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ME 'not caused by virus', scientists announce

Saturday 25 June 2011

From UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph:

 

Woman in wheelchair
Symptoms include extreme tiredness and aching muscles.
Those severely affected often spend much of the day
in bed or in a wheelchair.
Photo: ALAMY

ME 'not caused by virus', scientists announce

The condition ME is not caused by a virus despite previous evidence to the contrary, scientists have announced.

By Andy Bloxham
8:24AM BST 21 Jun 2011

The illness, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, is triggered by infections in the blood which are not fully understood.

ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis, affects 250,000 Britons also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Symptoms include extreme tiredness and aching muscles. Those severely affected often spend much of the day in bed or in a wheelchair.

In 2009, US researchers claimed to have made a breakthrough when they discovered a virus called XMRV in blood samples of those with the condition that was not present in a control group.

However, scientists from the Nijmegen Medical Centre at Radboud University in the Netherlands said it was time the theory was officially scotched.

 

The above, with over 100 comments, originally appeared here.

ME Free for All.org has published two responses to the above article:

 

Re: ME ‘not caused by virus’, scientists announce, Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2011 #2

Posted on 21 June 2011 by Dr John Greensmith

Letter in reply to ME ‘not caused by virus’, scientists announce, Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2011

Some fundamental issues need to be addressed before we can even think of burying the idea of a virus, possibly reactivated by an infectious agent, such as XMRV, being the cause of M.E., let alone nailing down the lid of the coffin (ME ‘not caused by virus’, scientists announce, Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2011): Firstly, the discrete illness M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is not synonymous or interchangeable with the whole collective bundle, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) at all and continuing to conduct research as though it is, with such a polluted data set, is bound to impede progress for all patients, not only those with M.E. If there is anything in the allegation of contamination, purity of subject selection is where it is most likely to be. Secondly, the principle of, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” applies. Thirdly, the idea of retracting is rather like trying to erase historical events that may not suit you. Either researchers prove their work was not a fluke by replication and receive peer endorsement. or they do not and we should not wrongly blame XMRV but leave the real culprit out there to do more harm. The paper must remain in the body of work as an example, either way.

Yours sincerely
Dr John H Greensmith
ME Free For All.org

 

I’m a bit nonplussed by this article’s title (ME ‘not caused by virus’, scientists announce, Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2011): so ME is NOT caused by virus but it is found in the blood?  Under what form? The two doctors mentioned in the article, van Kuppervald and van der Meer, just by themselves have ruled out the role of viruses? That XMRV alone is certainly not the cause does not irk me, but there may still be a role played by viruses or a mix of them. The story of ME has not yet been unraveled and will not be for a while because it is hindered, amongst others, by the Psych lobby which pleases paying outfits such as governmental plans or insurance since many will not pay disability for psychiatric diseases. Much more biological research is needed, but this mania of some researchers just negating other researchers’ work must cease and if they start using their bits of knowledge and amalgamate their study results, perhaps a better picture of what ME is might emerge.

Josette Lincourt
Montreal
Canada

 

Those responses originally appeared here.

 


 

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