1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
New Exercise Study Brings Both Illumination and Questions
Simon McGrath looks at new objective evidence of abnormal response to exercise in ME/CFS patients, and the questions that researchers are still trying to answer ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

The Insanity Virus - HERV-W in MS and schizophrenia

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by acer2000, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    Messages:
    859
    Likes:
    887
    O.K. Marco, that passage you quoted is a fine example. It basically empties the bit bucket for possible causes of reactivation of HERVs. What is definitely observed is that one or more of these factors are present in those cases where virions or other signs of reactivation are also present. Simple biochemical causes can indeed cause transcription of these genes. However, with the possible exception of HERVs of very recent origin, all endogenous sequences are defective w.r.t. to replication. A helper virus may supply missing functions, but we have to ask what possible helper viruses could perform the particular functions required. Optimally, it should be very similar.

    Retroviruses which have been studied commonly affect immune function to various degrees. This makes activation by other viruses hard to distinguish from a common cause of activation and increased activity by endemic viral infections. A smoke screen of coinfections which hides a retrovirus from immune response will also interfere with detection by researchers.

    The cases I know of in which a sequence passed via inheritance is easily activated and replication-competent are things like chromosomally-integrated HHV-6, which really does exist. Activation is no problem because exogenous HHV-6 is widespread. The question of how those virus genomes got inserted in chromosomes remains up in the air, but coinfection by a retrovirus is one possible answer. Another possibility involves retrotransposons. Either one is an example of horizontal transmission of genetic information, which has generally been ignored in genetic studies. You can find other examples of chromosomal integration of viruses, though all I know are pathological.

    We come back to the evolutionary bind, if those sequences are not replication-competent it will be hard for them to evolve. Changes, whether favorable or not, will not be passed on.

    If it only required a single mutation to produce a replication-competent virus from an endogenous sequence, then we could expect this to happen by chance once in a while, after transcription is activated. Many convergent mutations are another kettle of fish entirely.

    Arguments about sequences being close enough to be activated and corrected by chance cut both ways. If the correction can take place on a short human timescale, the previous evolutionary history of that sequence must also be short. Either alternative leads to the reasonable idea that undetected human retroviruses are active in the present or very recent past.

    Your other questions are highly pertinent, and deserve answers I do not have.

    Your material about sensory gating of visual or auditory information is highly relevant to a possible overlap between pathology of ME and schizophrenia. Again, I suggest that the ability to reject false input and accept only real data from the external world may depend more on the specific parts of the nervous system infected than any fundamental difference in etiology. This is speculation, but it could be at least as productive as a great deal of earlier speculation which achieved academic respectability without doing anything useful for patients in any diagnostic category.
    NK17 likes this.
  2. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes:
    886
    Near Cognac, France
    I'll take that as a qualified endorsement;)
  3. EtherSpin

    EtherSpin

    Messages:
    55
    Likes:
    36
    Melbourne , Australia
    Im fascinated by this and really keen to do some investigation though I dont know of any specialists in the area,I see Dr Cabena at Dr Lewis's/CFS Discovery's clinic in Melbourne and they mentioned to me a link in their theory in the causative factors between ME and schizophrenia and my only sibling has schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis , my father had rheumatic fever at age 12-13 (suffered for around a year) and he has symptoms of aspergers, I have a control in this situation because this point is when he diverged in personality significantly from his identical twin and the symptoms are very drastic, he recalls every tiny mishap from the week to anyone no matter how innappropriate,he "listens" to people speaking in complete absence of physical or verbal cues (innappropriately timed "yeah" and "OK" etc) and will completely drop out of the conversation for any environmental noise ("where is that siren" , "is that the dog next door" , "is that someone out the front?" ) he also tells super depressing stories as his default anecdote and no cue short of "STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS" or actually walking out of the room will stop him - he fills in the gaps about why anyone catches his gaze in public, anyone who looks at him is usually described as "glaring" etc

    my sister and I have parallels in our condition development, I had glandular when I was almost 14 and it left me with thermal allodynia through some kind of nerve damage (possible small fiber) then at 26 I got full ME/CFS my sister got schizophrenia at 14 and her rheumatoid arthritis at 24.

    its particularly a link with my sister Im looking for, I see there are antiviral trials taking place for schizophrenia and Im currently on famvir.. id love to get her some help as it has arrested her development almost at the age she got it - she presents like a 14 year old though she is 27 , her symptoms would drive people away..
  4. Jon_Tradicionali

    Jon_Tradicionali Senior Member

    Messages:
    161
    Likes:
    107
    Zogor-Ndreaj, Shkodër, Albania
    Excellent thread with large amounts of useful information regarding HERVS and Streptococci infections.
  5. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes:
    2,871
    Scotland
    @Marco, there are specialised parts of the visual system which recognise "slants". The whole image on the retina is all broken up into its consituent parts, even within the complex layers of cells just behind the retina - and not even at the same time.
    Movement is detected 200 microseconds before colour (Zeki), the image is divided into occlusions, upright lines, sloping lines and horizontal lines, intensity, and all sorts of components, before being "translated" by the brain into something we can understand. We really do "invent" everything we see.

    It really is better to study the physiology before launching into theoretical computer models...
  6. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    Messages:
    859
    Likes:
    887
    I'm afraid I overlooked the post by Etherspin last year.

    I can report that my father had "rheumatic fever" when he was in high school, and spent almost a year recovering. I would say that he went on to be remarkably sane, (except when he disagreed with me.) I use quotes because diagnosis during that era was even less reliable than at present.

    My own exposure to "glandular fever" is harder to pin down. I showed symptoms, and was tested repeatedly for mono as a teen, but all tests were negative. The best explanation currently available is that this was not a new infection. I would then suggest I was infected at about age 9, and soon after I had "the worst flu of my life". By the time I was tested, as a teen, the infection was already chronic. What had happened was a failure to hold the virus latent.

    I've also seen those symptoms you report in others I don't feel free to talk about.

    The hypothesis that best fits several features of this fragmentary history is an immune defect revealed by environmental challenges.
  7. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes:
    886
    Near Cognac, France
    Hi Peggy sue

    'Computational' relates to attempts to reconstruct models of how the physiology of the visual system works to result in our perception of 'reality' not constructing abstract computer models. One example is that we know (or did 25 plus years ago) that there are neuronal assemblies specialised to detect edges, lines,contrast etc but fundamental questions remain such as do we determine structure from motion or vice versa.

    This approach has nothing to do with ignoring the known physiology.
    peggy-sue likes this.
  8. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    Messages:
    859
    Likes:
    887
    Aside: I've left the message I was composing unaltered because it addresses somewhat different concerns than Marco's response.

    Peggy-sue, I'm still not entirely clear on which theoretical computer models of Marco's you mean. I believe I know something about computer models, and can say there are a lot of sins covered by that terminology.

    What you say about visual perceptual physiology is accurate, but I'm reminded of the painful experience of others in physics when they attempted to present a useful model of schizophrenic gaze to medical doctors. They could demonstrate that their model produced results indistinguishable from actual film of schizophrenics tracking a visual target, though they did not prepare the kind of dramatic demonstration needed to convince doctors because they simply did not anticipate the kind of strong negative response they got.

    To anyone familiar with data on time series in non-linear dynamics the data collected from those films (this was a long time ago, when videos were less common,) said very clearly that the dimension of the attractor was no more than about 3. This is the minimum for chaotic dynamics. An explanation based on pure randomness would not fit in any small number of dimensions.

    The implication for me was clear: there was a simple neurological defect underlying a clinical sign of a very complicated mental illness. The public debate wandered off into discussions of all the muscles and nerves controlling eye movements, with the result that this work went nowhere because doctors were convinced there could not be any simple defect to study. You can observe the lack of progress concerning schizophrenia during the following 30 years for yourself.
    peggy-sue likes this.
  9. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes:
    2,871
    Scotland
    ok, Marco! :thumbsup:
    It's just that so many folk in Cognitive "Science" do...

    I once walked in on a lecturer - who had a doctorate, doing experiments on folks' reaction times to words and non-words.

    From the errors, he told me, he would be able to work out if we store the symbols for words in in lexicons or in bins.

    (WTF:wide-eyed: )

    No proof of course, that there are symbols in a physical form that we "store" anywhere. It was just "assumed".
  10. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    Messages:
    859
    Likes:
    887
    Doctorates do not exempt lecturers from possibly talking nonsense.

    In terms of "proof" I would have to ask about the famous "schizophrenic mother" hypothesis, which had a long play in psychiatry. These are realms where proof is hard to come by.

    I would hope that the one you mention had some other basis for postulating his lexicons. Don Norman has done some interesting work on limitations of human information processing. (In my experience three levels of symbol nesting seem to be a significant barrier. This goes beyond the famous magic number 7 +/- 2.) Don even titled one book of his "Human Information Processing". He struck me as one of the most rational people in the field.

    At the other extreme I recall an A.I. researcher I knew, who will remain unnamed, who shocked me in a later video by actually looking younger than he had when I knew him. The problem was that he had regressed to a kind of teenage nerd stereotype who would fit right in on "The Big Bang Theory". He had completely lost the ability to question his beliefs.
  11. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes:
    2,871
    Scotland
    I'm fairly sure everything was based on thinking that Chomsky "Language Aquisition Device" was real.

    They had this notion that the brain was irrelevant, they likened it to a record player. It doesn't matter how the record player works, what matters is the record (or computer programme) that is put on the player (or brain).

    Chomsky has done the world a real favour by getting out of academia and concentrating more on Amnesty. :p
    Shame he didn't do it a lot sooner.
    natasa778 likes this.
  12. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes:
    2,871
    Scotland
    Ancientdaze said;

    At the other extreme I recall an A.I. researcher I knew, who will remain unnamed, who shocked me in a later video by actually looking younger than he had when I knew him. The problem was that he had regressed to a kind of teenage nerd stereotype who would fit right in on "The Big Bang Theory". He had completely lost the ability to question his beliefs.

    I'm afraid I think this about a lot of theoretical science, including the eminent Stephen Hawkins - it's as bad as the psychiatric lot.

    parallel universes? - give me strength!

    Loop theory makes a heck of a lot more sense than string theory.
    I'm with Amy Farrah-Fowler on this one.:p
  13. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    Messages:
    859
    Likes:
    887
    Chomsky did very useful work in the area of formal languages, which says absolutely nothing about what actually goes on inside people speaking a language. I've noticed that formal models of English based on his theories behave a lot like other language programs. People keep adding to them until they have about 25,000 rules, at which point the model becomes unmaintainable.

    His political activism has always been peculiarly selective, but I'll stop there.

    I'm quite willing to consider parallel universes, but I'm inherently suspicious of any theory which is intrinsically untestable because all the interesting stuff happens in another universe. Loop quantum gravity makes a great deal of sense to me, though I'm not sure which character on TBBT advocates it. I've had a problem with theories of fundamental space-time which require a separate background for ages. If space-time has become macrame, what the hell are you using as reference frames for coordinates? The flip side of this coin is that I have no better idea than anyone else how to connect background-free theories with the rest of physics.

    If you are bothered by mere parallel universes, I suggest you avoid looking too closely at what the bright young guys/girls in mathematics are doing. Simple spaces with some number of dimensions, possibly uncountable, have been replaced by topoi. Non-commutative geometry which avoids such mundane ideas as points and lines has become somewhat old fashioned. If you can visualize anything in modern geometry it must be because nobody young and active has brought it up to date.
  14. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes:
    2,871
    Scotland
    It's still all spceculative philosophy. I don't have enough interest to follow the ideas in detail although we do watch the sorts of very basic tv programmes on this sort of thing.
    I have however, come to the decision that time does not exist. Not any more than any number exists, all on it's own. It is a descriptive, not an entity.
    Not enough Occam's razor.;)

    My interest is much more in the motives and reasons folk do this sort of thing in the first place.
  15. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    Messages:
    859
    Likes:
    887
    As a confirmed solipsist, I do not worry about those questions, though I do wonder why I do certain things. ;)
  16. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes:
    2,871
    Scotland
    Well given what I know about the brain, there's not too much wrong with solipsicm.

    But I wouldn't have taken it on trust from a mere philospohical point ot view.

    We do invent our own experiences. They all happen in the brain. Nobody can ever even know another's experience.
  17. wastwater

    wastwater Senior Member

    Messages:
    130
    Likes:
    49
    uk
    My uncle suffered the same decline after scarlet fever

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page