i think he is trying to save his own turf. He's the doc involved in the dubbo cfs studies here in australia. Not a great deal came from these. His biggest quote was these initial viruses like ebv are hit and run, they damage us then leave( which i think happens to some). The studies using valcyte show that ebv, hhv6 etc are still active in cfs and now its believed that xmrv can reactivate these viruses. So all these new studies really shoot him down because he didnt find any evidence of ongoing viral causes.
I think its because testing in australia for ebv etc is only positive if have igm antibodies, they dont recognise elevated igg antibodies as being a current or reactivated virus.
It's certainly interesting. At least it's way more correct that a lot of the pathetic comments by other credentialed persons!
> if this statement is accurate the reliability of the designation of the
101 patients must be cast into serious doubt (as diagnosis of lymphoma
precludes a diagnosis of CFS).
This is a small technicality. If he wants to worry about this, that's cool -- it's not totally beyond the pale or something. But it's so minor that that is a matter of taste as to whether it's worth any sweat. I'm pretty sure all these people were dx'd with CFS when they /didn't/ have lymphoma. Obviously, few people fully recover from CFS -- so it would be a big shock if one of these people had CFS-like symptoms that were caused by CFS, then their CFS gradually went away but lymphoma sustained the same symptoms. I mean, come on. This might happen in one person in this sample, but not in 20 people from the same 100-person sample.
> In the recent study, the 101 patients are reported to have met
diagnostic criteria for CFS, but perplexingly no details of their age,
gender, or illness characteristics were provided - except the indication
that the illness in these patients was causing "severe disability". This
information is critical to allow the reader to understand how comparable the patients in the study were to 'typical' patients with CFS in the USA and worldwide.
Definitely fair, but not a big deal to me. They were honest in admitting that they chose severe patients (which is a normal thing to do).
> the finding of a retrovirus in the blood would seem to be highly
significant, however so called 'endogenous retroviruses' (ERVs) are actually found commonly in humans and generally cause no ill effects.
There's little point in raising this unless you have a theory about why an XMRV-like ERV can't be amplified from normals by PCR. Every ERV should be amplifiable in all humans that have it, unless the WPI, NCI, and Cleveland all screwed up -- which is possible but not likely.
> the remarkably comparable "discovery" of a retrovirus in patients with CFS made by Elaine Defreitas
More than fair to mention -- but really, accurate balance would mean also mentioning the NCI and Cleveland partial replications prior to publishing. That's an unusual step which probably was partly inspired by the history of the DeFrietas claims.
Valaciclovir group increased energy score 1.12 points after 6 months versus 0.42 in the placebo group (I don't see a p-value though). After that the trial went open-label and at 36 months the treatment group had improved 3.2 points. This is using Dr. Lerner's EIPS scale of 0-10.