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Kenny De Meirleir announcement
Wednesday 3 June 2009
ProHealth has a report on an announcement made by Prof Kenny De Meirleir at a press conference on 28 May. Prof De Meirleir claims to have discovered the cause of ME/CFS:
BREAKING NEWS: Dr. Kenny De Meirleir Announces He has Revealed the True Nature of ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) in London Press Conference titled “ME: End of an Era of Medical Negation"
At 11:00 AM London time on May 28, 2009, ME/CFS researcher Dr. Kenny De Meirleir, MD, PhD, spoke at a press conference unveiling his team's groundbreaking findings regarding the illness called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). The presentation covered the team's conclusions concerning the complex mechanisms of ME/CFS pathogenesis, a diagnostic test they have developed "for a major cause of ME," and possible therapeutic strategies.
(Dr. De Meirleir, a Belgian scientist known for his cutting edge ME/CFS research, is a professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels and Director of HIMMUNITAS Foundation Brussels.)
You can read the full article here.
The ME Association has an article about the announcement, with the following note of caution from Dr Charles Shepherd:
"I have looked at the scientific information upon which this test is based and heard the presentations from Professor Kenny De Meirleir and Dr Chris Roelant - two of the people involved with this research - at the Invest in ME Conference on Friday 29 May. My conclusion is that while this is an interesting hypothesis, the test itself cannot yet be regarded as a scientifically proven diagnostic test for ME/CFS.
"The urine test needs to be further validated using significant numbers of ME/CFS patients with all degrees of severity and from various other referral centres. The results need to be compared to significant numbers of healthy matched controls, people with other conditions that involve fatigue, and people who are bed-bound or severely affected by other disabling conditions that may affect their nutritional status. The latter point, which was made at the conference on Friday, is particularly important because much of the work so far appears to relate to a severely affected sub-group of ME/CFS patients. The MEA's Ramsay Research Fund would be willing to consider any such research proposal. The results then need to be published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
"There are also going to be problems if people start using this test and then expect their family doctors/GPs to interpret the results and recommend/prescribe specific treatment, including antibiotics, based on the results. This is because the UK medical profession has not yet received any information about either the underlying hypothesis, or the test, or the treatment recommendations, in their scientific journals.
"Until we have further results from several good quality independent studies, it would be premature to conclude that a significant factor in the causation of ME/CFS has been discovered and that a simple urine test is now available for diagnosing ME/CFS. The recommendations regarding treatment are speculative and need to be subjected to equally rigorous clinical trials before any firm conclusions can be drawn about their general efficacy in ME/CFS."
And Cort Johnson has written an article analysing some of Prof De Meirleir's claims.
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