Nancy Klimas in Winter 2010 issue of Ms.magazine - Fatigue is a virus


kelly posted this to co-cure today

Nancy Klimas in Winter 2010 issue of Ms.magazine - Fatigue is a virus

Dr. Nancy Klimas has another article on CFS published in the Winter 2010
issue of Ms. Magazine. Issues are now available on newsstands.
Letters to the editor can be sent to:*

This is the second article published by Ms. magazine regarding this
neuroimmune disease. Dr. Klimas also wrote another article about CFS for Ms.
in the Summer of 2006.

"Wake-Up Call: Hopeful new research shows that chronic fatigue syndrome may
have a genetic basis" by Nancy G. Klimas, M.D.



All shall be well . . .
Santa Rosa, CA

on the cover

It's Not in Your Head
A breakthrough study suggests that chronic fatigue syndrome is caused by a virus


I picked up a copy of Ms. today to see this article. It seems to have been written awhile agono mention of the latest three XMRV studies, or that Reeves is no longer a part of the CDC's CFS program. Nothing "new" as far as I can tell, but interesting to read in a magazine devoted to women's issues.

Some highlights:

Most of the 1 to 4 million patients affected each year are women, who are three to four times more likely to have the disease. Given common gender bias, that might explain why the illness is often dismissed as psychosomatic, despite the fact that patients suffer and, sometimes, die from it. . . .

Now a new discovery brings hope to those with CFS/ME that their illness may be treated in the future not only with more effectiveness but with more understanding.

For some time it has been apparent that the observed immune abnormalities of CFS/ME could result from a chronic viral infection, and that the function of antiviral cells was so impaired as to allow latent viruses to reactivate. Much of the work of the last decade involved looking at known latent viruses such as Epstein Barr, which causes mononucleosis, and at HHV-6, a childhood virus known to reactivate in the majority of CFS/ME patients.

But researchers also questioned why the immune system breaks down in the first place. Investigators at the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) for Neuro-Immune Disease at the University of Nevada, Reno, led by Judy Mickovits, used gene screening technology to look at all known mammalian viruses for a connection to CFS. They came up with a dozen suspects, then honed in on XMRV, a cancer-causing virus only recently discovered in humans.

Despite being very early in our understanding of XMRV, we know that it targets the cells that protect and prevent viral reactivationthe natural killer cell and the cytotoxic T cell. One reason why people are excited about this newly discovered link between the virus and CFS/ME is that there are many antiretroviral medicines and large "libraries" of experimental drugs developed for the similar HIV retrovirus. It is thus a fairly simple procedure to screen large panels of possible therapies in the laboratory to see which might be most effective.

From there, it's a quick step to clinical trials, where drugs are tested on actual patients. Researchers already know a lot about the safety of the established drugs used for HIV (though less so for women, who are underrepresented in trials), so they have a head start in selecting drugs for clinical trials.

William Reeves, principal investigator for the Centers for Disease Control's CFS public health research program, says the findings are "unexpected and surprising" but that it is "almost unheard of to find an association of this magnitude between an infectious agent and a well-defined chronic disease, much less an illness like CFS." He remains cautious, though, saying, "Until the work is independently verified, the report represents a single pilot study."

Certainly other trials are necessary, and many are already under way. But trials are expensive, and CFS/ME continues to be the neglectedand suspectstepchild in terms of research funding.

Some cynicsor is it realists?have suggested that if more men were afflicted with CFS, more government funding would be directed toward researching the debilitating condition. Compare, for example, the at least $10 million in National Institutes of Health funding that will go toward studies in erectile dysfunction in 2010 with the $3 million allocated for CFS research this year.

Another impediment is that many continue to dismiss CFS/ME as a psychological rather than physical affliction. But consider the results of a large Australian study, led by a psychiatrist, that looked at people with acute infections to see what predicted CFS/ME as the outcome of the infection. Despite extensive psychiatric batteries and many other measures, the only predictor was the severity of the initial infection.

Yet a disproportionate amount of the CFS research dollars have been in pursuit of a psychiatric explanation or treatment, despite hundreds of articles describing abnormalities in the immune, endocrine and autonomic nervous systems. Given the quality of the new virus study, it is very likely its findings will be confirmed. Even if they are not, virus hunters should be encouraged to continue their important work.

I think this thread should be moved to the XMRV forum.


Senior Member
NYC (& RI)
Thanks Gracenote for putting up text of the article as I don't think it is anywhere else on the internet. Didn't know about more than 3x funding for ED! That's a good little statistic I will use. Anyway, is it that much of a problem anymore- they have pumps and viagra; and we get GET!