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Retrovirus XMRV may be Culprit in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 10:07 AM

The long, fruitless search for the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome has taken a curious turn. Scientists report online October 8 in Science that an obscure retrovirus shows up in two-thirds of people diagnosed with the condition. The researchers also show the retrovirus can infect human immune cells.

These findings don’t establish that the pathogen, called gammaretrovirus XMRV, causes chronic fatigue, cautions study coauthor Robert Silverman, a molecular biologist at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic. “Nevertheless, it’s exciting because it is a viable candidate for a cause.”

Roughly 1 to 4 million people in the United States have chronic fatigue syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition shows up as mental and physical exhaustion, memory lapses, muscle pain, insomnia, digestive distress and other health problems. Doctors often diagnose chronic fatigue only after ruling out everything else. Its cause is unknown.

In the new study, the researchers tested blood from 101 people with chronic fatigue syndrome and found that 68 were infected with XMRV. When the scientists analyzed blood from 218 healthy people as a control group, only eight had the virus — 4 percent. The study participants lived in various parts of the United States.

Gammaretroviruses, a subset of retroviruses, also cause disease in gibbons, cats and koalas, Silverman says. “XMRV is the first member of this genus of retrovirus to be found in humans,” he notes.

In the new study, the researchers also found hints that the retrovirus is transmitted by blood, as are some other viruses, including HIV. But it’s probably not spreading very fast, because people with chronic fatigue “are too sick to do anything,” Mikovits says.

I saw this and wanted to share. I have a family member who was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was under the impression, based upon what my family member was told by their Dr., that this disease was due to nutrient deficiencies. Anyway, I found this interesting and thought some of you may have, or know someone that has, CFS.

Also of note is the fact that this is XMRV is the first member of this genus of retrovirus to be found in humans. And, based upon it's genetic makeup, XMRV arose from a mouse retrovirus that somehow jumped to humans.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 11:25 AM
I was doing a bit of reading on XMRV and found the following:

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), sometimes shortened to Xenotropic MuLV-related virus, is a recently identified and provisionally named gammaretrovirus which may be involved in the pathology of familial prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome. Its name refers to its similarity to xenotropic murine leukemia viruses, although it does show some substantial differences. It is thought to be linked to both prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome by ribonuclease L (RNase L), part of the cell’s natural defense against viruses. When activated, RNase L destroys RNA in an effort to halt viral gene expression.

I found this highly interesting, as there is familial prostate cancer in my mother's side of the family. Her brother (my uncle) had prostate cancer....while my mother is the family member mentioned above that has CFS.


[edit on 14-10-2009 by Aggie Man]

posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 11:28 AM
reply to post by Aggie Man

Thanks for the heads up on this, i am always trying to find a way to improve my moods in the dark months its just so unnatural to go to work in the dark and as a line manager i always strive to improve my man management skills, in the winter months it can serious hard work to motivate my staff, S&F for your insight, Thanks

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