Clark Ellis spoke with Dr. Ronald W. Davis and Linda Tannenbaum about the End ME/CFS Project …
The history books record that in the nineteenth century Louis Pasteur formulated a “germ theory” of microbes as the causative agents of disease, and thus revolutionized medicine. His findings, along with his contemporary, John Snow (who linked cholera to infected water supply), changed the way we thought about disease causation, putting the previously popular miasma theory to bed.
In 1983 Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier independently discovered the causative agent of AIDS, the retrovirus later named HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and created another paradigm shift which legitimized the illness.… Read More
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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The State of the Knowledge Workshop is here and it’s a good one. A hearty congratulations to Pat Fero, Mary Schweitzer, Ken Friedman, Dr. Jason, Dr. Klimas, Dr. Vernon and Dennis Mangan for what they’ve produced. The last NIH Workshop/Conference of this sort was the Neuroimmune Conference of eight years ago and was filled with NIH researchers who had little or no experience with CFS. This conference on the other hand is packed with ME/CFS researchers.
After overviews by Dr. Komaroff (who else?) and Dr. Jason (who else?) on characterizing and defining ME/CFS the Workshop jumps into four 20 minute presentations on EBV (Glaser), enteroviruses (Chia) and XMRV (Mikovits/Coffin). … Read More
A New Center - Much research and discussion now is not centered around XMRV but around a prostate cancer cell line called 22RV1. More than anything else this cell line that is what is causing problems for XMRV.
The 22RV1 cell line was created in 1999 in response to a need to study prostate cancer – a major cause of male mortality. Creating the cell line involved ‘passaging’ prostate cancer cells through nude mice tissues. At some point researchers were able to create a ‘cell-line’, a group of cells they could use to reliably grow prostate cancer cells and study them.… Read More
I first met Lisa Faust at the Symposium on Viruses in 2008. She was at a table with a group of women all of whom were battling a similar sounding illness. They were definitely the acute onset infectious disease subset. My mouth dropped as I listened to their stories; some were on complete disability, others had had harrowing but slow recoveries – nobody was close to healthy. Most counted themselves very lucky to be able to get to the conference at all. There were Montoya patients on Valtrex, Chia patients on interferon, other patients on Lyme treatments.… Read More
That’s right – in the midst of the greatest economic contraction since the depression the NIH has, all of sudden, found itself in the greatest single expansion in its history. How and why demonstrates how much influence one Senator can have. Desperate to get Arlen Spectors vote on the stimulus package, the Obama administion acceded to a 30% increase in the NIH’s already enormous budget. This year the NIH will have to find a way to spend 10 billion dollars more than it did last.… Read More
Dr. Hanna at the NIH has repeatedly said that given the tight budgetary times there’s just no money for ME/CFS. A look at NIH funding across the past few years suggests, however, there’s more to the issue than she suggests. Underneath the seemingly placid surface of a stable budget a fierce fight goes on every year with some diseases winning big and some losing big; a tight budget does not mean that a disease is doomed to a stagnant budget.… Read More
Dan Moricoli, the creator of the CFSKnowledge and the me-cfsCommunityCenter has just posted a fascinating account of his recent discussion with Dr. Nancy Klimas, a prominent ME/CFS researcher and physician. It seems that researchers are much closer to cracking some significant problems than we know.… Read More
What do infection, stress, over-exercising and the intensive care unit have in common? Different researchers believe that each can trigger a chronic fatigue syndrome-like (ME/CFS) state. A recent article in the New York Times added a short stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) to the list.… Read More
We know the ME/CFS research program at the CDC is in big trouble but what about its cousin at the NIH? Three years ago the CFIDS Association of America was praising the CDC’s chronic fatigue syndrome program and slamming – in a federal document – the horrible performance of the NIH’s ME/CFS program. The only thing that’s happened to change that viewpoint is the implosion of the CDC’s program; things are still as bad as ever over at the NIH.… Read More