As I read this article, I am reminded, as hypnotherapists we are able to speak to our body and make changes.
April 25, 2006
Chronic Fatigue Is Linked To Immune System
By JENNIFER CORBETT DOOREN; Page D4
Scientists have discovered that people with chronic fatigue syndrome
have subtle changes in their immune systems, certain brain functions
and metabolisms, offering the strongest evidence yet the little-
understood illness is a legitimate medical condition.The research,
led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, could
eventually lead to specific treatments for the syndrome, estimated
to affect as many as one million Americans. Currently just symptoms
of the illness -- which include fatigue, short-term memory
impairment, joint and muscle pain -- are treated with medications
that target the pain or fatigue. In some cases, antidepressants are
Chronic fatigue syndrome was officially recognized by the government
in the late 1980s as a medical condition, although at the time many
doctors questioned whether the condition was a true physical
illness. Others believed it was a mental illness.
William Reeves, one of the CDC's lead chronic fatigue researchers,
said that within about the past five years most medical
professionals have concluded the syndrome is a legitimate medical
condition. No one really knows how chronic fatigue develops or how
to properly treat it. Dr. Reeves and other researchers have spent
more than a decade trying to untangle the mystery.
For now, chronic fatigue itself isn't treatable. There is no
medication for the condition approved by the Food and Drug
Administration. Drug companies have mostly stayed away from research
in the area because so little is known about how chronic fatigue
develops and maintains itself as an illness.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue are treated with a variety of
medications including painkillers, certain types of antidepressants
and, in some cases, stimulants like Provigil, a drug by Cephalon
Inc., Cambridge, Mass., used to treat excessive daytime sleepiness
According to the CDC, one small study suggested Provigil decreased
fatigue symptoms compared with patients taking a placebo. Larger
studies of Provigil as a chronic-fatigue treatment have recently
been completed, but the results aren't yet available.
At least one experimental drug that would directly target chronic
fatigue syndrome is in the works. Hemispherix Biopharma Inc., based
in Philadelphia, has completed a Phase III study of its proposed
drug Ampligen and plans to seek FDA approval to market the drug as a
chronic fatigue treatment by the end of the year. The drug is
designed to stimulate the production of interferons, which play a
role in the immune system and its response to viruses.
The newest research, conducted by Dr. Reeves and Suzanne D. Vernon,
also with the CDC, has shown that people with chronic fatigue have
physical changes in certain genes, and central nervous system and
immune functions, compared with people without the syndrome. The
research is published in 14 separate papers in this month's
Pharmacogenomics, a medical journal published by Future
Medicine.While Dr. Reeves said he can't yet point to a specific set
of genes or a particular cause for chronic fatigue syndrome, he
explained the current research is "groundbreaking" because it
suggests the involvement of certain genes and other bodily system
functions that can now be the target for future research.
Dr. Reeves and Dr. Vernon led four teams of researchers who
extensively studied 227 people in Wichita, Kan. Each team separately
analyzed the data, partly to see if the teams reached similar
conclusions -- and they did in many cases.
The study participants, who included 55 people considered healthy,
spent two days in a hospital undergoing several examinations which
measured sleep, cognitive function and nervous system function.
Volunteers also gave blood samples. Researchers were also able to
look at the activity of more than 20,000 genes in each patient. The
goal of the research was to identify factors that might cause or be
related to chronic fatigue.Overall, researchers said they found
a "clear biologic basis" for chronic fatigue syndrome.
Dr. Reeves said the research shows the genetic makeup or physiology
of people with CFS is different than for those without CFS. As a
result, he said, people with chronic fatigue are less likely to
adapt to the daily stresses of life, and are less able to fight and
react to infections and injuries.
The patients in the study were recruited using a phone survey of
Wichita residents rather than targeting just patients who had been
previously diagnosed with chronic fatigue. Dr. Reeves said almost
half of the people who appeared to have chronic fatigue based on the
phone interview actually had other medical conditions, including low-
thyroid function, diabetes and substance abuse. Others had severe
Write to Jennifer Corbett Dooren at jennifer.corbett-
1Corrections & Amplifications:Hemispherx Biopharma Inc. has
completed a Phase III study of its proposed drug Ampligen that
targets chronic fatigue syndrome. This article misspelled the
company's name as Hemispherix Biopharma Inc.
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