A New Decade of ME Research: The 11th Invest in ME International ME Conference 2016
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New Post-Ebola Article - Scientific American

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Old Bones, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

    The July 2016 issue of Scientific American contains an article called "Ebola's Second Coming" which describes symptoms that sound very much like ME, a connection that has already been discussed in other PR threads. For those that have access to the magazine on-line, the link is:


    Otherwise, here are a few quotes that I found interesting:

    "Josephine is one of 1,500 Ebola survivors in Liberia. Like Josephine, many today suffer memory loss, joint pains, muscle aches and eye problems. These are not isolated anecdotes . . . more than half of the patients who lived through an acute attack later reported muscle and joint problems. Two thirds had neurological difficulties. Although the World Health organization declared the public emergency was over this past March, now people are living with what doctors call post-Ebola syndrome. . . . There is one thing that experts and patients do know. Ebola is not over."

    More than 1,000 of Liberia's 1,500 survivors have agreed to take part in a study during which their health will be monitored semi-annually for five years. So far . . . "60 percent . . . reported eye problems, 53 percent said they suffered muscle aches and joint pain, and 68 percent reported neurological problems. (The) team dug deeper to learn what kind of damage the virus can inflict on the nervous system. . . . nearly three quarters of Ebola survivors suffered headaches, 72 percent had depression, and more than half suffered memory loss and difficulty walking."

    Patients in several other previous studies reported: eye pain, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, uveitis, memory loss, sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety. "There was no doubt the syndrome was real. But the existing data offered little explanation for how the virus can cause these problems."

    "This kind of confusion has happened before with another virus. HIV. Back in the 1980's when researchers were puzzled by this new viral threat, they tried to understand its effects by applying what they knew about other diseases. The same process is happening with Ebola, says Avindra Nath (Solve ME/CFS Initiative), a neurologist and scientist at the NIH. Nath has spent the better part of three decades studying infections of the brain. . . . Nath wonders if the neurological symptoms in Ebola survivors are a direct result of the virus or, instead, are triggered by the immune system's response to the infection. HIV, for instance, infects immune cells called macrophages in the brain, prompting the release of cytokines, small proteins that are toxic to nerve cells. . . . That can bring on hemorrhaging throughout the body, including the brain, which could explain the memory problems . . . (Meanwhile) others turn to different viruses to understand another symptom: the extreme fatigue . . . Inflammatory cytokines may be to blame. They can act on receptors in the brain to induce postinfection fatigue and loss of appetite."

    The article goes on to discuss the many places in the body the Ebola virus hides: the eyeballs, testes, central nervous system and body fluids. It mentions the stigma, and describes the concerns of possible contagion long past the time when symptoms may have resolved.
  2. Gemini

    Gemini Senior Member

    East Coast USA
    Thanks for posting this interesting article, @Old Bones.

    It's nice to see Dr. Nath quoted.
    Justin30, Johannawj and mango like this.
  3. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

    One of the many past names for ME/CFS was Post Viral Syndrome. If the medical profession had paid more attention to that then, they might have a better idea of what is going on with Ebola now.
  4. Groggy Doggy

    Groggy Doggy Guest

    Curious, is it possible post ebola is caused by the medicine thats used to treat ebola?

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