Research studies have finally started to look in every corner concerning Fibromyalgia(FM) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS). We did hear, not that long ago, that CFS was caused by a virus. Well just this week researchers at the new Whittemore Peterson Institute for Biomedical Science detected a retrovirus in greater than 95% of the more than 200 patients tested.
Here are excerpts from their findings:
The spectrum of neuro-immune diseases including: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS), Atypical MS, Fibromyalgia and Gulf War Syndrome, share common abnormalities in the innate immune response, which result in chronic immune activation and immune deficiency.
This discovery opens an entirely new avenue of Neuro-Immune Disease related research and our discovery has brought to this field world-renowned immunologists and retrovirologists building our team of collaborators to translate our discoveries into new treatments as soon as possible.
Because retroviruses are known to cause inflammatory diseases, neurological disease, immune deficiency and cancer, the discovery of XMRV has far reaching implications for the prevention and treatment of not only lymphoma, one of the potentially devastating complications of ME/CFS, but prostate cancer and perhaps many others.
What is XMRV?
XMRV is a human retrovirus and is similar to HIV and HTLV-1. It was first identified by Dr. Robert Silverman, in prostate cancer tissue of men with a specific genetic defect in their antiviral defense pathway. Prior to the Whittemore Peterson Institute study, XMRV had not been isolated from a human diseased population or been shown to be infectious and transmissible.
What is the link between XMRV and ME/CFS, fibromyalgia and other neuro-immune diseases?
Our initial research showed that 67% of the ME/CFS patient samples tested positive for XMRV. Further work has found that 95% tested positive. Work continues to understand how this virus works within neuro-immune diseases, but this discovery proves a significant correlation between this serious retrovirus and these diseases. Our work suggests, but does not prove, that XMRV may be the underlying cause of ME/CFS. Much additional work needs to be done to understand how XMRV causes disease and what types of diseases it is linked to it.
A few fibromyalgia samples were tested and yes, they were positive. However the sampling was very small, and testing will have to continue on a much larger scale to begin to draw significant conclusions. In addition, many patients with ME/CFS have been given the diagnosis of fibromyalgia when in fact they have ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.
For more information about XMRV and its relation to CFS/FM and other diseases here are the links to their Main page and their Question and Answer page about XMRV.
Main Page: http://www.wpinstitute.org/index.html
Question and Answer Page: http://www.wpinstitute.org/xmrv/xmrv_qa.html
Have a great day!!