Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by znewby, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. znewby

    znewby Member

    The Big Breakthrough (!)(?)
    by cort on May 30, 2009

    Some bloggers have jumped all over the announcement by Dr. De Meirleir that an important cause of ME/CFS has been found. This is, they say, the ‘big breakthrough’. But is it? With just the abstract in hand let’s take a look at what little we know.

    The Announcement - Dr. De Meirleir has been in this business awhile. He was the foremost proponent and investigator of the idea that RNase L was’ it’ in ME/CFS. While RNase L does not appear to be ‘it’ in ME/CFS it was an important contribution to the field. Dr. De Meirleir publishes frequently in the scientific literature and has treated many chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients.

    By holding a press conference - something researchers rarely do - Dr. De Meirleir is putting his reputation on the line. This suggests, of course, that he strongly believes he has found something of great importance.

    One might have wished that the press release title “Research on Extremely Disabled Patients Reveals the True Nature of the Disorder” had been less over the top. Many researchers would shirk from such a blanket statement at this point of the game. Still given Dr. De Meirleir’s contributions from the past we’ll score 1 for the Big Breakthrough.

    Hydrogen Sulfide Producing Bacteria Found in the Gut - In order to have H2S in the gut you to have a means of getting it there. The press release did not indicate, however, that the bacteria were more prevalent in the more severely ill patients than in the less ill patients or even in the controls - sloppy work! Score 0 for the Big Breakthrough.

    More H2S Metabolites Found in the Urine of More Ill Patients - Using what appears to be a fairly primitive test De Meirlier shows evidence that more H2S is likely being produced in the more severely ill patients - Score 1/2 point for the Big Breakthrough

    H2S in Excess Causes Many of the Symptoms in ME/CFS - H2S can cause all sorts of problems in the body: photophobia, oxidative stress, increased mercury levels, depressed immune functioning, etc. Oddly enough here is where the theory lets us down a bit. Any type of oxidative stress can cause a multitude of problems. Dr. Pall with nitric oxide and Rich Von Konynenburg with glutathione depletion can all chart an intricate and widespread cycle of dysfunction much like Dr. De Meirleir is. Dr. Cheney has done the same thing with his energy metabolism theories.

    We actually have too many intricate theories in ME/CFS - and not enough testing. The fact that H2S can cause these problems is intriguing. The fact that De Meirlier has found evidence of high H2S levels in ME/CFS patients adds an extra layer to it. Score ½ point for the big breakthrough.

    Correlation is not Causation: Simply finding high levels of H2S metabolites in ME/CFS doesn’t mean that they cause the disease. High levels of oxidative stress are found in many diseases including ME/CFS but few people believe they cause those diseases. ME/CFS patients have high levels of the ciguatoxin epitope but so do cancer and people with other illnesses - ciguatoxin doesn’t cause any of these diseases. Ditto with low cortisol readings and Fibromyalgia, asthma, PTSD and RA.

    Finding higher H2S levels, therefore, does not necessarily mean that it is causing this disorder. In order for it to cause ME/CFS Dr. De Meirlier has to show that it’s only present in ME/CFS patients, is not found in other diseases, and that removing it from ME/CFS cures the disease. It was not present in healthy controls - good - now onto the rest of the population. Score ½ point.

    Conclusion: What does this theory - as much as we know of it - have going for it? The word of a well respected researcher, a model that appears (at least to a laymen) to make sense and a finding that illness severity appears to correlated with the level of the agent. (All of these could have been said about RNase L several years ago).

    What does it need for ME/CFS patients to really start clapping? A means to bring down H2S and evidence that doing so erases ME/CFS. A coherent reason why the H2S is present in the first place, independent verification of the results and findings indicating that H2S is not present in other diseases.

    Whether or not H2S actually causes or is an important cause of this disorder a substantial contribution to the field appears to have been made. H2S wasn’t even a blip on the research community’s radar screen until Marian Lemle, the mother of a daugther with ME/CFS/FM, earlier this year published a paper suggesting it played a role. Now Dr. De Meirleir has created a test that suggests it’s present. Whatever the final outcome of the H2S saga he and Marian Lemle have added a new layer to the ME/CFS equation and opened up a new arena for research and treatment - always a welcome thing.?

    Tagged as: De Meirleir, Gut

    27 comments ShareThis
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    Kenny De Meirleir announcement « ME/CFS Australia (SA) Inc
    06.02.09 at 3:37 pm
    He has Revealed the True Nature of ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) | ASQUIFYDE .org | Sensibilidad Química Múltiple, Fatiga Crónica, Fibromialgia...
    06.05.09 at 1:55 am
    { 25 comments… read them below or add one }

    perpetualspiral 05.30.09 at 11:53 pm
    De Meirleir’s credibility as a scientist is not as well-respected as you seem to think - please see another CFS/ME sufferers comments on this announcement here: http://blog.blueribboncampaignforme.org -

    I don’t know who is right about this, but from what I’ve seen, this is just one more red herring. Its unfortunate, because the publicity is going to make it seem like ‘problem solved’ when we are just starting to get public attention to the horrible condition and how it is treated so barbarically as ‘mental illness’. Any biomedical research is fantastic, but in my opinion this particular theory is pretty lame.

    I do like your blog, keep up the good work

    chris 05.31.09 at 4:04 am
    My summary of de Meirleir’s lecture:

    Kenny de Meirleir gave a precise lecture on his experience with very severe ME patients in Norway. He unexpectedly began his talk with a very short film documenting a young Norwegian woman’s descent into a near death isolation. He also had the sister of another very severe ME patient tell briefly of her sister. This young woman has lived in the same house with her sister for four years without every seeing her. Her sister cannot tolerate any stimuli. It was a powerful moment.

    Often the sickest patients, the housebound and bed bound, are forgotten - even at these conferences, where most participants can move about. The ones who need the most help are not represented - although there were a number of patient advocates in the audience. Through this film, Dr. de Meirleir brought the news home and, despite the shocking unpleasantness of the reality,

    Dr. de Meirleir visited, observed and tested 22 very severely ill CFS patients in Norway. In the US, you can’t even get a doctor to bother to make a home visit. Dr. de Meirleir does not fall into such a category and he is looking for answers. He believes the answer resides in the sickest of patients. As a result of his investigations in Norway Dr. de Meirleir has come up with a simple “marker” test for severe CFS. This is a self-administered home urine test that measures hydrogen sulfide. Protea Biopharma makes the test.

    De Meirleir also presented his concepts of the connection of CFS/ME with a specific form of intestinal dysbiosis and presented his manner of testing and treating it. He does not have a particularly treatment for the very severe form of ME, which he characterized as “difficult”.

    At the end of his talk, a variety of pettinesses broke out. I suppose there was some lingering irritation over his “press” conference of the day before. De Meirleir said that he has an independent group examining his protocol and its success rate. There were some expressed differences about the need for a control group. He said that he would do that.

    I suppose some people think de Meirleir is grandstanding. The question is who is he grandstanding to? No one listens to CFS doctors. de Meirleir and the others working hard on CFS/ME are standing on very small soap boxes. His recent announcement may or may not be significant. We will find out later. In the meantime, there was a general feeling among the speakers at this conference that gut dysbiosis plays a major role in some CFS/ME and, as far as I am concerned, he has played a large part in its elevation. I try not to waste my time on negative thoughts about CFS doctors. There are not very many of them, they are in an unrewarding field (by and large), and their numbers soon will be diminishing, not increasing.


    cort 05.31.09 at 4:23 am
    Thanks again Chris for being there - and for your insightful reporting. Yes, Dr. De Meirleir has moved a bit quicker than others in the research field would like in proclaiming success. However his ’sin’ if it is one is a minor one. He’s not asking patients to undergo body scans or to insert themselves into MRI’s or to undergo a zany and expensive treatment protocol. Instead he’s giving them the option of buying a cheap and easy means of determining if what he says is in there is actually in there. It would be great if patients could order at least two tests - and take one themselves and give one to a friend - and see what shows up and report on that.

    The H2S report is not - as Chris notes - out of line with Dr. DeMeirleir’s research thrust of the past few years. He became convinced several years ago that the gut plays the major role in this disease and is, I would say, the most prominent spokesman for that idea. Dr. Cheney has for many years believed the contributions of the gut to this disease have been under-appreciated. And of course there’s Dr. Chia’s work.

    Is it the cause of ME/CFS? The press release was a little confused; it started out stating ‘True Nature’ of ME/CFS revealed - if I got the right title and I’m beginning to wonder about that - and then later stated it was ‘a cause’ of ME/CFS. The later is much easier to accept at this point but the most important thing to come out of this issue so far, I believe, is the fact that a new arena for investigation has been opened up - always an exciting thing.

    I do wish I knew more about the treatment options. Hopefully they’ll pop up or someone can direct me to them at some point.

    Sherry 05.31.09 at 11:02 am
    I’m happy that Dr. De Meirleir, like Prof. Garth Nicolson, has also discovered that two-thirds of CFS patients have bacterial infections. I am currently on a protocol for such an infection and making progress as a result.

    All of Dr. De Meirleir’s findings seem to coincide with other physicians findings. At least that is what my foggy brain figured out when I looked at his slides that were presented at the International CFS/ME Conference in London.

    Andrea Martell 05.31.09 at 11:21 am
    Awesome article. I think it’s great that this research has been done, but until it has been peer reviewed, verified, replicated, I am going to remain skeptical. I don’t know if the media took things the wrong way or if De Meirlier really called it the only test for ME.
    But the publicity seems very unscientific to me, and I think at this point it may do more harm to us, than good.

    Carolyn Richards 05.31.09 at 1:09 pm
    What I cannot believe is that everyone is commenting on the H2S. Even if it only verify’s an illness process it is just as good as most FDA approved testing & CHEAP. I have had many tests & each specalist gives me their opinion.
    I have Lyme, CFS, MS, RA, gee I wonder who is right.

    The thing that I thought was the big breakthrough was the Aberrant Prion Disease with pat.pend. written beside it. I haven’t seen any comments on this.

    cort 05.31.09 at 6:01 pm
    Good point! If I knew anything about the prion stuff I would have written about it. I do know that Dr. De Meirleir looks very closely at his samples. He was the one that figured out that when the RNase L enzyme broke up that it broke up into pieces that could mimic ion channel transporters - thus possibly screwing up the ion channels on cells. He also found evidence, if I remember rightly, of low molecular weight fragments that appeared to be causing RNase L to act in a manner that lead it to break up (very complicated). He believed they were the remnants of dead cells I remember.

    Anyway the gist of this is that he seems to be used to looking and examining very closely what he finds in his samples. If anyone would find prions he would. What we really need is for other researchers to find them. Of course these really severely ill patients just seem to be completely falling apart; they often have high loads of opportunistic viruses, high heavy metal loads, etc. - they’re just a mess its seems.

    Ganno 05.31.09 at 8:51 pm
    Hello there,
    There was a theory similar to Dr De, in the medical hypothesis last yr by a researcher from Washington. If these scientist look at hibernation, which H2 S has been linked with, there answer will appear obvious in two phases - bacterial infection ( transient for some ongoing for others ), creates cellular changes in energy metabolism, low 02 adaptive state. Humans cant hibernate hence ME people are in the arousal state of hibernation ( upgrading of the limbic structure sensitivity - creates Dr Gupta’s notion of heightened fear response ), 24 delayed fatigue is just Nitrogen toxicity which has a narcotic effect then when it wears off a person experiences further excititoxicity from energy depletion - Its all obvious and links perfectly if these ME scientists can only think out of the square, I could go into far more scientific details, but I will leave it with the so called experts.

    Tony 05.31.09 at 10:29 pm
    The blog perpetualspiral points to as supposedly casting some doubt on Prof De Meirleir as a scientist actually does no such thing. It simply asks questions and expands upon areas in a way that may or may not be relevant.
    His record as a scientist is in the public domain, the research there to be read. His contribution as a doctor is seen as per his work in visiting, in their homes, the severely ill in Norway (and possibly other areas?). How much more do you want from any doctor?

    A logical and sensible approach to this announcement is to wait for a more full explanation which hopefully will be coming soon. Until then it’s another theory that needs to be independantly borne out. Apparently that is happening too. Thanks to Chris for his informative post.

    Cort 06.01.09 at 9:29 am
    I just recieved this in the e-mail. It may bear on the prion question.
    Check out the following link:


    Prion diseases misfold proteins in the brain… EXACTLY LIKE DR. BARANIUK HAS DOCUMENTED….

    I am very skeptical on any research having been sick for so long and seeing research get nowhere.

    Still, the way it meshes with the work out of Georgetown, it’s very scary just how much this theory could unify…

    DeMerlier must really think he knows something with this one in holding the press conference like he did. If this turns out to be nothing, he basically finished himself…

    Let’s hope…

    (A newsletter on Dr. Baraniuk’s work will appear shortly)

    Carolyn Richards 06.01.09 at 2:56 pm
    I did some reading on prions some time ago as there is a man named Urnovitz who was looking at them, just ran another search & it looks like (2009) Luc Montagnier & another scientist are all working together. I remembered this name as Cheney once must have had him doing some work on CFS as Urnovitz had found DNA rearrangment in GWS & Cheney’s patients matched the GWS. There was nothing mentioned on prions at that time. DeMeirleir found prions in saliava of his patients. One could “assume” (we know what that means) unless the pat. pend. was a mistake beside the word prion that this may be his next test.

    miguel 06.01.09 at 3:23 pm
    I am really glad to see another nail soundly hammered into the coffin of the psychological theory of CFS and to see further confirmation of the role of infection in CFS. Granted, the details of Dr. De Meirlier’s theory may be incomplete , but ultimately what matters most is finding effective treatments for this serious illness. Hopefully, his theory will now provide a rationale for GP’s to get on board with treating CFS patients with antimicrobials and other supportive medicines (the kitchen sink!). In my view, Dr. De Meirlier is contributing to a much needed shift in the dominant paradigm.

    I am still puzzled by the accumulation of cellular debris and prions seen in CFS. I suppose this could represent the culmination of long standing cellular pathoglogy due to H2S mediated mitochondrial disfunction. It will be good to see some data on this. Interestingly, there is a protein called vitamin D binding protein (or Gc protein) that is involved in both immune function and cellular house cleaning (hmm). Low levels of this protein has been associated with the condition known as COPD, and recent experiments show that supplementation with Gc-MAF (also known as Gc-MAF) leads to very significant improvements in immune function in both cancer and HIV patients. Could Gc protein (or Gc-MAF) be a factor in the immune disfunction and cellular pathology of CFS? Perhaps this is another stone that should not be left unturned and that would fit neatly into the infectious disease theory of this illness. Sorry for digressing!

    Cort 06.01.09 at 5:11 pm
    No need to apologize for digressing. De Meirleir believed those cellular bits of debris were what shoved the 2-5oAS enzyme (if I remember correctly) in the wrong direction and ultimately lead to the RNase L fragmentation. But where did they come from? As I remember - high levels of incomplete cell apoptosis, i.e. cell suicide which is often mediated through mitchondrial pathways - which is perhaps another indication of mitochondrial dysfunction. Could H2S be the culprit? But why aren’t the cellular clean up mechanisms working properly?

    Interestingly Dr. Baraniuk posits a similar process is occurring in the brain. He believe high levels of cellular junk (amyloid proteins) build up in the blood stream and eventually puncture blood vessel walls. This is what he believes causes the dysfunction found in ME/CFS. Either too many amyloids are being produced or our clean up systems aren’t vacuuming them up.

    He also found evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction I believe. Then there’s Dr. Shungu who found high lactate levels in some patients brains - more problems with the mitochondria. They do seem to be showing up more and more.

    chris 06.01.09 at 11:42 pm
    In his lecture at the recent London conference de Meirleir said that further details of his discovery or theory would be presented at another conference in two weeks. He did not identify the conference. Nor did he say why he couldn’t put forth the information immediately. However he said this twice - that a detailed and fuller presentation would take place in two weeks. Hearing this the first time was disturbing, but hearing it twice was really irritating.


    Sarah 06.02.09 at 1:13 am
    The Telegraph of UK seems more open minded about DeMeirleir’s work. Plus we learn his professional background, how he got interested in M.E./CFS from reporter Liz Hunt.

    Perhaps more important, Rich Van Konynenburg posted to Co-Cure with a rather positive view of this announcement by DeMeirleir. No, I see, Jan posted it to Co Cure, originally on a ProHealth blog
    There is his original post, and a second one that replies to questions from follow on posts, all at the above address.

    I may not (okay, do not) understand the biochemistry, but DeMeirleir seems worthy of my trust. If in Europe, I would consider being his patient. I am as skeptical as the next person with M.E./CFIDS, a high bar on the skepticism scale. But I was surprised how negative are the first reactions to this announcement. This might be a great idea, especially for the very ill. Especially if the test does effectively indicate who should work hard on getting digestion to work. Think if doctors could help with symptom treatment — that would be great.

    Plus, any simple lab test that discriminates the sick from the healthy is a step forward.

    Carolyn Richards 06.02.09 at 5:32 am
    I have a stupid question & then I will go back to my sedintary life.

    I live i Florida & there has been a problem with Chinese drywall, they now say this is everywhere (but more prominent in FL. due to recent hurricanes & housing boom. One of the products that are being emited from the tainted drywall is hydrogen sulfide. I guess my question is (how much, how long would someone have to inhale this product & would it somehow show up in the urine & give an incorrect reading to DeMeirleir’s testing?) The do not seem to know the health problems at this time as they assume this is a new phenomenon. They do know that it causes a reaction with metals (corrosion of copper pipes).

    chris 06.02.09 at 3:03 pm
    I learned today that there was a good reason why Dr. de Meirleir did not present his full explanation to the UK, but chose to wait until this next conference. So my irritation on this matter, expressed earlier, has vanish.

    Today I watched in amazement as these small test kits darkened in color from yellow to deep blue in some cases. This is a simple test. de Meirleir says that he and his colleague Chris developed this test for one reason. No longer would these patients be seen a psychiatric patients. He and Chris want to free these patients of this intolerable burden. Hats off to de Meirleir and his colleague! I wish my colleagues were such people.


    drew 06.03.09 at 2:12 am
    “I learned today that there was a good reason why Dr. de Meirleir did not present his full explanation to the UK, but chose to wait until this next conference. So my irritation on this matter, expressed earlier, has vanish.”

    Hi Chris, what is the “good reason”? Thanks.


    cort 06.03.09 at 5:10 am
    I snatched this from the ME Association - it has Dr. Charles Shepherds comments on the new test.

    Her’s the article from Dr. 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.”

    Comment: It all makes sense - this is all part of the process. Dr. De Meirleir thinks he’s found something - now we need more testing. Dr. De Meirleir would not disagree with anything Dr. Shepherd says - he’s an experienced researcher. My hunch is that he’s done this with enough patients that he’s confident how it will ultimately turn out. I can’t imagine him making an announcement like this otherwise.

    I’m looking forward to see what people report with these tests. As per Dr. Shepherds article if you do buy a test and report the results then give some indication of your functional level - how much you can get about during the day. What I’m missing is Dr. DeMeirleir’s protocol - how you deal with this condition. Hopefully there was something on that at the conference.

    I’m going to talk to Mariam Lemle - the author of the theory paper on H2S and ME/CFS later today and get her take. She was in London for the announcement.

    chris 06.03.09 at 3:02 pm
    There are several issues here. What I see as the main point is that this simple test is a neurotoxin test - and it indicates within a few minutes whether the patient has this neurotoxin. De Meirleir believes that this neurotoxin causes a gut dysbiosis situation that is responsible for 85% of CFS/ME patients. The other 15%, who are out of the loop, have viruses in the brain. One can conclude from this that this is not necessarily a CFS/ME test, but a neurotoxin marker that identifies the CFS/ME problem. De Meileir believes that this test will relieve the burden on patients who are suffering from a psychological diagnosis -when they actually have a neurotoxin that is shifting their intestines and causing mitochondrial and metabolic problems. The solution that he proposes is what he has been doing previously - identifying pathogens that produce these toxins in the gut, killing them selectively and without causing much damage, and chelating. He of course does other things depending on the circumstances. He has been doing this treatment for a long time, fine tuning it over time, and one can read about it on the internet or view his treatment DVDs. I think that he is convinced that this test is going to be very useful, both for initial diagnoses and for tracking. It is cheap and fast. Watch and see others picking it up fast. For those who have not been paying attention, de Meirleir’s ideas are having a big impact on others - Shoemaker, Peterson, Guyer, and Cheney. He still knows the most about this subject and in time we will see how effective this concept of his actually is. de Meirleir is the guy who connected the dots here. But it is a mistake to think that this entire thing is brand new. The test has just been announced, but he has been using it for some time, long enough for him to have a feel for its efficacy. And his treatment has been evolving, as have those of others.

    On the other hand, there are the purists who insist that he is not practicing science and that something so simple could not be that useful, and that he is just out to make a buck. And then there are the conspiracy theorists. I personally, having watch him for five years and read about him, do not believe any of t his.


    Jazzie 06.04.09 at 8:34 am
    I want to thank of you for the insight on Dr. de Meirleir new discovery, which I read about from another link which also brought me here. I specially want to thank Cort for putting up so much of your energy on your newsletters, which I benefit greatly. Thank you Cort.

    Simon 06.04.09 at 8:38 am
    I believe they are on the right track, I was cured of 5 years of M.E./CFS by taking lots of Doxycycline for about 18 months. I was really ill, and now I’m fine - I’ll never know what caused it, but thank god for antibiotics.

    kaninkoker 06.04.09 at 6:55 pm
    Experts Launch Think Tank for Mystery Disease in Europe, in connection to the next ME-conference in Stavanger, Norway 12 or 13 th of june.

    Last years Nobel Prise winner of medisicien , professoren Luc Montagnier from France, is one of those who menes something has to be done abut this.

    Fluffy 06.05.09 at 4:43 pm
    CFS is considered an EPITHET by many people with the disease because of the F-word.

    The reason for the F-word is something called psychological operations.

    This is what the state intelligences agencies use against the chronically ill in order to hide the true cause of the disease. This has trivialized the disease in the public’s eye and worst their own families thereby discrediting them.

    Below you can see their true colors
    Dr Shepherd and Professor Kenny de Meirleir have both been named as members of the Editorial Board of a new journal called “Fatigue” due to launch early 2010.

    Imagine launching a new journal with the F-word plastered in front. Talk about being urinated on.

    It amounts to giving you a good kick to the ME/CDIDS/CFS between the legs.

    It is just one more assault.

    respecting and thanking people like de Meirleir amounts to the victim showing love for their victimizer who violently abuses them. that’s called an abusive relationship.

    I would be a pretty good guess to assume that Dr Shepherd and Professor Kenny de Meirleir have hidden agendas and are prostituting themselves for the state military/intelligence agencies and political establishment objectives.

    It’s just a continuing strategy to
    a) keep research going down dead ends,
    b) keep patients in false hope mode
    c) hide the real causes - vaccines and vaccines with bioagent additives ,( also intentional water poisoning via fluoride/chlorine and intentional food poisoning via msg, aspartame etc )
    d) hide global depopulation agenda and state orchestrated slow kill vaccine genocides and disablement (AIDS,GWS,1918 epidemic etc)

    ME/CFS patients have high levels of the ciguatoxin epitope but so do cancer and people with other illnesses - ciguatoxin doesn’t cause any of these diseases. Ditto with low cortisol readings and Fibromyalgia, asthma, PTSD and RA.

    this seems like an attempt to cover up the disease

    The test did not show Ciguatoxin reaction but an epitope that resembled it.

    and how would you know that such a similar toxin isn’t the primary component of many of these diseases or accompanying condition

    those diseases are likely associated with vaccine damage

    given the extreme toxicity of the resembling ciguatoxin epitope , it sure would be an very high priority to figure out what is behind that and how it can be neutralized

    Wake Up Folks

    lucy 06.06.09 at 2:24 pm
    Cort - I am still waiting and looking forward to newsletter on Dr Baraniuk’s research!!

    I have read this press release and your commentary and still don’t understand this new “breakthrough” - likely just fibrofog tho.

    ( Do you know if his current clinical trial of Carnosine for Gulf War Illness has much bearing on CFS and FM…)


  2. znewby

    znewby Member

    Interesting that this article talks about h2s coming from this tree.

  3. ulala

    ulala New Member

    gases that has made many people living in houses with Chinese drywall so sick that they abandon their homes. Make sure to read the lasst couple of lines where one woman stated "I'm just tired all the time."

    Chinese Drywall Poses Potential Risks to American Homeowners, Apartment Dwellers
    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Print ShareThisPARKLAND, Fla. — At the height of the U.S. housing boom, when building materials were in short supply, American construction companies used millions of pounds of Chinese-made drywall because it was abundant and cheap.

    Now that decision is haunting hundreds of homeowners and apartment dwellers who are concerned that the wallboard gives off fumes that can corrode copper pipes, blacken jewelry and silverware, and possibly sicken people.

    Shipping records reviewed by The Associated Press indicate that imports of potentially tainted Chinese building materials exceeded 500 million pounds during a four-year period of soaring home prices. The drywall may have been used in more than 100,000 homes, according to some estimates, including houses rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    "This is a traumatic problem of extraordinary proportions," said U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat who introduced a bill in the House calling for a temporary ban on the Chinese-made imports until more is known about their chemical makeup. Similar legislation has been proposed in the Senate.

    The drywall apparently causes a chemical reaction that gives off a rotten-egg stench, which grows worse with heat and humidity.

    Researchers do not know yet what causes the reaction, but possible culprits include fumigants sprayed on the drywall and material inside it. The Chinese drywall is also made with a coal byproduct called fly ash that is less refined than the form used by U.S. drywall makers.

    Dozens of homeowners in the Southeast have sued builders, suppliers and manufacturers, claiming the very walls around them are emitting smelly sulfur compounds that are poisoning their families and rendering their homes uninhabitable.

    "It's like your hopes and dreams are just gone," said Mary Ann Schultheis, who has suffered burning eyes, sinus headaches, and a general heaviness in her chest since moving into her brand-new, 4,000-square-foot house in this tidy South Florida suburb a few years ago.

    She has few options. Her builder is in bankruptcy, the government is not helping and her lender will not give her a break.

    "I'm just going to cry," she said. "We don't know what we're going to do."

    Builders have filed their own lawsuits against suppliers and manufacturers, claiming they unknowingly used the bad building materials.

    The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating, as are health departments in Virginia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida and Washington state.

    Companies that produced some of the wallboard said they are looking into the complaints, but downplayed the possibility of health risks.

    "What we're trying to do is get to the bottom of what is precisely going on," said Ken Haldin, a spokesman for Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, a Chinese company named in many of the lawsuits.

    The Chinese ministries of commerce, construction and industry and the Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Chinese news reports have said AQSIQ, which enforces product quality standards, was investigating the complaints but people in the agency's press office said they could not confirm that.

    Meanwhile, governors in Louisiana and Florida are asking for federal assistance, and experts say the problem is only now beginning to surface.

    "Based on the amount of material that came in, it's possible that just in one year, 100,000 residences could be involved," said Michael Foreman, who owns a construction consulting firm. The company has performed tests on some 200 homes in the Sarasota area and has been tracking shipments of the drywall.

    Federal authorities say they are investigating just how much of the wallboard was imported. Shipping records analyzed by the AP show that more than 540 million pounds of plasterboard — which includes both drywall and ceiling tile panels — was imported from China between 2004 and 2008, although it's unclear whether all of that material was problematic or only certain batches.

    Most of it came into the country in 2006, following a series of Gulf Coast hurricanes and a domestic shortage brought on by the national housing boom.

    The Chinese board was also cheaper. One homeowner told AP he saved $1,000 by building his house with it instead of a domestic product.

    In 2006, enough wallboard was imported from China to build some 34,000 homes of roughly 2,000 square feet each, according to AP's analysis of the shipping records and estimates supplied by the nationwide drywall supplier United States Gypsum.

    Experts and advocates say many homes may have been built with a mixture of Chinese and domestic drywall, potentially raising the number of affected homes much higher.

    So far, the problem appears to be concentrated in the Southeast, which blossomed with new construction during the housing boom and where the damp climate appears to cause the gypsum in the building material to degrade more quickly. In Florida alone, more than 35,000 homes may contain the product, experts said.

    In Louisiana, the state health department has received complaints from at least 350 people in just a few weeks. Many of the affected homeowners rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina only to face the prospect of tearing down their houses and rebuilding again.

    In another cruel twist, some of the very communities that have been hit hardest by the collapse of the housing market and skyrocketing foreclosure rates are now at the epicenter of the drywall problem.

    Foreman warns of a "sleeping beast" in the thousands of bank-owned condos and houses across the country, with no one in them to complain.

    Outside the South, it's harder to pinpoint the number of affected homes. And in drier climates such as California and Nevada, it may be years before homeowners begin to see — and smell — what may be lurking inside their walls.

    The drywall furor is the latest in a series of scares over potentially toxic imports from China. In 2007, Chinese authorities ratcheted up inspections and tightened restrictions on exports after manufacturers were found to have exported tainted cough syrup, toxic pet food and toys decorated with lead paint.

    Scientists hope to understand the problem by studying the chemicals in the board. Drywall consists of wide, flat boards used to cover walls. It is often made from gypsum, a common mineral that can be mined or manufactured from the byproducts of coal-fired power plants.

    Plaintiffs in the lawsuits, as well as U.S. wallboard manufacturers, say the tainted drywall was made with fly ash, a residue of coal combustion more commonly used in concrete mixtures.

    Fly ash can be gathered before it ever reaches the smokestack, where technology is used to remove sulfur dioxide from the emissions. The process of "scrubbing" the smokestack emissions creates calcium sulfate, or gypsum, which can then used to make wallboard, experts say.

    Haldin, the Knaupf Tianjin spokesman, says some domestic drywall is also made from the less-refined fly ash.

    But Michael Gardner, executive director of the U.S. Gypsum Association, said American manufacturers gather the gypsum from the smokestacks after the scrubbing, which produces a cleaner product.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission has dispatched teams of toxicologists, electrical engineers and other experts to Florida to study the phenomenon. The commission is also working with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether there is a health hazard.

    A Florida Department of Health analysis found the Chinese drywall emits "volatile sulfur compounds," and contains traces of strontium sulfide, which can produce the rotten-egg odor and reacts with air to corrode metals and wires.

    But the agency says on its Web site that it "has not identified data suggesting an imminent or chronic health hazard at this time."

    "We're continuing to test," said Susan Smith, a spokeswoman for the department, which has logged 230 complaints from homeowners.

    Dr. Patricia Williams, a University of New Orleans toxicologist hired by a Louisiana law firm that represents plaintiffs in some of the cases, said she has identified highly toxic compounds in the drywall, including hydrogen sulfide, sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide and carbon disulfide.

    Prolonged exposure to the compounds, especially high levels of carbon disulfide, can cause breathing problems, chest pains and even death; and can affect the nervous system, according to the CDC.

    "It is absolutely shocking what is happening," Williams said.

    Dr. Phillip Goad, a toxicologist hired by Knaupf Plasterboard Tianjin, sampled drywall from 25 homes, some that contained the company's wallboard and some that did not.

    "The studies we have performed to date have identified very low levels of naturally occurring compounds," Goad said. "The levels we have detected do not present a public health concern. The chemicals are naturally occurring. They're produced in ocean water, in salt marsh air, in estuaries."

    But those who are living with it are convinced that something is making them sick, including dozens of homeowners in a single subdivision in Parkland, about 50 miles north of Miami. They are now faced with a daunting choice: Tear down and rebuild, or move out and be stuck with a mortgage and a home they cannot sell.

    "We are particularly concerned about the safety and well-being of our children," said Holly Krulik, who lives down the street from Mary Ann Schultheis.

    She and her husband, Doug, are suffering sinus problems and respiratory ailments, and their young daughter has repeated nose bleeds.

    "If a shiny copper coil can turn absolutely black within a matter of months, it certainly can't be good for human beings," Krulik said.

    Neighbor John Willis is moving out, even though he can hardly afford to walk away from a house he's owned for just three years. He cries as he speaks of his 3-year-old son's respiratory infection, which eventually required surgery.

    "They basically took out a substance that looked like rubber cement out of my 3-year-old son's sinuses," he said. "My wife and I are now faced with the choice between our children's health and our financial health. My children are always going to win on that."

    The subdivision's builder, WCI Communities, is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring and can do little more than log complaints, said spokeswoman Connie Boyd.

    The federal government does not regulate the chemical ingredients of imported drywall.

    Plasterboard Tianjin said it has been making drywall for 10 years in accordance with U.S. and international standards.

    Another Chinese company facing lawsuits, Taishan Gypsum Ltd., also insists that it meets all U.S. standards.

    Determining what is causing the problems could take months. Researchers will try to recreate in a lab the conditions that caused the sulfur compounds normally found in drywall to give off noxious gases.

    Meanwhile, people like Lisa Sich, 43, are left with more questions than answers. Sich has not felt well since moving into the Henderson, Nevada, apartment she rents less than a year ago, and her silverware quickly tarnished.

    "I can hear myself wheezing," said Sich, who is having environmental experts test the apartment, built in 2007. "My eyes are constantly itchy, extreme fatigue."

    And while Sich is not even certain she's got the bad wallboard, she has not felt like herself in months. She's missed five weeks of work just since late November.

    "I'm just tired all the time," she said. "It doesn't make sense."

  4. outofstep

    outofstep Member

    that's so weird-those are used as Xmas trees