Monday, January 17, 2011

British Negative Studies are Scientific Fraud

What hinders good research?  Ego.  Period.  Simon Wessely is a good example.  He has a belief - that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a neuropsychiatric condition.  So why would he want to try and replicate the XMRV findings then - Ego. To reinforce his beliefs.  How do you do this - answer: pervert the results.  How do you pervert scientific findings - answer: break the rules that in order for a scientific study to be valid, you have to copy exactly.  So he obtained negative results, further reinforcing his beliefs that CFS is not infectious.

But why the motive?  In countries like the UK, much of the research is government funded, and the National Institute For Clinical Excellence (NICE) has a lot of control over what research goes on.  In recent years, budgets have become increasingly constrained.  In one of my previous posts, I mentioned about some findings on CFS that were suppressed - I directly challenge any UK bureaucrat who has access to any of these to post them on WIKILEAKS.  Currently, the UK health care system has become increasingly under strain from high drug costs for biologics to treat anything from cancers, to psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis, and Psoriasis.  For them, treating CFS would mean another huge cost factor to expand coverage of HIV drugs to CFS patients, as well as perhaps Rituximab.  As long as the neuropsychiatric psychobabble can drown out the voices of good science, it is a cost they do not have to face.

XMRV Could Likely Be an emerging zoonotic disease

Recently, a small study has revealed that ticks might be one way XMRV is passed on.  The study is being done by Dr. Eva Sapi and Dr. Joe Brewer.  The connection was discovered with a sample of chronic lyme disease patients showing 90% infectivity rates with XMRV and MLV's.  It is coincidental that the symptoms of Chronic Lyme, and Chronic fatigue syndrome are almost impossible to differentiate.  It also explains why despite antibiotic treatments, these patients fail to show improvements.  Ticks are already known to carry a form of viral encephalitis.

This points to a likely zoonotic host for XMRV - XMRV could be a new emerging zoonotic disease.  Figuring out the host will require the cooperation from veterinary researchers.  From transplant medicine, it is already known that pigs are full of endogenous retroviruses.  Deer are the primary host of ticks, although they can attach to mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians.  A study done in Connecticut shows that lyme disease incidence dropped in proportion to deer population - a 74% reduction in deer population resulted in a 90% drop in Lyme disease in humans.

A hunter from Nevada messaged me last summer, where he denotes "In 1984, there were deer everywhere.  I would see deer killed on the road daily.  The following year, there was a die-off.  We had gone hunting, and at the time my son was 16 - he became ill that fall, and he never got better.  Six years ago, he was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and became better after aggressive chemotherapy."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

HIV Drug also effective against herpesviruses

Sept 23, 2010 - Institute for Research in Biomedicine - Barcelona, Spain

It was discovered that the drug Raltegravir (Isentress) is effective against all herpesviruses through a different mechanism than that of HIV.  As it turns out, all Herpesviruses (HHV-1, HHV-2, Eppstein-Barr virus, Cytomegalovirus, HHV-8) contain the UL89 protein, which is responsible for DNA maturation.  Without it, the virus cannot leave the cell to continue infection.  This discovery will lead to the discovery of a class of safer drugs to treat herpesviral infections.  For CFS patients, it provides a one-two punch, knocking out XMRV and Herpesvirus co-infections.

Previously, certain drugs against herpesviruses were trialled in CFS patients with only small improvements at best.  The drawback to the current generation of drugs are that they are fraught with side effects.  Foscarnet is extremely nephrotoxic; Ganciclovir and Valganciclovir (Valcyte) causes myelosuppresion, GI symptoms, as well as neurological symptoms; and Valacyclovir and famciclovir lack broad spectrum anti-viral efficacy.  Many persons taking Valcyte report horrendous side effects, comparable to AZT.  Typically, Valcyte costs $800 a month, and Isentress costs $950 a month.  Raltegravir on the other hand has a very favorable side effect profile - when taken alone, it does not cause fat redistribution or raised cholesterol like other classes of HIV medications.  It is rather unfortunate that very little research has been devoted to developing new classes of antiherpesvirals with better side effect profiles, since there is evidence that XMRV proliferates in EBV transformed B cells.  It is also of note that B cell depletion through Rituximab provides a substantial improvement in CFS patients that lasts 3-4 months, but then returns, which leads to the conclusion that Lymphoblasts may very likely be where the secrets of CFS lie - unfortunately I do not know of any significant ongoing studies that have been conducted using bone marrow aspirations on CFS patients.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Will The Li-Ka Shing Institute of Virology Score big

Two current studies are underway at the University of Alberta - one by Dr. Andrew Mason, and the other by Dr. Lorne Tyrell and Dr. Michael Houghton (Co-discoverer of Hepatitis C virus).   Dr. Mason's study is about trialling antiretrovirals, finding causation, transmission, and prevalence.  The study by Tyrell and Houghton is to show cause.  In a recent talk, Dr. Tyrell states that "I have suspected that CFS is a communicable viral disease since the Incline Village Outbreak at the beginning of my career, and I am confident that we are closing in fast, and excluding  viral pathogenesis at this point would be utter foolishness."

For those that my not know: The University of Alberta is located in Edmonton, Alberta.  Alberta boasts of a booming oilfield industry, and no shortage of revenue.  The University of Alberta has been the home of several major medical milestones, and is one of the top ranked centers worldwide for molecular biology, and genomics.

Initial findings from a yet-to-be publshed study

A recent study was done to assess the pathological state in various CFS patients, healthy patients, and a handful of patients given the drugs Viread and Isentress for 3 months. All CFS patients demonstrated elevated titres of at least one of: Varicella Zoster Virus, EBV, CMV, HHV-6, and HHV-7, and one patient with HHV-8 (Kaposi's Sarcoma Associated Virus).  Either or both of Mycoplasma Incognitans or Chlamydia Pneumoniae was found with alarming prevalence in CFS patients, yet was found in remarkably low prevalence in healthy individuals.  In the small sample, viral titers began to fall 2 and 3 weeks after commencement of two antiretrovirals, and rapid declines in Mycoplasma Incognitans and Chlamydia pneumoniae  occured after 1 month.  It is of note that Mycoplasma Incognitans was once suspected of being behind the pathogenesis of CFS, and it turned out to be a false lead.  Although more subtle than in HIV patients (CMV retinitis is found in HIV patients), a pattern of immune dysfunction is seen in both CFS and HIV.  More news on January 17th.

New antiretroviral findings to be presented January 17th

New findings will be presented by Dr. Judy Mikovits on January 17th, at a medical conference in Santa Rosa titled "The XMRV Retrovirus and its association with cancer and neuroinflammatory diseases: The latest on research, detection, and treatment".  Also, findings with antiretrovirals will be presented:  the good news: almost all CFS patients showed remarkable improvements after receiving antiretrovirals - the group that received Viread and Isentress faired out best - probably owing to some of AZT's toxic side effects, the group given AZT had higher fatigue scores than those receiving Viread and Isentress.  Dr. Deckoff Jones, and her daughter report that they are 75-80% better at this time.