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Is there research on viral-neurological connection in ME/CFS?

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Dreambirdie, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Is there a paper that elucidates the viral-neurological connection in ME/CFS?

    A friend of mine doesn't understand why I don't have overt viral symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, fever, etc) when I have viral infections. They affect me primarily neurologically and seem to go straight to my brain, disrupting my sleep, my concentration, my coordination, and my energy.

    As I understand it the herpes viruses (EBV, CMV, HHV6) tend to live in the nervous system and when they are activated, it can cause the type of symptoms mentioned above. Anything that undermines my immune system (including garden variety cold and flu bugs) can activate the herpes viruses.

    I would like to know if this explanation is written up somewhere...?

    thanks.
    leela likes this.
  2. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    I think the reason we don't have typical viral (or whatever) symptoms is due to the immune system abnormalities or dysfunction (that may be caused by other things like environmental toxins, heavy metal burdens, etc). So if you could find studies that note the difference in cellular vs humoral immunity, that might help explain it?Here's one, but there should be better ones out there:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2787888

    and another…

    http://jcm.asm.org/content/28/6/1403.short
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  3. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Thanks Dan.
  4. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    This was all I found but it isn't quite on point.

    Herpes virus infection of the peripheral nervous system.
    Authors
    Steiner I.
    Journal
    Handb Clin Neurol. 2013;115:543-58. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52902-2.00031-X.

    Affiliation
    Abstract

    Among the human herpes viruses, three are neurotropic and capable of producing severe neurological abnormalities: herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Both the acute, primary infection and the reactivation from the site of latent infection, the dorsal sensory ganglia, are associated with severe human morbidity and mortality. The peripheral nervous system is one of the major loci affected by these viruses. The present review details the virology and molecular biology underlying the human infection. This is followed by detailed description of the symtomatology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, course, therapy, and prognosis of disorders of the peripheral nervous system caused by these viruses.

    I can pull the paper if you are interested.
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  5. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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  6. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Maybe vagus nerve infection, assuming that you do actually have a viral infection?
    Dreambirdie likes this.
  7. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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  8. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    No t necessary, but good to see the title.
  9. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    These have all been helpful. Thank you everybody.
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  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I think this is a case where the question itself is more important that any specific answer. The question highlights the fact that although there is good evidence of chronic infection in ME/CFS patients, the mechanism by which this infection precipitates the cognitive and mental symptoms we experience in ME/CFS has not been well elucidated.

    There ought be more research into how an infection can precipitate ME/CFS symptoms.


    Though one recently published paper by Michael VanElzakker attempts to do this. VanElzakker notes that sickness behavior symptoms (which are defined as the mental and physical symptoms you get when you come down with a nasty acute infection, like the flu) are very similar to ME/CFS symptoms. Sickness behavior can be thought of as a built-in response to infection.

    VanElzakker describes a mechanism by which the low level chronic infections of ME/CFS may trigger the sickness behavior response: VanElzakker suggests that the vagus nerve, which is known to be the main trigger and mediator of sickness behavior, actually becomes infected itself, and this infection of this nerve constantly triggers sickness behavior in the brain, leading to all the symptoms we experience in ME/CFS.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013

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