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Researchers Find Key Clue in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Mystery

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Posted on Oct 8, 2009

What exactly is chronic fatigue syndrome? Anywhere from 1 million to 4 million Americans suffer from the disease, which announces itself in the form of chronic pains and, well, fatigue. Its origins have been difficult to trace, but it looks as if that’s about to change, thanks to the discovery of a possible link between a retrovirus called XMRV and the syndrome.  —KA

The Wall Street Journal:

But the significance of the finding, published Thursday in Science, extends far beyond the community of people living with CFS. Researchers are just as concerned about the finding that nearly 4% of healthy people used as controls in the study were also infected with the virus, called XMRV. If larger studies confirm these numbers, it could mean that as many as 10 million people in the U.S. and hundreds of millions of people around the world are infected with a virus that is already strongly associated with at least two diseases.

The study was done by researchers at the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease in Reno, Nev., the National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic.

In September, researchers at the University of Utah and Columbia University Medical Center found XMRV in 27% of the prostate-cancer samples they examined. That study also showed that 6% of the benign prostate samples had XMRV. The chronic-fatigue study is the first to find live XMRV virus in humans.

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By rollzone, October 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

hello. exactly. XMRV is crossXtime Mismanagement of Recreational Visits, which we have none. play video games. walk on the beach, or in the woods. take a break. the flowers only smell so sweet when you breathe them in. the whole world needs more faith in mankind so we can all guiltlessly relax for awhile.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, October 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

CFS = working daily for 40 years.

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By caia, October 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

C’mon, Truthdig.  I know fair use doesn’t allow you to reproduce an entire article,
but you could at least excerpt the actual finding for CFS, since the linked article is
behind a paywall.  Say, maybe, the paragraph before “But the significance of the
finding, published Thursday in Science, extends far beyond the community of
people living with CFS.” 

At least tell us what percentage of people with CFS had it!

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By NYCartist, October 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

I have CFS/ME (ME is the name in England and being adopted here because chronic fatigue syndrome as a choice of name for the illness was a political decision).
  CFS is a rotten name because it’s not about fatigue. A bibliographer with a CFS group once said, CFS is to fatigue, what a stick of dynamite is to a birthday candle.  I need to use a wheelchair to exit my home.  CFS/ME is permanent flu, of a kind.  It seems located in the brain (=cognitive problems with intake, not outgo), and hits every body function area.

  Why did I say “political” decision to name it CFS in the US, not ME (myalgic encephalomyalitis) as in England, and yet different name in Japan?
It was once called “yuppie flu”.  If governments can “diss” an illness, they don’t have to pay benefits.  One major problem with CFS/ME, like Gulf War Syndrome (which has many similarities), is that there is not yet a blood test for the illness.

    I hope this research leads somewheres within my lifetime.  I would like to see a cause, like they found a cause of MS.

    See the great book on CFS as a political issue: “Osler’s Web” by Hillary Johnson, Crown Publishers, 1995.  There was a wonderful review of it in Publishers Weekly in Dec.1995.

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