Advances in ME (CFS): Dr K De Meileir

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Advances in ME/CFS

    Highlights from Dr. Kenny De Meirleir's Lecture
    Calgary, Alberta, April 2, 2006

    Marjorie van de Sande, B Ed, Grad Dip Ed

    National ME/FM Action Network, Advisor & Webmaster

    Conference Planning Committee

    Dr. De Meirleir is a world renowned researcher and is professor
    of Physiology and Internal Medicine at Free University of
    Brussels in Belgium. Dr. De Meirleir recently published his
    600th peer-reviewed paper. He is co-editor of "Chronic Fatigue
    Syndrome: A Biological Approach", co-editor of the Journal of
    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and reviewer for more than ten other
    medical journals. Dr. De Meirleir was one of four international
    experts on the panel that developed the Canadian Consensus
    Document for ME/CFS. He assesses/treats 3,000 to 4,000
    ME/CFS patients annually.

    Normal Response to Infectious Agents

    Numerous infectious agents can trigger ME/CFS. Infectious
    agents that invade cells release ribonucleic acid (RNA) or
    deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) when they reproduce. Normally
    when a virus infects a cell, an enzyme called Ribonulease L
    (RNase L) is activated and cuts the RNA of the infectious agent
    so it cannot replicate itself. The RNase L molecule also cuts the
    RNA of the infected cell, which triggers the cell's death and
    removal. Then the RNase L molecule "switches off" and remains
    inactive so that it doesn't damage healthy cells.

    Abnormal RNase L Molecule Found in ME/CFS Patients

    The normal weight of the RNase L molecule is 80 kilo Daltons
    (kDa). In ME/CFS patients, the RNase L molecule is being cut
    and weighs 37 kDa - less than half its normal weight. The low
    molecular weight (LMW) RNase L molecule can discriminate
    ME/CFS patients from healthy people, and illnesses such as
    fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS and depression.
    The Centers for Disease Control (USA) sent 100 blood samples
    to Dr. De Meirleir. Using the test for LMW RNase L, Dr. De
    Meirleir was able to identify which blood samples came from
    ME/CFS patients with 99% accuracy. These findings confirm an
    organic origin of ME/CFS and validate the diagnosis.

    Abnormal RNase L Molecule Causes Chronic Dysfunction
    of the Immune System

    The damaged RNase L molecule is not able to kill infectious
    agents and it keeps damaged cells alive. The body is unable to
    "switch off" these abnormal RNase L fragments so they continue
    to cut the RNA of normal cells. The destructive RNase L
    fragment is six times more active than normal and consumes
    approximately 70% of the cells' energy (ATP). RNase L
    fragments destroy normal protein synthesis, enzyme production
    and other vital cellular functions. They inhibit respiratory muscles,
    and cause hyperventilation, metabolic alkalosis, sleep
    disturbances, and central fatigue. There is sodium retention, low
    magnesium levels and dramatically low levels of potassium.
    Natural killer cells, which protect against viruses and intracellular
    infections, are also being damaged. Thus, the immune system
    is in a state of chronic dysfunction.

    Testing for ME/CFS

    Dr. De Meirleir is co-founder of REDLABS, which recently opened a lab in Nevada,

    This lab offers diagnostic and treatment tests for ME/CFS
    patients. Although each patient's profile is unique, patients tend
    to fall into three groups with different causes and treatments.
    Based on the results of six tests, Dr. De Meirleir was able to
    predict patients' symptoms with 95% accuracy while the
    remaining 5% had overlap features. Symptom severity rises in
    correlation to the rise in the level of LMW RNase L.

    Group Profiles

    * Group 1: (15-20%) This group has high levels of LMW RNase
    L and elastase, low levels of protein kinase (PKR) and uric acid,
    and low to normal levels of nitric oxide. Spinal taps indicate
    elevated levels of lymphocytes and proteins in the spinal fluid
    and there is increased pressure upon opening the lumbar

    These patients have a chronic low-grade viral infection and
    inflammatory reaction in the brain. Many micro-organisms are
    associated with this profile. Heavy metals, pesticides and other
    triggers may also be involved. Approximately 20% of this group
    has low-grade Herpes Virus 6A (HHV6A) encephalitis.

    The prominent feature is neurocognitive problems such as
    confusion and impaired concentration and memory. Fatigue
    originates in the brain. Pain is not prominent. Patients exhibit
    symptoms that have some similarities to multiple sclerosis

    * Group 2: (10-15%) Patients have very high levels of LMW
    RNase L and elastase, high protein kinase activity, severely low
    natural killer cell activity and very low serum uric acid levels.

    This group of severely ill patients has bacterial infections
    originating from animals such as pets, rodents, ticks, etc. These
    patients have severe bowel problems. The gut is an important
    part of the immune system because 70% of immune cells are in
    the digestive tract. When a patient has leaky gut syndrome, the
    gut has become permeable and foreign proteins enter the blood
    and tissues and inflammation results. Dr. De Meirleir tests for 12
    pathogenic gut bacteria.

    * Group 3: (60-70%) The majority of ME/CFS patients are in
    this group. This profile is basically similar to Group 2, but not as
    severe. Generalized pain originating from dysfunction in the pain
    processing areas of the brain and CNS is a prominent feature.
    These patients have gastrointestinal infections and bacteria are
    in the blood.

    Some Other Areas of Investigation

    * Infections: Part of the immune system is activated and part is
    suppressed, leaving the patient vulnerable to opportunistic
    infections. Patients may have one or a number of infections.
    Serum Immunobilan tests are done to identify which ones are
    active. Suspect microorganisms include viruses, bacteria, and
    mycoplasma. A chlamydia pneumonia infection is often found in
    patients with chronic sinus infections. Approximately 8 – 10% of
    ME/CFS patients have infections of animal origin such as
    Rickettsiae, Coxiella, Bartonella and Borrelia.

    * Heavy Metals: Exposure comes from many sources including
    food, insulation, air, etc. ME/CFS patients have increased
    sensitivity to chemicals, environmental pollutants and heavy
    metals, particularly mercury and nickel. Toxins can trigger an
    inflammatory response.

    One of the RNase L fragments has a structure that is almost
    identical to a protein involved in the removal of heavy metals and
    toxic chemical from cells. When this protein is blocked by the
    RNase L fragments, the cells become more sensitive to
    mercury. Now a tiny amount of mercury that would normally kill
    10% of the cells can kill 50 to 100% of the cells.

    * Mycrotoxins: Fungi such as Aspergillus Niger and Candida
    can contribute to ME/CFS symptoms. Candida is a yeast fungal
    infection that changes sugars to aldehydes, a toxic form of

    * Digestive Tract: Gastrointestinal problems are a serious
    concern in ME/CFS patients. 70% of the body's immune cells
    are found in the gastrointestinal tract. These immune cells
    prevent bacteria and foreign protein from entering the blood
    stream. When the gut become permeable and foreign protein
    enters the blood stream, elastase is produced. Elastase is the
    enzyme that is responsible for cutting the RNase L molecule into
    fragments. Elastase breaks down elastin, which gives elasticity
    to collagen. As a result, there is pain and a loss of elasticity in
    ligaments and tendons.

    * Peripheral Resistance to Thyroid Hormone: Most patients
    have normal results for common thyroid tests. However,
    ME/CFS patients have a much higher level of a protein that is
    98% identical to T3, which is the active form of thyroid. Because
    this foreign protein can bind to T3 receptors, T3 cannot find
    receptors and is therefore ineffective in its role of activating
    cellular metabolism.

    Treatment Summary

    Some psychiatrists advocate that no tests or lab work be done
    on ME/CFS patients because testing will reinforce delusions of
    physically illness. Given the wealth of confirmed biochemical
    abnormalities, such rationale is ludicrous. Dr. De Meirleir
    stressed that tests must be done in order to determine the origin
    of the problem. Then treatment can be prescribed to eliminate
    the cause. A "clean-up" of all the consequences of the problem
    must also be undertaken. Therapies and the order of treatments
    vary according to the patient's unique test profile. Treatment

    1. Restoring immune competence

    2. Removing microorganisms

    3. Restoring hormonal balance

    4. Restoring intestinal flora

    5. Decreasing prostaglandins and protein kinase activity

    6. Removing heavy metals and toxic chemicals
  2. ulala

    ulala New Member

    How complicated these 6 therapies are for us to conquer!

    We need someone like Dr. De Meirieir to start clinics in the U.S.[This Message was Edited on 08/02/2006]
  3. ulala

    ulala New Member

    in this article. It answers a lot of questions that people on this board are asking.

  4. Smiffy

    Smiffy Member

    What a wonderful article, thanks for posting it. Wouldn't it be great if doctors worldwide did this diagnostic test!I wonder if anyone here is receiving treatment from this doctor.

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