

Getting the preliminary data is just the beginning, though. 

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Posted by Cort Johnson

Is chronic fatigue syndrome an autoimmune disorder? Could chronic fatigue syndrome be an autoimmune disorder? The Fluge/Mella Rituximab study was effective in at least temporarily reducing the symptoms of about 60% of the chronic fatigue syndrome patients in the study – a fact that no doubt shocked many who considered CFS purely a neuropsychiatric disorder.

Rituximab started out as a chemotherapy drug but is now being used effectively in a variety of autoimmune disorders and is being studied in even more. Could Rituximab’s success mean that a large portion of the ME/CFS community actually suffers from an autoimmune disorder?The Fluge/Mella team suggested so, stating their results indicated

“CFS may be an autoimmune disease, often preceded by an infection, and targeting specific parts of the nervous system”

Autoimmune Disorders and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Short Review

An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system mistakes human cells for intruders and begins attacking them.

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Posted by Cort Johnson

It doesn’t always take a village; sometimes it just takes a committed few to possibly change the future of a disorder; in this case, it may come down to just thirty patients and two researchers in Norway. The news that 2/3rds of CFS patients taking a chemotherapy drug called Rituximab significantly improved in a rigorous, double-blinded placebo controlled trial swept the CFS community immediately and then medical websites.
Rituximab has been a kind of underground hope that’s slowly been getting stronger and stronger over time. Reports suggesting that Rituximab was helping, sometimes REALLY helping, in a small group of patients, began filtering out of Norway about a year and a half ago and Dr.… Read More

Posted by Cort Johnson

(Looking Forward: Dr. Peterson on ME/CFS was derived from notes I took after a talk with Dr. Peterson; the views enclosed hopefully reflect the essence of the talk but any mistakes, of course, are mine. Materials were added from the IACFS/ME Ottawa conference to supplement the article). Thanks to Corinne for arranging a meeting with Dr. Peterson. 

Dr. Dan Peterson and Dr. Cheney were the doctors on the scene as the most famous outbreak in chronic fatigue syndrome history took place in little Incline Village on the shores of Lake Tahoe high in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the early 1980’s.… Read More


Posted by Cort Johnson

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Pathophysiology of EBV Infection – Dr. Glaser

Dr. Glaser started off by noting that studies have found a strong association between HHV6, EBV and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and then, perhaps in reference to all the attention given to XMRV over the past year and a half, stated that any other viral discoveries (guess who?) must account for the fact that these viruses have been shown to be present in ME/CFS.

Dr. Mikovits, of course, has repeatedly referred  to pathogenic ‘co-factors’, e.g., viruses like EBV and HHV6 that complete the picture of an immune-depleting retrovirus that, in an HIV-like fashion, allows other pathogens to proliferate.Read More


Posted by Cort Johnson

Dr. Montoya at Stanford Hospital on CFS March, 2011This definitely wasn’t an ‘get acquainted with CFS’ talk. There was no boring scholarly introduction to CFS (“Chronic fatigue syndrome effects blah, blah, blah….has x number of symptoms….blah, blah…..)…Dr. Montoya was clearly trying to wake people up.

Calling ME/CFS one of the most ‘mis-perceived’ illnesses in medicine, Montoya quickly got to the heart of the matter calling chronic fatigue syndrome ‘an extreme event’ in the medical community and castigated them (gently) a bit for mostly ignoring a disease which ‘significantly compromised the health’ of millions of people.

He had hardly started his talk when he said “If there’s one thing I would like this audience to take home … do not kid yourself – this is a real disease”.… Read More