Smoldering Virus Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depressio

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PVLady, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Here is another new article from this site about CFS and the possible cause. I am beginning to believe there may be hope for us in the future as more and more doctors are educated about this DD. I may call them to see when the tests will be available.

    Protein from a Common Smoldering Virus Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression

    by HHV-6 Foundation


    HHV-6 Foundation reports on a groundbreaking presentation at the International Symposium on Viral Infections in CFS.

    BALTIMORE, MD, June 23, 2008 - A study suggests that a "smoldering" central nervous system (CNS) infection may play a role in conditions that plague millions of Americans.

    Kazuhiro Kondo, MD, PhD, of the Jikei University Medical School in Tokyo, identified a novel human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) protein present in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients but not healthy controls that may contribute to psychological symptoms often associated with that and other disorders.

    "Causes of many chronic diseases are unknown and chronic viral infection is one of the most suspected candidates," said Dr. Kondo, who spent 20 years trying to identify the latent protein responsible for chronic CNS disease and mood disorders.

    Support for Dr. Kondo's claim came from Stanford University's Jose Montoya, who announced at the same conference that the antiviral drug Valcyte [valganciclovir], shown to be effective against HHV-6, resulted in an improvement in the cognitive functioning of CFS patients, although not a complete resolution of their fatigue.

    According to Dr. Kondo, drugs like Valcyte combat active replication but can't completely control low-level smoldering. "To cure the diseases, we have to reduce the latently infected virus or prevent its reactivation," he explains.

    A Debilitating Disorder

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a debilitating disorder affecting one to four million Americans and causing 25 billion dollars a year in economic losses. The primary symptoms include post-exertional malaise, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, unrefreshing sleep, muscle and joint pain. High rates of depression co-occur with the disease.

    Mostly striking working-age adults, the disease is often triggered by a flu-like episode. Efforts to find a single pathogen responsible for the disease have, however, failed and the cause of the disorder is unknown.

    Novel Herpesvirus Protein is Associated with Altered Nervous System Cell Activity and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression

    Kondo identified a novel HHV-6 protein associated with latent (non-replicating) HHV-6-infected nervous system and immune cells. Transfecting this new protein, called SITH-1 (Small Intermediate Stage Transcript of HHV-6), into nervous system cells called glial cells resulted in greatly increased intracellular calcium levels. Increased intracellular calcium levels are believed to play an important role in psychological disorders and can contribute to cell death. Expressing the SITH protein though the use of an adenoviral vector in mouse resulted in manic-like behavior.

    A serological study indicated that 71% of CFS patients with psychological symptoms - and none of the healthy controls - possessed the antibody against the SITH-1 protein (p < .0001).

    Further tests indicated that 53% of depression and 76% of bipolar depression patients possessed the antibody.

    Traditional Viral Tests May Overlook Important Disease Causing Processes

    Researchers have suspected that central nervous system infections could contribute to psychological and central nervous system disorders, and patients with CFS have a much higher than average rate of depression.

    This virus spreads cell-to-cell instead of releasing viral particles into the bloodstream. This has hampered efforts to demonstrate that the virus plays a role in CNS disease. "This virus persists in the brain and other tissues, but not the blood, which is where investigators have looked," says Kristin Loomis, Executive Director of the HHV-6 Foundation.

    "Indeed, standard serum PCR DNA for direct evidence of the virus are useless," she added.

    New ultra-sensitive assays are under development, she reports, "but currently the best way to identify patients with smoldering HHV-6 infection is to look for elevated IgG antibody titers."

    Dharam Ablashi, the co-discoverer of the HHV-6 virus, and the HHV-6 Foundation's Scientific Director, warns that the test won't be available in the near future. "It may take years to get the assay validated and into commercial production, but will be worth the wait,” says Ablashi.

    “This assay could identify large numbers of patients with CNS dysfunction who could benefit from antiviral treatment. The HHV-6 Foundation is working hard to help scientists like Dr. Kondo develop better assays."

    The HHV-6 Foundation

    The HHV-6 Foundation encourages scientific exchanges and provides grants to researchers seeking to increase our understanding of HHV-6 infection in a wide array of central nervous system disorders.

    Contact: Kristin Loomis, Executive Director HHV-6 Foundation Phone: 805-969-1174

  2. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi PVLady,

    Thanks for posting this. It is very much in line with a lot of my thinking about some of the core issues of CFS. I tend to think of viruses, bacteria, mycoplasmas, etc., as sort of "micro-parasites" that can cause a lot of havoc. It is the primary reason I'm currently doing an experimental MMS (chlorine dioxide) protocol to address various infections I may be dealing with.

    I believe that current medical knowledge is curently very limited in understanding the ramifications of these types of infections. Unfortunately, most of our medical establishment doesn't know how limited their understanding is, and all to often attritube psychological factors to the symptoms of these infections. Lazy thinking as far as I'm concerned.

    Thanks again for posting this.

    Regards, Wayne
    [This Message was Edited on 07/10/2008]
  3. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    It seems from this article, one day soon there will be a way to test us for these viruses - and hopefully treat them.

  4. LonelyHearts

    LonelyHearts New Member

  5. aftermath

    aftermath New Member

    Note the 2008 date on this article.

    HHV-6 looked very promising at one point.

    Dr. Montoya of Stanford did two studies on HHV-6. The first one had promising results. Regrettably, the larger follow-up study did not pan out.

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