WHITTEMORE PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR NEURO-IMMUNE DISEASE:
 Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating disease that affects more than one million people in the US alone. CFS is a disease characterized by severe and debilitating fatigue, sleep abnormalities, impaired memory and concentration, and musculoskeletal pain. In the Western world, the population prevalence is estimated to be of the order of 0.5%-2% (Papanicolaou et al. 2004. Neuroimmunomodulation 11(2):65-74; White. 2007. Popul Health Metr
5(1 ):6). CFS subjects are known to have a shortened life-span and are at risk for developing lymphoma. Currently, there is no diagnostic test and no treatment, except for the specific treatment of microbial infections in those cases in which microbial agents can be identified (Devanur and Kerr. 2006. J Clin Virol 37(3): 139-150). Although the precise pathogenesis of CFS is unknown, a range of factors have been shown to contribute (Komaroff and Buchwald. 1998. Annu Rev Med 49:1-13; Devanur and Kerr. 2006. supra).
[0007 ] Several retroviruses such as the MuLVs, primate retroviruses, HIV and HTLV-1 are associated with cancer and neurological diseases (C. Power, Trends in Neurosci. 24, 162, 2001; Miller and Meucii 1999 TINS 22(10), 471-479; Power et al. 1994 Journal of Virology 68(7) 4463- 4649). Investigation of the molecular mechanism of retroviral induced neurodegeneration in rodent models revealed vascular and inflammatory changes mediated by cytokines and chemokines and these changes were observed prior to any neurological pathology (X. Li, C1 Hanson. J. Cmarik, S. Ruscetti J. Virol.83, 4912, March, 2009, K.E. Peterson., B Chesebro. Curr. Opin. Microbiol. Immunol. 303, 67 2006). Neurological maladies and upregulation of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines are some of the most commonly reported observations associated with CFS. Retroviral involvement has long been suspected not only for CFS but also for other neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (E. DeFreitas et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 88, 2922 (Apr 1 , 1991); A. Rolland et al., J Neuroimmunol 160, 195 (Mar, 2005); A. J. Steele et al., Neurology 64, 454 (Feb 8, 2005)).