By Katherine Hobson, The Wall Street Journal, WSJ.com:
In early April, the National Institutes of Health will hold a scientific workshop on the still-mysterious chronic fatigue syndrome, attempting to suss out the potential biological causes of the disease.
As the WSJ’s Amy Dockser Marcus reports, researchers have been working to decipher CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis. Among the avenues they’re exploring: developing diagnostic tests based on proteins or other biological markers, studying other infectious diseases that seem to prompt CFS in certain patients and sussing out if the virus XMRV plays a role in the disease — a controversial issue, as we’ve reported.
Marcus reports that the 100 scientists, researchers and advocates expected to attend the April 7-8 workshop will focus on things including immunology and infectious diseases. That’s a very different lineup than in 2003, when the last NIH workshop on the disease focused more on the psychological aspects of the disease. While interest in CFS research is surging, thanks in part to the XMRV controversy, patients are still waiting for answers and possible treatments.
As one 22-year-old patient, Molly Billings, writes in the WSJ:
So my plea is for those other unfortunate individuals with CFS, as well as myself, for someone to come to our aid. I hope someday people can understand the pain and suffering that we go through, and try to treat us. This is a disease, and we deserve to find a cure.