Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year everybody


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Best of the Health Blog 2010 should be the XMRV posts by Amy Dockser Marcus

By Katherine Hobson:

Tonight the Health Blog will close the book on 2010 as we head out for the long holiday weekend. Not, however, before highlighting a few of our favorite posts from the more than 1,100 that ran this year. Our thoroughly subjective list includes posts notable for their subject matter, news value or just because we liked them a lot. In no particular order:

XMRV: Raising the Issue of Contamination
This is just the latest thoroughly reported post Amy Dockser Marcus has written on the controversy surrounding the XMRV virus and its possible link to chronic fatigue syndrome. Click here to see all the Health Blog’s coverage on this topic from this year and earlier.

Of course, it was going to be something serious like a retrovirus

By Walter Armstrong:

Whether XMRV is a cause or a passenger or merely a geographical coincidence of a particular CFS outbreak remains to be learned.

But one thing is clear: With its big discovery, the upstart medical center has made more than a big splash. WPI has placed CFS—and itself—at the center of the perfect storm.

"I knew how serious a retrovirus is," Annette Whittemore told the Times. "I was very concerned, knowing the implications. My second thought was,

'Of course, it was going to be something serious like that. Look at my daughter and how ill she is.'"
Source: http://pharmaceuticalvalidation.blogspot.com/2010/12/race-is-on.html

Dr John Coffin: XMRV and antiretrovirals

By Walter Armstrong:
"If you can't establish a disease association, then there is less interest in developing a drug, obviously." Coffin also notes that uncertainty remains about whether or not the virus is replicating. "If it does so, like HIV, then an antiretroviral would be very effective. But if not, as it appears in prostate cancer, a drug would not make any difference."
Source: http://pharmaceuticalvalidation.blogspot.com/2010/12/race-is-on.html

Inquiry into UK dementia spending

BBC News, 31 December 2010:

The spiralling cost of caring for dementia patients is to be the subject of a major inquiry by MPs and peers.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia will look at how funds could be spent more effectively.

Dementia patient Dom Pancucci and Andrew Ketteringham from the Alzheimer's Society told the BBC that money-saving programmes could still improve care.

Dementia care in the UK is currently estimated to cost £20bn a year, and is likely to rise to around £27bn by 2018.

Yet another year of torture and living hell that is Severe ME has past

Greg & Linda Crowhurst Dec 30 2011:

By the skin of our teeth, we arrive at the end of yet another year of the torture and living hell that is Severe ME. Here is our wish list for 2011 :

That the truth of XMRV will be uncovered and revealed.

That the NHS will at last perceive the folly of backing the psychosocial approach

That medical Consultants will find the honesty and integrity to speak out about the reality of this terrible disease.

That ... Read more>>

Outbreaks of bizarre, clinically similar illnesses from several areas of the world

Donald A. Henderson, M.D., and Alexis Shelokov, M.D., N Engl J Med 1959; 260:757-764 April 9, 1959:
Source: http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM195904092601506

DURING the past ten years an impressive number of outbreaks of bizarre, clinically similar illnesses have been reported from several areas of the world.

The cases have shared the features of a protean symptomatology, including fatigue, headache, alterations in emotional status, aching muscular pain, paresis and paresthesias.

Regarding the severity of the illnesses, few significant and consistent physical findings and abnormal laboratory determinations have been noted.

The courses of the patients have been unaccountably prolonged and debilitating and marked by frequent exacerbations.

Cases have been confined principally to young and middle-aged adults; females have been more frequently and severely afflicted. . . .

Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with CFS

Virulence. 2010 Dec 22;1(5):386-90.
Mikovits JA, Lombardi VC, Pfost MA, Hagen KS, Ruscetti FW.
Whittemore Peterson Institute; Reno, Nevada USA.

Abstract
In October 2009, we reported the first direct isolation of infectious xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV). In that study, we used a combination of biological amplification and molecular enhancement techniques to detect XMRV in more than 75% of 101 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Since our report, controversy arose after the publication of several studies that failed to detect XMRV infection in their CFS patient populations.

In this addenda, we further detail the multiple detection methods we used in order to observe XMRV infection in our CFS cohort.

Our results indicate that PCR from DNA of unstimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells is the least sensitive method for detection of XMRV in subjects' blood.

We advocate the use of more than one type of assay in order to determine the frequency of XMRV infection in patient cohorts in future studies of the relevance of XMRV to human disease.Read more>>

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A medical disaster ignored for half a century

By Jamie Deckoff-Jones:

Take a look at this paper discussing possible ways that XMRV found it's way into humans, Of mice and men: on the origin of XMRV. Van Der Kuyl. Of note is that mouse cells were first used in vaccines in 1931.

Epidemic neuromyasthenia; clinical syndrome. Henderson. NEJM 1959 documents the first outbreak as having occurred in 1934. An epidemiological goldmine ignored for half a century following the publication of this fine paper. It is hard to ... Read more>>

Professor Wessely, Every thing you always wanted to know about Severe ME, but were afraid to ask

“Severe ME/CFS: A Guide to Living” – the book providing help to patients with severe ME as well as the loved ones and professionals caring for them.

Severe ME is a devastating condition which affects tens of thousands of people in the UK. Many are bedridden and require constant care.

They have a complex range of problems (often including loss of movement, speech and the ability to eat) as well as difficulties with basic day-to-day tasks such as washing and toileting and a huge number of extreme symptoms (such as pain, muscle problems, sensitivity to light, sound and touch, flu like malaise, gastrointestinal disturbance, cognitive dysfunction, sleep disturbance, dizziness and paralysis).

Patients, loved ones and professionals can be left feeling frightened and totally helpless in the face of such immense suffering.

Buy your copy now for the bargain price of £5.99 including UK postage!:
http://www.severeme.info/buy-the-book.html

Evidence-Based Medicine must be aimed at the patient's best interests and not at the financial interests of others

Erich H. Loewy, MD, Professor of Medicine (emeritus), University of California:

This article addresses the advantages, disadvantages, and traps to which
evidence-based medicine (EBM) may lead and suggests that, to be
ethically valid, EBM must be aimed at the patient's best interests and
not at the financial interests of others.

Read more>>

Thx: Angel Mac and Lesley McLeod

Freeze a jolly good fellow ...


Source: Dr John Greensmith Mefreeforallorg's Photos

Scientists and the media are trapped in a cosy relationship that benefits neither

Colin Macilwain, nature.com:

Propped up by the specious authority of their jargon and, most of all, by their cheapness to report — which stands in stark contrast to proper investigations of issues such as public corruption, corporate maleficence or industrial health and safety — essentially silly stories about science continue to fill newspapers and news broadcasts.

Some science reporters are uneasy about this situation, but most accept it. Dumbed-down media coverage has bred mistrust among ... Read more>>

Doctors attitudes toward ME/CFS

By Adrienne Dellwo, About.com Guide:

When you talk to people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, it doesn't take long to collect horror stories about doctors and how many of them treat us.

They don't believe us; they think we're lazy, crazy or drug seeking; they dismiss our diagnoses and refuse to test or treat us.

I recently had an eye-opening experience -- it's not just us! Read more>>

Plasma neuropeptide Y: a biomarker for symptom severity in ME/CFS

Professor Nancy G Klimas:

Background
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex, multi-symptom illness with a multisystem pathogenesis involving alterations in the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. Abnormalities in stress responses have been identified as potential triggers or mediators of CFS symptoms. This study focused on the stress mediator neuropeptide Y (NPY). We hypothesized that NPY would be a useful biomarker for CFS.

Conclusions
This study is the first in the CFS literature to report that plasma NPY is elevated compared to healthy controls and to a fatigued comparison group, GWI patients. The significant correlations of NPY with stress, negative mood, general health, depression and cognitive function strongly suggest that this peptide be considered as a biomarker to distinguish subsets of CFS.

Read more>>

Panorama ME Investigation

By Jan Laverick:

For clarity, this document uses ME in reference to the disease Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis, CFS in reference to idiopathic chronic fatigue,
and CFS/ME when referring to the attempts by psychiatrists to merge the two and redefine Myalgic Encephalomyelitis as a somatoform disorder (i.e. a psychiatric condition).

We, the undersigned, request that the Panorama Team conduct an
investigation into the conduct of the Department of Health, Medical
Research Council and National Institute for Clinical Excellence with regards to the diagnosis, treatment and research of the neuro-immune disease Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)1 - the disease that affected the late Lynn Gilderdale.2

Why has the Department of Health allowed psychiatrists to dismiss a
seriously debilitating,3 potentially fatal disease as so called “chronic fatigue syndrome”? Why have psychiatrists been allowed and even encouraged to monopolise both treatment and research of a disease? Read more>>

Bloggers have an important part to play in the assessment of research findings

NATURE | EDITORIAL:

Bloggers and online commentators have an important part to play in the assessment of research findings, and many researchers' blogs, in particular, contain better analyses of the true significance of a scientific finding or debate than is seen in much of the mainstream media.

Science journalists who repeated NASA's claims on the arsenic bacterium and did not tap into the widespread criticisms, did little to defend themselves from claims of reporting by press release.

Blogging scientists, meanwhile, should remember that such informal forums do not excuse insults and casual discourtesy towards colleagues — especially those being urged to respond. Read more>>

Restricted files on CFS

Mary Schweitzer:

I wonder if it is a coincidence that a Dutch publication recently wrote that XMRV could have entered the human population (back when it was an MLV) via vaccines ... And wasn't Wellcome a major provider of vaccines in the UK?

That scenario would require a lot of "if, then" connections yet to be made, but it could be enough to make somebody a little nervous.

hmmmmm ... Tell me again why those files on CFS are restricted until the 2080s?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Seeking the opinion of a psychologist on virology research, SUPER job BMJ !!!

By L Cox, Patient:
BS48 3PA

What exactly is the purpose of the BMJ? Is it there to discuss and present new scientific research, or to parrot press releases?

The title of the press release may be, "Chronic fatigue syndrome is not caused by XMRV virus". But the Study in question did not come to any such conclusion,

"We provide several independent lines of evidence that XMRV detected by sensitive PCR methods in patient samples is the likely result of PCR contamination with mouse DNA and that the described clones of XMRV arose from the tumour cell line 22Rv1, which was probably infected with XMRV during xenografting in mice.

We propose that XMRV might not be a genuine human pathogen." Furthermore, this conclusion clearly contradicts what Towers said to the BMJ.

Then there is the issue of prostate cancer. If Hue et al. had shown that XMRV (or any other MLV-related retrovirus) was a mouse contaminant, which they did not, then the association of this retrovirus with prostate cancer would also be doubted. Yet the article fails to mention the link to that disease. Why?

The article then proceeds to get a selection of opinions on the story. But why has the BMJ chosen to seek the opinion of the psychologist, Anthony Cleare, on a virology paper? And why has the BMJ failed to obtain any comment from those who would disagree with the title of the press release or Towers, accept that of an ME Association spokesman? Would not a qualified virologist have been more acceptable?

There are a growing list of people whose opinion on this matter should have been included in this article, such as Alter, Mikovits, Ruscetti, Lo, Hanson, Klein, Silverman, etc. At the very least this article should be amended and re-released with the addition of those peoples opinions.

The BMJ's failure to air all views on the matter, and to abandon the normal scientific discovery process by promoting this press release, can only been seen to be an attempt to silence future research into this retrovirus and it's disease associations.

Competing interests: None declared
Source: http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c7358.extract/reply#bmj_el_246982

Vested interests in ME/CFS and the BMJ

Heather Goodwin, consultant:
Published 24 December 2010

It is sad to see the BMJ appears to have fallen victim to the politically-motivated PR campaign waged by the vested interests in ME/CFS which dominate medical research and treatment in the UK.

Further checking would have revealed that this 'interpretation' of four studies is simply an elaborate attempt to debunk the research of a number of laboratories worldwide which have used multiple testing methodologies - not just PCR - to establish the existence and replication of XMRV in humans.

As the readers of this Journal are well aware, it is impossible for humans to develop an immune response to a contaminant, yet the Whittemore Peterson Institute (Lombardi 2009) did exactly this:

http://www.wpinstitute.org/news/docs/WPIResponseToRetrovirology122010.pdf

Further reading for those interested can be found at:

http://www.virology.ws/2010/12/22/xmrv-and-cfs-its-not-the-end/

http://mcwpa.org/resources/research-studies/

Competing interests: None declared

Source: http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c7358.extract/reply#bmj_el_246903

CBT: Chasing BTCC Trophy


The Sun – TWO of the biggest names in touring car racing, Audi and Toyota, will return to the UK's premier series next year. A pair of Audi A4s will be entered in the British Touring Car Championship by new team Rob Austin Racing.

And two squads will make their debuts in the series using Toyota's Avensis model.

Both Audi and Toyota were BTCC front-runners in the 1990s, the German marque taking the title in 1996 with Frank Biela. The entries will increase the number of manufacturers represented on the grid to nine, making the BTCC one of the world's most varied championships.

They have come about thanks to the series' "Next Generation Touring Car" rules, which aim to slash costs by 50 per cent through more standardised parts.

The detection of XMRV in prostate cancer proves that it replicates in humans

Dr. Antoinette C. Van Der Kuyl:

The positive results could possibly be attributed to contamination with mouse products in a number of cases, as XMRV is nearly identical in nucleotide sequence to endogenous retroviruses in the mouse genome.

But the detection of XMRV proviruses in prostate cancer tissue proves it to be a genuine virus that replicates in human cells, leaving the question: ... Read more>>

How did XMRV enter the human population?

Dr. Antoinette C. Van Der Kuyl:
Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Medical Microbiology, Meibergdreef 15, Amsterdam, 1105 AZ, Netherlands
a.c.vanderkuyl@amc.uva.nl

The novel human retrovirus XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) is arguably the most controversial virus of this moment.

<--->

Conclusion

In conclusion, the most likely mode of XMRV transmission
points to mouse-derived biological products, but it cannot
formally be excluded that the virus was once transferred from
feral mice to humans.

The latter scenario is less likely as it would imply that a very
rapid spread in the human population must have occurred to
explain its presence on two continents. In this scenario, the
extreme sequence similarity among XMRV genomes, both
between and within individuals, would argue that the virus
replicates at very low levels.

Among the biological products, vaccines that were produced in
mice or mouse cells are possible candidates that warrant
further inspection. If XMRV was introduced in the human
population through the use of biologicals, a background level
of the virus in the human population, possibly varying with
geography or age group, would be expected.

Such a low level presence would then also explain the
(absence of) detection of the virus in different studies, as
well as its controversial association with disease.

We hope that this hypothesis will spur further discussion and
help to resolve the many remaining XMRV questions.

Read more>>

Defining a mental disorder is bullshit

By Gary Greenberg, December 27, 2010:

Every so often Al Frances says something that seems to surprise even him. Just now, for instance, in the predawn darkness of his comfortable, rambling home in Carmel, California, he has broken off his exercise routine to declare that

“there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.”

Then an odd, reflective look crosses his face, as if he’s taking in the strangeness of this scene:

Allen Frances, lead editor of the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (universally known as the DSM-IV),

the guy who wrote the book on mental illness, confessing that “these concepts are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the boundaries.”

For the first time in two days, the conversation comes to an awkward halt.

But he recovers quickly, and back in the living room he finishes explaining why he came out of a seemingly contented retirement to launch a bitter and protracted battle with the people, some of them friends, who are creating the next edition of the DSM.

And to criticize them not just once, and not in professional mumbo jumbo that would keep the fight inside the professional family, but repeatedly and in plain English, in newspapers and magazines and blogs.

And to accuse his colleagues not just of bad science but of bad faith, hubris, and blindness, of making diseases out of everyday suffering and, as a result, padding the bottom lines of drug companies. These aren’t ... Read more>>

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Human retrovirus can be detected in lymph nodes

By Mason AL, Zhang G.:
Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

A human beta retrovirus (HBRV) related to mouse mammary tumor virus has been cloned and characterized from patients with PBC. This agent can be detected in the majority of patients' perihepatic lymph nodes by immunochemistry and RT-PCR.

The HBRV has recently been isolated in culture and integration sites have been identified in the genome of patients to provide convincing evidence of beta retrovirus infection in patients. Read more>>

Linking human retroviral infection with primary biliary cirrhosis

By Mason AL, Zhang G.,
Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. andrew.mason@ualberta.ca

Abstract
Several environmental agents have been linked with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) that include bacteria, xenobiotics and viruses.

A human beta retrovirus (HBRV) related to mouse mammary tumor virus has been cloned and characterized from patients with PBC. This agent can be detected in the majority of patients' perihepatic lymph nodes by immunochemistry and RT-PCR.

The HBRV has recently been isolated in culture and integration sites have been identified in the genome of patients to provide convincing evidence of beta retrovirus infection in patients.

Three lines of evidence support a role for the virus in PBC.

First, the beta retrovirus is linked with aberrant expression of mitochondrial protein(s) on the biliary epithelium cell (BEC) surface, a disease specific phenotype.

Second, the related agent, mouse mammary tumor virus has been linked with autoimmune biliary disease in the NOD.c3c4 mouse model for PBC. In this mouse model, the virus is localized to diseased biliary epithelium that also display aberrant expression of the mitochondrial autoantigens.

In translational studies, both patients with PBC and NOD.c3c4 mice demonstrate significant improvement in biliary disease with combination antiviral therapy. An overview of the biological relevance of the beta retrovirus infection in PBC will be discussed in this review.

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF DISEASES OR DISORDERS ASSOCIATED WITH XENOTROPIC MURINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS

New patent application by Mikovits, Lombardi, and the Ruscettis:

Pub. No.: WO/2010/148323 International Application No.: PCT/US2010/039208
Publication Date: 23.12.2010 International Filing Date: 18.06.2010
IPC: C12Q 1/70 (2006.01)
Applicants: WHITTEMORE PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR NEURO-IMMUNE DISEASE [US/US]; 6600 N. Wingfield Parkway Sparks, Nevada 89436 (US) (All Except US).
MIKOVITS, Judy, A. [US/US]; (US) (US Only).
LOMBARDI, Vincent, C. [US/US]; (US) (US Only).
RUSCETTI, Sandra, K. [US/US]; (US) (US Only).
RUSCETTI, Francis, W. [US/US]; (US) (US Only).
Inventors: MIKOVITS, Judy, A.; (US).
LOMBARDI, Vincent, C.; (US).
RUSCETTI, Sandra, K.; (US).
RUSCETTI, Francis, W.; (US).

Abstract: Methods of detecting, diagnosing, monitoring or managing an XMRV-related neuroimmune disease such as chronic fatigue syndrome or XMRV-related lymphoma such as mantle cell lymphoma in a subject are disclosed. These methods comprise ... Read more>>

Top ten biomedical research findings in ME/CFS by Professor Komaroff

By Margaret Williams:

In the Summer 2008 issue of The CFIDS Chronicle published by The CFIDS Association of America, Anthony Komaroff, Professor of Medicine at Harvard, editor-in-chief of Harvard Health Publications and senior physician at Brigham and Womens’ Hospital, Boston (who has published more than 230 research papers on ME/CFS) wrote an article listing the top ten biomedical research findings in ME/CFS.

These are summarised at http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=14063 and include evidence that

(1) many patients with ME/CFS have no diagnosable psychiatric disorder and that ME/CFS is not a form of depression;

(2) there is a state of chronic, low-grade immune activation, with evidence of activated T cells and evidence of genes reflecting immune activation, as well as evidence of increased levels of cytokines;

(3) there is substantial evidence of poorly-functioning NK cells (white blood cells that are important in fighting viral infections);

(4) there is evidence of white and grey matter abnormalities in the brain;

(5) there is evidence of abnormalities in brain metabolism (and evidence of dysfunction of energy metabolism in the mitochondria);

(6) there is evidence of abnormalities in the neuroendocrine system, particularly in the HPA axis but also in the hypothalamic-prolactin axis and in the hypothalamic-growth hormone axis;

(7) there is evidence of cognitive difficulties, especially with information processing, memory and/or attention;

(8) there is evidence of abnormalities in the autonomic nervous system (including a failure to maintain blood pressure, abnormal responses of the heart rate, and unusual pooling of blood in the legs, as well as low levels of blood volume);

(9) there is evidence of disordered gene expression, especially in those genes that are important in energy metabolism and in genes connected to HPA axis activity, to the sympathetic nervous system and to the immune system;

(10) there is evidence of frequent infection with viruses, especially herpesvirus and enteroviruses.

Former top ME/CFS researcher at the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), Dr Suzanne Vernon, stated ... Read more>>

NICE ME Guideline rejects the WHO classification of ME as a neurological disorder

By Greg Crowhurst:

NICE Clinical Guideline "53" :

that's the the one which relied upon an evidence-base of just one systematic review that comprised only 18 clinical trials, not all of which were random controlled trials (RCTs),
of which just five were RCTs of CBT and a further five were RCTs of graded exercise therapy, making a grand total of just 10 RCTs, all on a patient base of just 1,448 patients who may or may not have had ME/CFS;

that's the one which rejects the WHO formal classification of ME/CFS as a neurological disorder;

that's the one which ignores the international evidence that ME/CFS is a biomedical, not psychiatric, disorder;

tha's the one which proscribes appropriate testing for ME patients ;

that's the one which is condemned by virtually all patient groups as "unfit for purpose.

(cf Margaret Williams http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/A_NICE_DILEMMA.htm)

Read more>>

BACME, a psychiatric paradigm, based upon pseudo-science

By Greg Crowhurst:

After all these years of struggling to care for my wife who has very severe ME , I am so very tired of the endless fudging or pretending to meet the needs of people with ME,

by organisations like BACME, who actually work to a psychiatric paradigm , based upon pseudo-science and flawed patient selection criteria.

Who has given BACME the authority and the right to claim to be the sole ME training provider for the NHS ? What's happened suddenly to the free market and competition? What's happened to the biomedical truth of ... Read more>>

FINE trials show that CBT and GET do NOT work for severe ME

By Greg Crowhurst:

The FINE trials themselves show no advantage or efficacy whatsoever to the use of CBT and GET for the severely ill. So how can BACME justify training people in it ?

"How dare they ? How dare BACME presume to speak up for people with ME " ? my wife asked last night, furious at the apparently unstoppable , ongoing indoctrination of clinicans in methods that case harm to genuine ME patients .

After all these years of struggling to care for my wife who has very severe ME , I am so ... Read more>>

Another retrovirus discovered at the University of Alberta

By Dr. Timothy Luckett:

In the last year, there has been no shortage of controversy regarding the association of CFS with XMRV and related retroviruses.

For several years, Dr. Andrew Mason at the University of Alberta has been studying the association between Primary Biliary Sclerosis, and a Betaretrovirus bearing a close resemblance to Murine Mammary Tumor virus.

Much like the CFS studies ... Read more>>

Videos of Dr Mikovits' presentation in Norway

CFS Facts‎:

Videos of Dr Mikovits' presentation in Goteborg, Norway (from Dec 2, 2010). Here are the 4-part videos, with thanks to thx1138mindlock on YouTube.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAD2_YfgNV4
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3kdU5FhH2U
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNJe5ltD2K0
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNJe5ltD2K

Part 1:

Professor Wessely, beware if you got a cat

Jo Best:

My cat brought yet another mouse home last night. When I dispose of them always wash my hands thoroughly afterwards because of germs and such. So imagine my horror at learning I might be ingesting mouse DNA with almost every breath - and DNA with XMRV sequences in it as well. This stuff, is apparently absolutely everywhere according to some virologists.

And it gets worse. I've got CFS - which means my blood is 60-70% more likely to attract the stuff than healthy people. It's like being some kind of mouse DNA magnet.

There is hope though. It seems like there are some lab workers who are kind of negatively charged and repel the veritable cloud of XMRV that surrounds everyone else; because even when they are looking for it, not a speck of XMRV is to be found in hundreds of samples.

Sounds a bit barmy to me, but what do I know about viruses? Anyway, I've sent the WPI $100 because it seems to me that they do know about viruses and they know about CFS. I've always thought CFS was going to turn out to be caused by something very difficult to detect that will need dedicated and open-minded scientists to thoroughly investigate. WPI gets my vote for that task.

Peter Kemp

Humans cannot make antibodies to viruses unless they have been exposed to the virus

WPI STATEMENT–IT’S NOT CONTAMINATION:

We identified a human antibody response to a gamma retroviral infection and we demonstrated that live gamma retrovirus isolated from human blood could infect human cells in culture.

These scientific findings cannot be explained by contamination with mouse cells, mouse DNA or XMRV-related virus-contaminated human tumor cells. No mouse cell lines and none of the human cell lines reported today by Hue et al. to contain XMRV were ever cultured in the WPI lab where our PCR experiments were performed.

Humans cannot make antibodies to viruses related to murine leukemia viruses unless they have been exposed to virus proteins.

Therefore, recent publications regarding PCR contamination do not change the conclusions of the Lombardi et al. and Lo et al. studies that concluded that patients with ME/CFS are infected with human gammaretroviruses.

We have never claimed that CFS was caused by XMRV, only that CFS patients possess antibodies to XMRV related proteins and harbor infectious XMRV, which integrates into human chromosomes and thus is a human infection of as yet unknown pathogenic potential

“The coauthors stand by the conclusions of Lombardi et al. Nothing that has been published to date refutes our data.” Judy A. Mikovits Read more>>

Monday, December 27, 2010

Nobody denying the reality of XMRV in ME/CFS appears to have noticed

By anciendaze:

The hidden discovery of this debacle is that Eric Klein had published results showing provirus integrated into human chromosomes in cells flash frozen in the operating room, and nobody denying the reality of XMRV in ME/CFS appears to have noticed.

This says the virus is not simply an artifact introduced in the laboratory, and is actually present in some humans -- irrespective of ME/CFS.

Since this is a retrovirus, it ... Read more>>

You can rule out all positive results if you avoid all positive results

By: anciendaze:

With all the other events of this week, I haven't given those five papers the full scrutiny they deserve. I note that Prof. Racaniello made a serious error in his initial judgment on them, which was unfortunately reported by Trine Tsouderos as the end of XMRV. He has since retracted the quoted statement in a gracious way.

<--->

Since one negative study used water as a negative control, and none of them took the extraordinary step of working in laboratory rooms never exposed to potential contaminants, I conclude the groups with positive results were more careful. Deniers appear to have relied on the rule of thumb that you can rule out all positive results due to contamination if you avoid all positive results. This is true, but hardly requires research.

I'm afraid people who accepted the conclusions reported by many parts of the press without reading the actual papers and checking statements will wake up next week to find they have bought a motorized tie rack. Read more>>

Acid phosphatase increases XMRV infectivity 100-fold

By Tabitha M. Powledge, The Scientist:

Eric Klein and colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio reported in July that both human semen and one of its major components, acid phosphatase, increase XMRV infectivity for prostate cells 100-fold. They also found the virus in prostatic secretions of men with prostate cancer. "That really strongly suggests that XMRV is sexually transmitted," he said.

Klein was part of a group in Cleveland and the University of California, San Francisco, that in 2006 first identified XMRV in prostate tumors. He was not involved in today's paper.

Klein said the July findings suggested a biological mechanism for sexually transmitted XMRV infection. If a man with viral particles in his lower genital tract has intercourse and deposits semen in his partner, acid phosphatase in the semen could increase the virus's ability to infect prostate tissue of the partner's subsequent partners. Read more>>

Is prostate cancer a sexually transmitted disease?

By Tabitha M. Powledge:

Mounting evidence suggests that prostate cancer is an infectious disease caused by a recently identified virus. The latest report, published today (September 7) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found the virus was associated especially with aggressive prostate cancers and noted that "all individuals may be at risk" for infection.

The notion that prostate cancer is an infectious disease like cervical cancer would not surprise most cancer experts, said Ila Singh of the University of Utah, the study's senior author. Almost 20% of visceral cancers are now proven infectious diseases, and there is a lot of indirect evidence from epidemiology and genetics that prostate cancer may be one of them. Read more>>

Most cancers have a viral etiology

by Susan Colilla:
[Comment posted 2009-09-08 14:58:54]

This is very interesting finding and I have suspected that most cancers have a viral etiology.

My master's thesis did not find an association between increased number of sexual partners and prostate cancer when looked directly, but did find a highly significant association and interaction between high number of lifetime sexual partners (10+) and men who had a first degree relative with prostate cancer.

Unfortunately, due to political reasons, I was not permitted to publish this finding (just used it as my master's thesis).

Since the majority of people are exposed to these viruses (HPV etc), the rate limiting factor for how soon a man develops prostate cancer may be his personal genetic makeup.


Read more>>

GP Essentials: Learning from InvestinME

Read more>>

InvestinME sponsors the best conference on ME/CFS. This year's one-day conference will be held in London on May 20th.

IACFS should try to learn something from InvestinME, but, of course, this will not happen. IACFS is a larger feeding trough for so-called research, some of it very good, most not - the organization could benefit from paring down, and focussing.

This year's InvestinME conference will focus on ... Read more>>

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Professor Tony Pinching and his rejection of biomedical evidence

Eileen Marshall and Margaret Williams:

It has also been confirmed by the CRD that peer-reviewers for the NICE Guidelines will be the same team as last time and will include Professor Simon Wessely, Professor Mike Sharpe, Professor Peter White, Professor Tony Pinching, Professor Allen Hutchinson (who was Chair of the Chief Medical Officer’s Working Group) and Chris Clark, Chief Executive Officer of Action for ME. Chris Clark has aligned himself with the psychiatric lobby.

The implacable views of these people are already well-documented, as is their determined rejection of the biomedical evidence.

If they retain total control over the outcome of the NICE Guidelines, no progress can be made.

The alleged “evidence-base” for the use of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET) -- provided by Bagnall et al specifically to support the forthcoming NICE Guidelines -- has been cogently destroyed by Hooper and Reid in their paper “Inadequacy of the York (2005) Systematic Review of the CFS/ME Medical Evidence Base” that was released on 18th January 2006 (available online at http://meactionuk.org.uk/FINAL_on_NICE_for_Gibson.html ).

Hooper and Reid have produced a thorough and impeccably referenced analysis of ... Read more>>

The NICE ME Guidelines have been deliberately designed to exclude biomedical evidence

Eileen Marshall and Margaret Williams:

It is well-known that NICE limits itself to so-called “evidence-based” medicine, a reliance upon Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs). In the case of ME/CFS in the UK these are limited to trials carried out by psychiatrists of the Wessely School.

NICE ignores not only patients’ experience and input, but also the experience and input of non-psychiatrist researchers and clinicians with vast scientific and clinical experience of the biomedical nature of the disorder.

The outcome of the NICE Guidelines is thus a foregone conclusion: its remit seems to have been deliberately designed to exclude the empirical knowledge base. Read more>>

Deadly Medicine

By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele:

Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans every year. Will that number go up, now that most clinical trials are conducted overseas—on sick Russians, homeless Poles, and slum-dwelling Chinese—in places where regulation is virtually nonexistent, the F.D.A. doesn’t reach, and “mistakes” can end up in pauper’s graves?

The authors investigate the globalization of the pharmaceutical industry, and the U.S. Government’s failure to rein in a lethal profit machine.

Dr. John Coffin: NO XMRV contamination was found

CFS Central:

Dr. John Coffin co-authored two of the four studies in Retrovirology on Monday that postulated that XMRV may be merely contamination from mouse DNA, as opposed to a new human retrovirus that has jumped species from mouse to man and has been found in patients with ME/CFS and prostate cancer.

CFS Central: In your papers, you write that ... Read more>>

Department of Health: One in four people with ME are house or bedbound

by NAOMI COLEMAN, femail.co.uk:

ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) is classified as a disease of the nervous system.

This hidden epidemic is a debilitating, destructive illness where one in four people who suffer from the disease are housebound or bedbound.


Read more>>

Left to rot by the healthcare system

Clare A. Keefe:

Its sad to see so many friends ill with flu. The fevers, the exhaustion, the aching limbs, the weakness, the swollen glands and sore throats are close to unbearable.

So please spare a thought for M.E sufferers who live with these symptoms and others everyday, and are left to rot by the healthcare system.

Your symptoms will ease in a few days, whereas ours won't.

Department of Health: Five out of six people never recover from ME

by NAOMI COLEMAN, femail.co.uk:

The symptoms of ME can last anything from six months to a lifetime, and doctors claim five out of six people never fully recover from the illness.

Despite this, there is only a handful of NHS clinics specialising in ME and virtually no research has been done on the illness.

Read more>>

Department of Health: ME is a debilitating, destructive illness

by NAOMI COLEMAN, femail.co.uk:

ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) is classified as a disease of the nervous system. This hidden epidemic is a debilitating, destructive illness where one in four people who suffer from the disease are housebound or bedbound.

The report also recommends training doctors on how to spot and manage the illness.

Classic signs of ME are often confused with a bad dose of flu. However, this can quickly develop into severe muscle and joint pain often leaving patients housebound.

Read more>>

Department of Health recommends better funding for BIOMEDICAL research into ME

by NAOMI COLEMAN, femail.co.uk:

But now for the first time the report published by the Department of Health, offers fresh hope to people living with ME.

The report also recommends better funding for research into the illness.

Read more>>

Report by the Department of Health: ME is an inflammatory brain disease

by NAOMI COLEMAN, femail.co.uk:

But now for the first time the report published by the Department of Health, offers fresh hope to people living with ME.

The report says that doctors should recognise ME as a real medical problem and give early diagnosis. A recent survey carried out by the charity Action for ME, found that one-third of sufferers waited 18 months to be diagnosed.

Early diagnosis, claim charities, can help people manage their symptoms and prevent the illness from becoming severe.

<...>

It is thought, however, that ME is an inflammatory brain disease. Read more>>

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Is the PACE Trial pregnant with scientific fraud?



by Kevin Short:
It is interesting that NICE refer to PACE as “this significant trial”. It is indeed very significant, but I wager not quite for the reasons they hold?

PACE is funded by a UK government agencies that are responsible for spending taxpayers’ money wisely, for upholding scientific standards and for caring for seriously ill people.

The most outstanding reason the PACE Trial is perhaps “significant” however is because it has been alleged to be pregnant with “scientific fraud” and is the subject of multiple complaints, including a major formal erudite critique by Professor Malcolm Hooper.

<...>

It is just coincidence that nearly all official/government ‘CFS’ research funding and committees seem to support the interests of the permanent health insurance industry.

It is just coincidence that when Mikovits et al published XMRV findings in Autumn 2009 that subsequent negative non-replicating studies were published by others at break-neck speed.

Read more>>

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas


Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree ...

Four research papers released on the same day stinks

By Joel Spinhirne, On Thu Dec 23, 2010:

I don't know much about retroviruses and certainly don't know whether XMRV causes ME/CFS.

But I have thought quite a bit about how the machinery of U.S. medicine works.

The story of four research papers being simultaneously released on the same day, frankly, stunk.

It sounded more like politics than science. The four papers were reported in the press as pretty much rewrites of a press release. Actually, in some cases, the way they were reported was much worse. So here is an update...

The Chicago Tribune pretty much reported the story in the standard way: prestigious, sober-minded scientists had disproved the XMRV connection to ME/CFS. A prominent virologist, Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University Medical Center, was quoted:

These four papers are probably the beginning of the end of XMRV and CFS.
Well, that sounds pretty convincing.

Except for one thing.

The next day Racaniello looked at the four papers a little closer.

It seems they did not do anything more than propose theoretical possibilities, supported by self-conducted experiments, as to why the original studies possibly could be wrong. Even then, they do not do a good job of it. The four papers are a long way from disproving anything. Read more>>

Phoenix Rising is Rising

A wide-ranging, often rankly speculative and occasionally irreverent take on the world of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)

by CORT on DECEMBER 23, 2010:

Phoenix Rising is an officially designated 501 3C non-profit which means that donations are tax deductable, and, of course, we’d love to take some off your hands

Phoenix Rising is currently engaged in several exciting projects; two treatment and physician review projects to help patients better determine which treatments to take and which doctors to see, an large online survey to gather data on the types of CFS and a website overhaul.

We are ... Read more>>

Bacteria trigger production of key immune cells

Reuters, Thu Dec 23, 2010:

Allergies and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis could one day be prevented by consuming a type of bacteria, like probiotics taken in yoghurt, according to a study published on Friday.

The researchers fed mice with a family of bacteria and found that it triggered the production of certain white blood cells, called regulatory T cells.

"By increasing regulatory T cells, they will help suppress many of our allergies and autoimmune diseases," said one of the scientists, Kenya Honda, an immunology associate professor at the University of Tokyo.

Regulatory T cells are white blood cells that regulate the immune system and prevent it from excessive reactions.

When an immune system goes into an overdrive, it can cause allergies. It can also destroy healthy cells and tissues and cause autoimmune diseases like ... Read more>>

Dr. Montoya and ME/CFS

by Cort, December 22nd, 2010:

Dr. Montoya runs the Infectious Disease Clinic at Stanford University. His 50 plus publications have focused on wide range of pathogens including toxoplasma, encephalomyelitis, herpesvirus 6, cytomegalovirus, acanthoamoeba, and many more etc.

A preliminary study several years ago suggesting that antiviral therapy returned a large percentage of the recipients to health sent a jolt through the ME/CFS Community. A followup study will soon be released.

He recently sent a letter to his patients and supporters that caught them up to date on his work and his plans for chronic fatigue syndrome and other chronic inflammatory infectious disorders. He is another example of a respected researcher that has made a strong commitment to chronic fatigue syndrome - something we can all be grateful for.

If he's successful at what he's attempting to do he'll achieve one of the great goals of ME/CFS research; he'll define a group or groups of patients using biomarkers giving them legitimacy and providing them treatments and shepherding them into the embrace of the US medical system. Of course he'll be doing that under the umbrella of one of the more prestigious Universities in the world.

Below is ... Read more>>

From healers to killers, Nazi's provide lessons in medical ethics

German physicians and scientists helped carry out the regime's policies. What can today's doctors learn from this tragic history?

By KEVIN B. O'REILLY, American Medical News:

In the 1930s and 1940s, hundreds of German medical professionals took part in a euthanasia program that targeted children younger than 3 years old with severe birth defects. Doctors and midwives were required to report such cases, and parents were told that advanced care could be given to children at 30 special pediatric wards around Germany.

Instead, the children were murdered, usually with sedatives. Physicians drew up falsified death certificates, and parents were told their children died of natural causes such as pneumonia. An estimated 5,000 children fell victim to physicians and other medical professionals who went from healers to killers.

These actions were ... Read more>>

Can we immunize the BMJ, Wessely and Cleare against contamination?

Chronic fatigue syndrome is not caused by XMRV virus, study shows’ – British Medical Journal December 23, 2010

From the British Medical Journal, 22 December 2010 (Story by Jo Carlowe).

Reacting to the findings, Anthony Cleare, reader in affective disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry of King’s College London, said, “The original paper linking infection with the XMRV virus with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) received widespread publicity. However, if this latest paper is correct, and XMRV is a laboratory contaminant rather than a virus that infects humans, it could explain why later studies have not confirmed any link between XMRV and CFS. Patients with CFS need much more certainty before accepting a link between XMRV and their illness.”

We expect XMRV treatments in 2011

by XMRV Global Action on Thursday, 23 December 2010

Dr Mikovits:
"We’re understanding what’s going wrong to make you sick, and that’s another step to making people well. So it’s a great time of excitement and research around the world. We expect treatments next year (2011)."

Read more>>

Mother's Milk inactivates XMRV

Marc-André Langlois, December 2010, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, ON K1H 8M5, Canada

To limit the spread of retroviruses, mammals appear to have tailored a way to inhibit host-to-host infection by milk-borne retroviruses.

In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Okeoma et al. (2010) reveal that the host restriction factor APOBEC3 expressed in mammary endothelial cells inactivates retroviruses released in maternal milk.

Bring ME to Life

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chicago Tribune publishes professor Racaniello's retraction letter

Vincent Racaniello, professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Columbia University, New York:

This is in response to "Studies cloud chronic fatigue research; Syndrome's link to certain viruses is put in doubt" (News, Dec. 21),in which the Tribune published my reaction to four papers on the retrovirus XMRV, recently published in the journal Retrovirology.

I was quoted as saying, "These four papers are probably the beginning of the end of XMRV and CFS."

I wish to retract this statement and explain my reasons for doing so.

Tribune reporter Trine Tsouderos asked for my thoughts on four XMRV papers that had just been released. I read all four papers and decided that they raised serious concerns about the role of XMRV in human disease. I wrote an e-mail to Tsouderos outlining my summary of the papers, and later that day her article was published. My statement was reproduced exactly from the e-mail I had sent her, so I was not misquoted.

I then set out to write about the papers for my virology blog. After rereading the papers, checking XMRV sequences in Genbank and discussing the issues with my virology colleagues and authors of three of the papers, I decided that my initial impression of the papers was incorrect.

Three of the four Retrovirology papers show that identification of XMRV can be fraught with contamination problems, but they do not imply that previously published studies are compromised by these findings. Read more>>

What Christmas is like for people with severe ME

By: Jim Collingridge:

It's that time of year again: time to write cards, buy presents and choose party outfits... time to celebrate Christmas.

Thousands of people, however, won't be well enough to celebrate.

Imagine not being able to wish your friends "Merry Christmas" because you can't speak,
not being able to open the gifts you've been given because you're too weak,
not being able to have the Christmas tree lights on because they leave you feeling desperately ill,
not being able to eat roast turkey, Christmas pud or chocolates because you're unable to swallow (and too nauseous anyway),
not being able to kiss under the mistletoe because you're in too much pain to have someone close to you -
imagine spending Christmas Day lying in a dark, silenced bedroom whilst your family enjoy the festivities downstairs.

That's what Christmas is like for those with severe ME.

Want to do something to help them?

It's easy. Just take simple steps to support the promotion of the highly acclaimed book "Severe ME/CFS: A Guide to Living" (www.severeME.info). It is "the book every patient with severe ME has been looking for" says Vikki George, patient. The more widely it's publicised, the more help and support sufferers will get.

Click on the link below for details of what to do - it will take only a few minutes of your time.

And if you're a Facebook user: please, please use this message for your status. Give people struggling with severe ME the gift of public understanding by highlighting the pain and suffering that will be depriving them of Christmas.
Read more>>

A coordinated campaign of garbage science

by Joel Spinhirne, dailykos.com:

By miraculous convergence, or by virtue of a coordinated campaign—take your pick—four research studies were published in the same medical journal this week all saying there was nothing, absolutely nothing, to the previous promising studies indicating that myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is associated with one or more retroviruses.

It did not take the press long to pick up on the story. Case closed, nothing to see here, move along. This might have worked twenty-five years ago, but it is getting harder to pull off.

<...>

There are intelligent and perceptive writers who follow the details of the retrovirus connection to ME/CFS. The biology and real science can be fascinating. But just as with the campaign against investigation into early 1980s outbreaks of AIDS, the problem is not with the science. Instead, it is with the machinery that kicks into gear to dismiss very real, very serious diseases and how science gets abused. This machinery is where our interest should be because that is what hurts us.

Who coordinated getting those four dismissive studies published at the same time this week? Getting whoever did this out of the way is going to make our friends, neighbors, and loved ones well quicker than anything.

I don’t know if XMRV causes ME/CFS, but I do know I want the best science used to figure this out. I don’t want government health agencies like the CDC, NIH, and FDA stopping real science and suppressing information and knowledge. I don’t want lobbyists telling them what to do. I don’t want journalists passing on garbage science naively and ... Read more>>

Dr. Mikovits in Santa Rosa, CA January 17, 2011

Sock It 2 ME/CFS:

XMRV Retroviruses and Human MLV-related Viruses – Updates on GMA Research + reminder Dr Mikovits, Santa Rosa, Jan 17

For now, all treatments are experimental. Some patients may choose to do a trial with antiretrovirals (ARV), either natural or conventional.

Conventional ARVs are the drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS. While XMRV and HIV are not identical, some of the knowledge gained in treating HIV may be useful in discovering what works for XMRV.

It is important to manage inflammation, one of the primary issues with retroviruses. There are natural and conventional options to treat inflammation, depending on your needs and preferences. Working to balance hormone levels is another aspect of treatment, as these retroviruses seem to be hormone sensitive.

Finally, if you have other health issues or infections, it is important to continue treatment to manage those. While XMRV may be proven to cause other diseases, it isn’t known yet whether treating the retrovirus directly will be sufficient.

Dr. Mikovits has been actively in touch with physicians who are experimenting with XMRV treatment, and we look forward to hearing any new information she might have to share in January.

If ... Read more>>

Dr Myhill: The GMC are in breach of the law and their own procedures



Dr Sarah Myhill has her IOP hearing with GMC today, her speech:

"In this presentation to the GMC I am submitting no new information or facts.

However I shall demonstrate how the GMC are in breach of the law and their own procedures as follows: ... Read more>>

We’re understanding WHY XMRV hurts the immune system

by XMRV Global Action on Thursday, 23 December 2010

Dr Mikovits:

"As one would expect (that there would be different opinions). And this is really a great time of HOPE.

Because we’ve also determined in our research this year - and that will be coming out published very soon - we’re understanding WHY the (XMRV) virus hurts the immune system.

We’re understanding what’s going wrong to make you sick, and that’s another step to making people well. So it’s a great time of excitement and research around the world. We expect treatments next year (2011)."

Read more>>

The difference between America and England

Angela Sinclaire:

America has Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Stevie Wonder; We have no cash, no hope and no wonder.

We GOBSARTS of the MRC

Anonymous said...

We GOBSARTS of the MRC
(sung to the tune of 'We Three Kings')

We GOBSARTS of the MRC
Give psychiatrists all funding for M.E.
Totally illogical
'Cos M.E.'s neurological
We're accountable to no-one,you see.

O! PACE trial of blunders, PACE trial of shite
Selection procedures just not right
Taxpayers we're bleeding - £5 million needing
PACE trial is M.E.s darkest night

CBT's the psychiatrist's gravy train
Done solely for their financial gain
They provide it but just can't hide it
Leaves patients exactly the same.

O! PACE trial of blunders...etc.

Pacing's really just common sense
(work it out for yourself,you're not dense)
Who can tell it
When Weasels sell it
Wrapped up as pseudo-science?

O! Pace trial of blunders...etc.

Graded exercise, evil curse
Makes neurological M.E. much worse
The theory's unsound,
Makes the bedbound
Finally leave the house - in a hearse.

O! PACE trial of blunders...etc.

Weasels confused fatigue with M.E.
And they've done it deliberately!
It's so funny,
We shower them money
And we all deny XMRV.

Professor Wessely in duet with Erik ..

You better watch out,
you better not lie,
better not distort, I’m tellin’ you why,
The WPI is coming to town.

We’re making a list, and checking it twice.
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…
The WPI is coming to town.

They know when you’ve been cheatin’,
They know when you’re a fake,
If you’re not a true scientist
Then get lost for goodness sake ..

Source: Jo Best

False claims that XMRV is a laboratory contaminant

Critique of Hue et al.:

Hue et al claim that their PCR primers were specific to XMRV. This claim is false (Urisman et al, 2006; Dong et al, 2007)

Hue et al claim that there is no significant variation between the viral sequences isolated from patients. This is a false claim. Fully sequenced clones from two patients display a 2% sequence variation. The gag sequences isolated from other patients show considerable variation (despite containing the characteristic 24 bp deletion in glycogag) and polymorphism. The same is true of pol sequences (Urisman et al, 2006).

Hue et al have underestimated the sequence variability in fully assembled clones by 100% (Urisman et al, 2006).

Hue et al claim that the X-MLV-like sequence in 22RV1 cell lines is a clone. This is a false claim. The virus expressed by the 22RV1 cell line is XMRV (Knouff et al, 2009).

Hue et al claim that the sequences of XMRV expressed in the 22RV1 cell line are ancestral to the sequences found in XMRV sequences recently found in prostate cancer patients. This claim is true.

Hue et al claim that this is clear evidence that XMRV is a laboratory contaminant. This claim is false. The 22RV1 cell line originated in ... Read more>>

XMRV antibodies in patients

Critique of Hue et al.:

XMRV proteins have been detected in prostate cancer patients (Schlaberg et al 2009). These authors demonstrated that IHC increased detection rates by 400% compared to PCR.

Arnold et al (2010) demonstrated the presence of antibodies to XMRV using FISH serology in prostate cancer patients who were otherwise healthy. Arnold and others also demonstrated that FISH improved detection rates by over 400% compared to PCR.
Read more>>

Nevada Newsmakers 12/21/2010: Annette Whittemore and Dr Judy Mikovits talk about the XMRV contamination papers

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Professor Racaniello: XMRV and CFS – It’s not the end

By Professor Racaniello:

Yesterday the Chicago Tribune published my reaction to the four papers on the retrovirus XMRV published this week in the journal Retrovirology. I was quoted as saying ”These four papers are probably the beginning of the end of XMRV and CFS”. I wish to retract this statement and explain my reasons for doing so.

Read more>>

New UK study casts doubts on the link between CFS and CBT

6:48 pm December 21, 2010, JohnStClair wrote:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is caused by the reversal of the hyperspace vortices of the human energy field, Ordinarily, as seen looking at the chest, the vortices spin clockwise as measured by a pendulum. The hyperspace energy flowing through the vortex creates a circular gravitational field which is what makes the pendulum swing in circles.

A vortex can become reversed due to energy creatures that are shaped like a student’s eraser with a hole on the edge. Internally, there are two chambers, one of which has a slit in the wall through which a wave of energy can be transmitted. The wave moves around the interior on the right side, is reflected off the pointed end and moves along the left side, forming a counter-clockwise vortex around the hole.

When the creature lands on a vortex, it reverses the human vortex so that energy is pulled out into the creature. This lack of energy is the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Checking with a pendulum can reveal which vortex has been affected. Then by mental intent, the vortex can be switched back to its normal rotation.

Because the vortex feeds a meter-long chamber, there will an enormous flow of energy back into the energy field which sloshes back and forth for up to six hours due to the low damping of the energy. After restoring the energy, the person returns to normal health.

Dr Ruscetti has also isolated infectious XMRV

And just as Heidi Bauer reported from the BPAC:
@1:39 "Frank Ruscetti has isolated infectious XMRV from prostate cancer"

? Two strains of XMRV in severe ME

Video from the lectures, December 2 in Gothenburg. Lecturer in Swedish Jonas Blomberg, Barbara Baumgarten in Norwegian and Judy Mikovits in English. The video is two hours.

Xmrv Positive:

Partial translation of Judy Mikovits lecture starting where she is talking about the Lo/Alter study @1:31:50 "It's not part of the publication, but Frank Ruscetti - Harvey asked Frank if he would isolate the virus from these patients. He did so and he detected XMRV, suggesting that our cell line preferentially replicates XMRV.

Importantly, Rachel Bagni also showed an immune response in these 9 samples 15 years later.

So, we looked then back at our population knowing these data, and here I'm just illustrating that our population, or a portion of it, had two strains of human gammaretroviruses in that patient population from the original cohort...

Independant cloning of the viral sequences confirms the diversity in our patient population that we saw in Tony Komaroff's patient population and the presence of actually two strains of virus in several of the same individuals.

And this might be a clue to individuals who might be sicker if they have both as opposed to one. So we can study that. This just shows you again that the clones - when we did a lot of clones from this patient - more than 50 cultures into LNCaP, every one of them were XMRV-like, suggesting that XMRV-type virus replicates more efficiently in LNCaP.

So, Rachel Bagni did what's known as a phylogenetic analysis - a tree where you compare the sequences of all the polytropic viruses in green in the gene bank in the data base to the sequences from our patients...And you can see that many of the WPI samples from that original study also contain polytropic sequences. Interestingly, one patient contained what's called a mink cell focus or a modified polytropic virus - much more divergent that some of the other strains.

And this patient also has a different phenotype, a more aggressive disease.

She's sicker, suggesting that maybe the family of viruses can be distinguished and we might not have identified the most pathogenic gammaretrovirus first as we did with HIV and HTLV-1. Both of the "1" strains are the most pathogenic, but there's a lot of research to do to answer these questions on if and how the family members are associated with different severities of disease."

And just as Heidi Bauer reported from the BPAC:
@1:39 "Frank Ruscetti has isolated infectious XMRV from prostate cancer"

Video

It's important to find a man who has money

Angela Sinclaire:

It's important to find a man who has money, a man who adores you, a man who is great in the sack. Its also important that all 3 men don't meet!

China to ship Great Wall to Bulgaria

By Tristan Hankins:

You read that correctly, dear reader, though it’s not what you think. We’re not talking about the Great Wall, we’re talking Great Wall Motor [sic], a Chinese automaker that builds everything from sedans to pickups to hatchbacks and SUVs - some of which will bring to mind [sic times two] models from other European and Japanese carmakers. And, by mid-year 2011, Great Wall Motor will have a factory in Bahovitsa, Bulgaria! Yippee!

If you, like me, know only a few things about Bulgaria, here’s a little summary from the CIA World Factbook: it sits between Romania and Turkey; it has a population of around 7 million; Communism was dropped in 1990; the country joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007 and its primary exports are clothing, iron and steel, machinery and fuels. Fascinating!

The new plan is the brainchild of ... Read more>>

It is plausible that XMRV represents a major health concern in the United States

Fry Laboratories offers our research use XMRV PCR assay for licensed clinicians and health care professionals.

Our samples are processed looking for two different loci of the XMRV provial genome with any positive result from either region being followed up with direct sequencing and analysis.

Thus far Fry Laboratories is in approximate agreement with the study coming from the NIH [23] with approximately 7.7% of an unselected population displaying detectable levels of MLV-related proviruses.

We have sequenced fragments of these patient-derived genomes and have discovered novel variants of the XMRV and MLV-related viruses beyond what is published in the literature. Little is known about MLV viruses and the literature is not resolved about its health effects.

We have detected it at a non-trivial rate and it is plausible that XMRV and related viruses represents a major health concern in the United States.

As such we believe offering a high quality test that can detect both XMRV and MLV-related viruses is critical for physicians and health care professionals to provide first line detection of an emerging and novel threat to patient health.

Solid evidence of human XMRV infection

Dr Eric Klein, Cleveland Clinic: We have reported XMRV integration in fresh frozen prostate tissue taken directly from patients at radical prostatectomy that has never been put in tissue culture and believe this is solid evidence of authentic human infection . See Dong et al PNAS 2007 and Kim et al. J Virol 2008

Source: Eric Klein, Cleveland Clinic 12 hours ago

Professor Racaniello: the results of all four Retrovirology papers do not challenge the existence of XMRV in patients

Source: profvrr 16 hours ago in reply to Jim B

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The frightening process

Anonymous said...:


"The frightening process" - sung to the tune of 'The Holly and the Ivy'


The frightening process will be trialled by creepy crawl-y
To see if she can scare children out of neurological M.E.

Oh the making of the profits, how Shrill Sharker SMILEd.
(Don't let unscientific 'research' exploit your sick child!)

Stand on a piece of paper child, yelling NO! at your M.E.
When this doesn't work child, you're not doing it properly.

Oh the raking in of profits, how Shrill Sharker SMILEd
(Don't let unscientific 'research' exploit your sick child!)

Unqualified therapists are delivering this snake oil,
But clients claiming relapses their extravagant claims spoil.

Oh the making of the profits, how Shrill Sharker SMILEd
(Don't let unscientific 'research' exploit your sick child!)

The ME Association and the TYMES Trust both disagree
With this research being passed by creepy's ethics committee.

Oh the making of the profits, how Shrill Sharker SMILEd
(Don't let unscientific 'research' exploit your sick child!)

It's not been trialled on adults, children are more gullible
Unscientific mumbo jumbo forced on the most vulnerable.

Oh the making of the profits, how Shrill Sharker SMILEd
(Don't let unscientific 'research' exploit your sick child!)

Self-pleasuring disguised as science

The CFS Patient Advocate:

Many of the participants of the Blood Study group advisory committee meandered off to have a little dinner and feel good about themselves. Their self-assessment mirrors a comment overheard recently in a NYC coffee shop:

"I feel good about myself and I think I do a good job."

The rest of us go back to our life of illness or illness support. It is a grim life, made more difficult by having to go back to confront illness reality after a day with these FDA losers.

It is this disconnect that is really irritating - the disrespect for this illness that individuals like Coffin and Stoye display publicly.

They are playing their little games, disguised as science - and their successes in their careers come at the expense of patients.

They do not give a shit.

This is what I dislike. It is the contempt and the disregard and the ignorance of the consequences of their actions. It is in this way that they are modern people - self-pleasurers.

On this December 20th, a story from November 2009 has taken center stage and has become a "realization".

A year ago a well-known cancer virologist was approached in the halls of the NCI by another virologist and advised to "distance himself from the WPI" - that "they (unknown elements) were going to take out the WPI". Today ... Read more>>

Professor Wessely, beware: new Facebook virus - "look at you haha:P"

Harold Nolte, Examiner.com

It appears that there is a new Facebook virus that is going around that may be causing problems. Unwitting Facebook users are writing on friends' walls with a "Heyy [friend], look at you in this video.. What are you doing?" and attached is a picture with the caption "Look at you haha:P" which is really a link to a Facebook app, not a video. The picture doesn't have a 'play' button like videos on Facebook.

If you have seen this, add a comment below with your location so we can see how widespread this is.

You may get this from friends, and before you realize what it is, you click on it. Be careful because it is likely not really from your friend. If you're not careful, you may be sending this app to your friends.

Malicious people do these things to get attention, They ... Read more>>

Nexavir (Kutapressin) for CFS

by cfssufferer:

What is Nexavir?

During the 1940s, a product called Kutapressin was licensed to treat acne, cold sores, herpes viruses and other inflammatory viruses. In 1983, Kutapressin was trialled on ME/CFS patients. A company called Schwarz Pharma produced Kutapressin until several years ago when this product was discontinued. A separate company called Nexco Pharma recently reintroduced this same product with a virtually identical composition to Kutapressin under the brand name ‘Nexavir.’ The terms Kutapressin and Nexavir will be used interchangeably in this article.

Nexavir is a porcine liver extract that is the residual product from the process of vitamin B12 extraction. It is composed of peptides and amino acids.

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Nexavir may improve ME/CFS symptoms because it:

Inhibits EBV
Inhibit HHV-6
Is anti-inflammatory
Is antiviral
Is an immunomodulator (Nexavir may help shift the immune system away from Th2 dominance.)
Enhances blood flow in the brain (as measured by a SPECT scan.) This increased rate of blood flow may be a consequence of the Bradykinin effect which involves dilation of the blood vessels.

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Dr. De Meirleir performed a study involving the administration of Nexavir or a placebo to ME/CFS patients. 63% of those ME/CFS patients in the treatment group responded to Nexavir while only 17% of those ME/CFS patients in the placebo group responded. Dr. De Meirleir finds that approximately 50% of his patients are pain free after 2-3 months of Nexavir injections. His patients generally experience a normalisation of sleep within 3 days of commencing Nexavir. Approximately 70% of Dr. De Meirleir’s patients experience a 20+ point increase (based on the Karnovsky scale) as a consequence of taking Nexavir.

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Dr. Lapp provided almost every ME/CFS patient that made an appointment with him, the opportunity to try Kutapressin. He has labelled it as a “wonderful alternative.” Dr. Lapp has stated that Nexavir was handmade for CFS patients with the main arguments against taking it being the cost and the necessary frequency of the ‘painful’ injections.

Many specialists combine Nexavir with other treatments to ... Read more>>

You can NOT make antibodies to a lab contaminant

By Amy Dockser Marcus, The Wall Street Journal:

XMRV: Raising the Issue of Contamination

Four papers published today in the journal Retrovirology—and a fifth one commenting on the papers—demonstrated how easy it is for mouse contamination to skew lab experiments involving the virus XMRV.

But they are unlikely to resolve the debate over whether XMRV is linked to diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome or prostate cancer, especially since the authors of the papers disagree on the interpretation of their data.

Read more>>

Garbage editorial judgments disguised as facts

By: John Herd, CFS Advocate

Today I read one of the best editorial CFS advocacy articles I have read in years. Not only was it very well written, but its expressed views were well backed up by past CFS Advisory Committee transcripts and video, not to mention a long history of CDC actions and inactions. It was written by an advocate who is clearly a patients’ advocate for truth.

The article had only been on the Internet a short time when Cort lifted quotes from it, refuted what the author had written and called the author’s analysis “nuts.” In disagreement Cort then claimed that if Dr. Unger broadens the CFS definition she “would be quickly thrown out.” Hello? Did Dr. Reeves get thrown out because of his lackadaisical use of the Fukuda CFS definition or his creation of the “empirical definition”? No. Cort’s suggestion is typical Cort sticking his head in the ground in typical Cort fashion. We’ve seen him do so regularly when the CFIDS Association of America has been held accountable for their questionable actions.

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I am sorry that this has been so bluntly frank, but people need to see see Cort [and his web site] for what they are. People need to see some of his garbage editorial judgments disguised as declarative fact on his web site for what it is. And people need to turn to trusted proven advocates ’of the patients for the patients’ if they want objective analysis about what is happening in the CFS arena.

Read more>>

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