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Dr Montoya


Senior Member
Demystifying chronic fatigue syndrome
Ruthann Richter on November 8, 2017

For years, infectious disease expert Jose Montoya, MD, has been frustrated by the mysteries of chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis) and the unexplainable and often debilitating symptoms of the many patients who come through his clinic at Stanford. But earlier this year, Montoya’s perseverance was rewarded and his optimism soared following a seven-year study he led that showed that the disease has a clear link to 17 immune system proteins, including 13 proteins that are pro-inflammatory.

This proved what scientists had suspected — that inflammation is the prime driver behind the disease, which affects between one and four million people, often with devastating effects. When the finding first came to light, Montoya told me he was “ecstatic.”

“This is telling the world that we have finally a biological correlate for these patients’ symptoms,” he said to me in a recent Q&A for Stanford Medicine News. “These patients are not crazy. Our findings validate their symptoms — that their illness is real and has a biological basis. Now that we know that this is something real, ingrained in the biology of the body and the immune system that explains why these patients are so sick, we could end up with a blood test, but equally or more exciting, now we can find drugs to conquer the disease.”