Litt lokale nyheter fra en avis i Ottawa 24 september 2011 med artikkelen «Scientists still struggle to find cause behind chronic fatigue syndrome»
“I think we need a larger study before we absolutely rule it out,” said Dr. Nancy Klimas, an immunologist at the University of Miami.
The new findings also don’t rule out the possibility that other viral infections could play a central role, said Fred Friedberg, president of the International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is hosting the Ottawa conference this weekend.
“One reason is the illness presents with flu-like symptoms so you would think it would be a virus. That’s what many patients think. That’s what many physicians think. It’s just that the virus has not been uncovered.”
Since the first cases were identified in the 1980s, chronic fatigue syndrome has been a medical mystery and subject of sometimes bitter debate. Some employers and insurers have dismissed the condition as stress-related, psychosomatic or simply imaginary.
The ailment affects more than 333,000 Canadians, according to Statistics Canada, and causes months, even years of unending flu-like symptoms: profound exhaustion, sleep problems, muscle and joint pain, severe cognitive problems.
Countless studies have documented immunological, neurological and physiological abnormalities in patients with the disorder, including the reactivation of dormant viruses such as measles or mononucleosis.
More recently, researchers have documented not only simple fatigue, but also a dramatic overreaction by the body’s immune system, leading to a cascade of inflammation in patients who do even a light amount of exercise, but don’t have any signs of infection.
“What we’re saying is the immune system is damaged,” said Klimas. “We don’t know why. And viruses seem to reactivate and help perpetuate the illness, with the inflammatory responses making patients feel very ill.”
Klimas said even if XMRV is determined not to be the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, the two-year debate has raised the profile of disease and drawn attention to the likely role played by infectious agents.