Research into CFS is translating into higher visibility for the illness in traditional and social media, but not all of the coverage is reliable. When it portrays CFS as a serious condition that warrants rigorous research and it reflects balanced journalism, we’ll list it here. We’re committed to continuing our own media outreach to spread the word about advances in CFS research.
Here are links to some of the best coverage of CFS research in 2011 and 2012. The lists are provided in date order, with the most recent articles listed first. We’re in the process of updating this page; the most recent coverage is summarized in a July 2, 2012 post to the blog titled, “Newsworthy Highlights of 2012 (So Far).”
Here’s some information about responsible media coverage of scientific/medical topics.
From Columbia Journalism Review, “Mixed Grades for Medical Coverage.”
HealthNewsReview.org offers “independent expert reviews of news stories.” Publisher Gary Schwitzer penned this blog post, “The effects of churnalism on health care news & the public,” on the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Blog Network; it outlines the HealthNewsreview process and suggests steps that journals, journalists, public relations professionals and consumers can take to increase the quality of healthcare journalism.
From popular science podcast “This Week in Virology,” David Tuller, MPH, of UC-Berkeley and The New York Times discussed science reporting with a focus on CFS and XMRV.
Science magazine reported that the NIH grant to investigate XMRV will remain at the Whittemore Peterson Institute with Dr. Vincent Lombardi as the new principal investigator. (“Embattled Institute Retains Major Grant to Study Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”) (2/8/12) This story was also reported in The Scientist (2/9/12).
David Tuller continued his thorough coverage of CFS in a new story published in the New York Times, “Fallout From Fatigue Syndrome Retraction Is Wide,” that summarized the state of events and emotions in the community following the December 2011 retractions of the studies linking XMRV and related retroviruses to the illness. He interviewed well-known patient advocates Heidi Dunlap Bauer and Rivka Solomon and scientists Drs. Fred Friedberg and John Coffin. (2/6/12) This article was also linked to from Journal Watch (2/7/12) and The Atlantic (2/7/12).
Member of the Association’s Scientific Advisory Board and Columbia University virology professor Dr. Vincent Racaniello penned a fascinating post on Discover Magazine’s “The Crux” blog that compares and contrasts the differences and difficulties of establishing a viral connection between HIV/AIDS and CFS. He caps his brief history of both illnesses by asking, “Why have investigators failed to identify a virus behind CFS?,” noting that it’s not due to a lack of viable technology, and theorizing answers. (“A Tale of Two Viruses: Why AIDS Was Pinned to HIV, but Chronic Fatigue Remains a Mystery“) (1/12/12)
Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University and lead researcher for the NIH’s XMRV study, posted a note to the CFS community on the Center’s blog. “A Message from CII Director W. Ian Lipkin Regarding the XMRV/MLV CFS/ME Study” notes that the study will continue and points out that “…any finding related to a retrovirus, whether infectious or noninfectious, genetic material, protein, or antibody, may provide insights into disease or allow development of diagnostic tests even if a causative relationship is not established.” He also acknowledges criticism about the study continuing in the face of the retraction of the XMRV and MLV papers in “Science” and “PNAS” and responds: “For those who continue to express concerns that this study is an inappropriate use of resources in a challenging fiscal environment, please be assured that more than 85% of the funding associated with this initiative is invested in patient recruitment and characterization and sample collection, archiving, and distribution. Thus, irrespective of study outcome there will be unprecedented opportunity to explore hypotheses other than that disease is due to XMRV or MLV infection.” (12/28/11)
The paper, “Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in August 2010 by NIH researchers Shyh-Ching Lo, Harvey Alter and colleagues was retracted in the publication’s Dec. 27 issue. Following on the heels of the Dec. 24 retraction of the paper published in Science linking CFS to the retrovirus XMRV, this retraction strikes down the last remaining relationship between them. The authors note that their results were reproducible in their own labs and that they have no evidence of contamination, but cite four concerns: “the original CFS patient samples were of insufficient volume to distribute to other laboratories for independent confirmation; only one of many laboratories has found a similar association between polytropic murine leukemia viruses (pMLV) and CFS …; our attempts, through collaborations, to demonstrate antibody in affected patients, to isolate the virus by culture, or to show integration sites in the human genome have failed to support the initial findings; and while recall of eight patients from the original cohort 15 y later showed pMLV gag sequences in seven, the copy number was very low and phylogenetic analysis showed these sequences were not direct descendents of the original dominant strains.” (12/26/11) This story has been reported in numerous outlets including The New York Times (12/26/11), MedPage Today (12/26/11), Retraction Watch (12/26/11), virology blog (12/26/11), Third Age (12/27/11), MedCity (12/27/11), .US News & World Report (12/27/11), HealthDay (12/27/11), The Huffington Post (12/27/11) , The Wall Street Journal (12/27/11), About.com (12/27/11), Genome Web (12/27/11), Newsday (12/27/11), Science (12/28/11), The Medical News (12/28/11), Nature (12/28/11), Doctors Lounge (12/28/11), NPR (12/30/11), The Scientist (1/3/12), ABC News Australia (1/6/12) and Science (1/7/12).
“In a Rare Move, Science Without Authors’ Consent Retracts Paper That Tied Mouse Virus to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” reports Science magazine on the ScienceInsider website ahead of the December 23 print issue. Citing issues with other labs’ ability to replicate the findings from the original paper published in October 2009 and “evidence of poor quality control,” Editor Bruce Albers states that the magazine’s editors have “lost confidence in the Report and the validity of its conclusions.” (12/22/11) This article has been reported in multiple outlets including Nature (12/22/11), Bloomberg (12/22/11), virology blog (12/22/11), The Wall Street Journal (12/22/11), Reuters (12/22/11), Retraction Watch (12/22/11), The Chicago Tribune (12/22/11), The Associated Press (12/22/11), ars technica (12/22/11), Scientific American (12/22/11), The Huffington Post (12/22/11), NPR (12/22/11), The Washington Post (12/22/11), MedPage Today (12/22/11), New Scientist (12/22/11), Discover (12/22/11), Time Magazine (12/22/11), genomeweb (12/22/11), Medical Xpress (12/22/11), BBC News (12/22/11), CBS News (12/22/11), Yahoo (12/22/11), msnbc (12/22/11), UPI (12/22/11), The Los Angeles Times (12/23/11), MedIndia (12/23/11), The Medical Daily (12/27/11), Fox News (12/28/11), DailyRx (12/31/11) and ScienceNews (12/31/11).
Columbia virology professor Vincent Racaniello included comments about XMRV in a his keynote address, “The World of Viruses,” given at the 22nd Annual Brazilian Virology Society. He posted the audio and video on his popular virology blog. (10/27/11)
Website SciVerse reported on a study, “Investigation of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) in human and other cell lines,” published in the journal Biologicals and conducted by U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers that sought to “… evaluat[e] XMRV contamination in cell lines handled in laboratory research and particularly those used in the manufacture of biological products.” They examined at least six different cell lines and determined that “The results indicated the absence of XMRV in the cell lines tested …” (10/12/11)
7th Space Interactive posted “Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus is Not Associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Patients from Different Areas of the US in the 1990s,” the results of a study published in Virology Journal that “… determined the prevalence of XMRV in patients with CFS from similar areas in the United States as the original 2009 study, along with patients with chronic inflammatory disorders and healthy persons. … Using quantitative PCR, we initially detected very low level signals for XMRV DNA in 15% of patients with CFS; however, the frequency of PCR positivity was no different between patients with CFS and controls. Repeated attempts to isolate PCR products from these reactions were unsuccessful.” Using a variety of other methods in addition to Q-PCR, the researchers concluded that, “We found no definitive evidence for XMRV DNA sequences or antibody in our cohort of CFS patients, which like the original 2009 study, included patients from diverse regions of the United States. In addition, XMRV was not detected in a cohort of patients with chronic inflammatory disorders.” (9/24/11)
Science magazine published a package of stories about XMRV and CFS, including the long-awaited results of the Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group (SWRG)’s Phase III study: “Failure to confirm XMRV/MLVs in the blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: A multi-laboratory study.” In this study, none of the 19 assays used by nine participating labs was able to distinguish previously XMRV/MLV-positive CFS cases from healthy blood donors or pedigreed negatives on the basis of results for XMRV or the larger family of murine leukemia viruses. A “Partial Retraction” of data from the original XMRV paper (published in Science in 2009) by the Cleveland Clinic’s Robert Silverman and a full-length narrative article summarizing the history of XMRV from discovery to date accompany the SWRG study results. These materials are all available to Science subscribers or on a pay-per-view basis; we’ll update the links below if they become openly available. (9/22/11) This package of stories has been reported in hundreds of other outlets, including Retraction Watch (blog) (9/22/11), NIH News (9/22/11), The Washington Post (9/22/11), The Scientist (9/22/11), The New York Times (9/22/11), US News & World Report (9/22/11), MSN Health (9/22/11), NPR (9/22/11), The Wall Street Journal (9/22/11), Bloomberg (9/22/11), BBC News (9/22/11), LiveScience (9/22/11), MyHealthNewsDaily (9/22/11), ScienceNews (9/22/11), Journal of the American Medical Society (paid subscription only) (11/2/11) and LabTestsOnline (11/4/11).
“Failure to confirm XMRV/MLVs in the blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: A multi-laboratory study.”
Web site 7th Space Interactive reported on a study published in Virology Journal titled, “ XMRV: Usage of Receptors and potential Co-receptors.” The researchers described the study: “Although XMRV is thought to use XPR1 for cell entry, it infects A549 cells that do not express XPR1, suggesting usage of other receptors or co-receptors. To study the usage of different receptors and co- receptors that could play a role in XMRV infection of lymphoid cells and GHOST (GFP- Human osteosarcoma) cells expressing CD4 along with different chemokine receptors including CCR1, CCR2, etc., were infected with XMRV. Culture supernatants and cells were tested for XMRV replication using real time quantitative PCR. Infection and replication of XMRV was seen in a variety of GHOST cells, LNCaP, DU145, A549 and Caski cell lines. The levels of XMRV replication varied in different cell lines showing differential replication in different cell lines. However, replication in A549 which lacks XPR1 expression was relatively higher than DU145 but lower than, LNCaP. XMRV replication varied in GHOST cell lines expressing CD4 and each of the co- receptors CCR1 – CCR8 and Bob. There was significant replication of XMRV in CCR3 and Bonzo although it is much lower when compared to DU145, A549 and LNCaP.” They concluded, “XMRV replication was observed in GHOST cells that express CD4, and each of the chemokine receptors ranging from CCR1- CCR8 and Bob suggesting that infectivity in hematopoietic cells could be mediated by use of these receptors.” (9/6/11)
NPR aired “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Still a Medical Mystery” on “Morning Edition.” In this segment, correspondent Joanne Silberner interviews Harvard’s Dr. Anthony Komaroff, a CFS clinician and researcher; and CFS patients Dr. Katrina Berne and Cynthia Johnson, who described life with the illness and the affects the XMRV story has had on media coverage and perception of CFS. (9/5/11)
John Coffin, PhD, a professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University and author of one of the recent negative XMRV studies, answered questions in “His work has gone viral,” an interiew published in The Boston Globe. He discusses XMRV and his research into a connection between HERV-K and breast cancer. (7/18/11)
A brief item published in the July issue of Scientific American asked, “Donor Fatigue: Should Blood Banks Reject Chronic Fatigue Sufferers?” It summarized the controversy surrounding the connection between XMRV and CFS and noted that “…experts are weighing whether or not to test donated blood.” (7/4/11)
British newspaper The Daily Mail reported on “XMRV and CFS—the sad end of a story,” a comment published on the website of The Lancet. In it, researchers from the Netherlands conclude that, based on numerous negative studies, XMRV is not the much hoped-for cause of CFS. Other outlets also published articles about the comment, including the website of Consumer Reports, The Telegraph, and websites Pulse and Medical News Today. (6/21/11)
The NatureNews website of Nature magazine published “Chronic fatigue syndrome: life after XMRV,” a look at the future of research into the field in the wake of the recent doubt cast on the original link between the retrovirus and CFS. (6/3/11)
“Retrovirus No Longer Thought to Be Cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” from Scientific American provided an easy-to-understand summary of the XMRV studies published in Science. Perhaps more important to CFS patients and those who care about them, however, is the article’s validation of the seriousness of the illness. (6/1/11)
The Wall Street Journal‘s Health blog published a post by Amy Docker-Marcus that questioned the editor and authors of the Lo, et al. study published in August 2010 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science about the impact of the Science papers and retraction request. ( “Given Doubt Cast on CFS-XMRV Link, What About Related Research?”) (6/1/11)
The authors of the negative XMRV studies published in Science magazine and CFS patients were interviewed in this look at the latest research and its impact on the community, “Report deals blow to fatigue sufferers,” from The Boston Globe. (6/1/11)
The New York Times‘s David Tuller continued his CFS converage with a story titled “2 Studies Examine Syndrome of Fatigue,” an examination of the XMRV studies published in Science. (6/1/11)
Writing on the “Shots” blog, NPR’s Richard Knox said, “Two new studies may not be the final nails in the coffin of the hypothesis that a mouse retrovirus called XMRV causes chronic fatigue syndrome. But the hammering is certainly getting louder.” (“Doubts Rise Over Virus As Cause Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”) (5/31/11)
The Science Now website of Science magazine included “New Data Spark Retraction Request for Chronic Fatigue Virus Study,” detailing the editors’ request for the authors of the original XMR/CFS publication to voluntarily retract that study. (5/31/11)
An article by HealthDay reporter Amanda Gardner about the package of XMRV stories published in the journal Science ran in U.S. News & World Report; on websites MSN, Health.com, iVillage and DoctorsLounge; and numerous other media outlets. (“Studies Refute Virus’ Link to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”) (5/31/11)
The BBC’s James Gallagher reported on the “‘Concern’ over ME/viral research.” The article on the broadcaster’s website outlined the unease of the editors of Science over two negative XMRV papers published in the journal. (5/31/11)
Wire service Reuters published “Mouse virus doesn’t cause chronic fatigue: reports,” noting, “A mouse virus called XMRV, which has been fingered as a cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, is likely not responsible for the mysterious disease, according to two studies released on Tuesday.” (5/31/11)
The Washington Post and numerous other media outlets ran “New studies say XMRV virus that was latest chronic fatigue suspect probably was a false alarm,” an Associated Press story that detailed the two negative XMRV papers and accompanying editorial in Science. (5/31/11)
The Washington Post‘s Science Writer Brian Vastag penned “Reports: Mouse virus doesn’t cause chronic fatigue syndrome,” a follow-up article that includes comments from several researchers involved in the XMRV papers published in Science. (5/31/11)
“Chronic Fatigue Study That Sparked Ban May Have Been Flawed,” reported Bloomberg News about the most recent negative XMRV papers published in the journal Science. (5/31/11)
Virology Blog author Professor vincent Racaniello updated his previous “XMRV is a recombinant virus from mice” post to include the latest details from the latest Science papers. (5/31/11)
The Wall Street Journal‘s Amy Dockser Marcus published two stories on the package of XMRV studies and commentary published online on the Science Express website ahead of print publication in the journal Science. (5/31/11)
“Chronic-Fatigue Paper Called Into Question”
“New Doubt Cast on Study of Chronic Fatigue”
US News & World Report, Yahoo! News, Newsday and the DoctorsLounge each ran a HealthDay story about the negative findings of XMRV in CFS patients and healthy volunteers reported in the Journal of Virology (“Study Finds No Link Between XMRV Virus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome“). (5/12/11)
The Chicago Tribune‘s Trine Tsouderos reported on the Whittemore Peterson Institute’s response to the Singh study, noting that “Researchers stand by findings linking XMRV to chronic fatigue syndrome.” The article also appeared in the Baltimore Sun and the Los Angeles Times. (5/11/11)
Writing in the paper’s Booster Shots blog, Trine Tsouderos of the Chicago Tribune explained the implications of the Singh study in a story titled “New study on potential link between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome finds, again, nothing.” The article also appeared in the Baltimore Sun and the Los Angeles Times. (5/6/11)
Nature’s Ewen Callaway followed his February story on XMRV with a comment (“More questions over link between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome”) on the Ila Singh-authored study of well-defined CFS patients that found no evidence of a relationship with XMRV. (5/5/11)
The Wall Street Journal maintained its interest in CFS and XMRV with another Health blog post by Amy Dockser Marcus, “Study Finds No Link Between XMRV and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” about the negative Journal of Virology paper. (5/4/11)
“Ila Singh finds no XMRV in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome,” explained Columbia Professor of Virology Dr. Vincent Racaniello in an analysis of her paper, “Absence of XMRV and other MLV-related viruses in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” published in Journal of Virology. (Virology Blog) (5/4/11)
The Spring issue of the Stanford University Department of Medicine’s newsletter, Newsmakers in Medicine, devotes a full page to a profile of CFS clinician and researcher Dr. Jose Montoya and the new Chronic Fatigue Initiative. “Hope For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” details his look into various pathogens that might cause the illness and reports on his research using the anti-viral Valcyte to treat CFS patients. (Story begins on page 5.) (May 2011)
UroToday, a urology news service, provided an update to the urology field on XMRV in “Beyond the Abstract – Evidence and controversies on the role of XMRV in prostate cancer and CFS.” (Registration is required to access the article, but it’s free.) (4/14/11)
The chief medical officer of Lifescript, a website dedicated to women’s health, wrote about CFS and XMRV on the HealthBistro website in “The Mystery of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” (3/28/11)
The Wall Street Journal’s Amy Dockser Marcus continued her series of articles about CFS, highlighting a broad range of research to unlock its mysteries in “Seeking Biological Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” (3/22/11)
Trine Tsouderos of the Chicago Tribune penned “New research rattles hopes for many patients with chronic fatigue syndrome,” an article about XMRV, CFS and the current status of research on the association between them. (3/17/11)
Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious science journals, covered XMRV, CFS and the continued debate in “Fighting for a cause” by Ewen Callaway. (3/16/11)
The story was accompanied by an editorial, “Cause for Concern.” (3/16/11)
Callaway participated in a Nature podcast; read the transcript. (3/17/11)
“A Virus of Interest,” an article about XMRV research, appeared in the Winter 2011 issue of Emory Medicine, a magazine about Emory’s research and medical programs. (3/9/11)
The ScienceNOW website (from Science Magazine) reported on the presentation at the 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) meeting that suggested XMRV is a recombination of two mouse virus sequences in “Fresh Doubts About Connection Between Mouse Virus and Human Disease.” (3/8/11)
Amy Dockser Marcus covered the report of the Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group published in Transfusion on the Health Blog of the Wall Street Journal’s website. (“XMRV and the Blood Supply: More Study Needed”) (3/7/11)
Science podcast “This Week in Virology” (“TWiV 123: Contaminated prostates, absolute truth, and bleached worms”) covered XMRV and the Garson paper and noted the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) presentations. The hosts discussed the contamination issue and experiments that should be done to “sort it out.” (3/6/11)
Virology professor Dr. Vincent Racaniello explained a paper about XMRV integration sites in prostate tumors in “Authenticity of XMRV integration sites,” a post on his Virology Blog. (3/2/11)
Amy Dockser Marcus of the Wall Street Journal wrote about the animal model study of XMRV infection on the paper’s Health Blog. (“XMRV: Study Shows Virus Can Cause ‘Persistent Infection’ in Monkeys”) (2/17/11)
Columbia virology professor Dr. Vincent Racaniello blogged about an XMRV study of Rhesus macaques published in the Journal of Virology on his Virology Blog. (“XMRV infection of Rhesus macaques”) (2/17/11)
The Wall Street Journal’s Amy Dockser Marcus described a report by the AABB Interorganizational XMRV Task Force published in the journal Transfusion about XMRV and blood transfusion and studies being conducted by the American Red Cross. (“XMRV: Testing the Blood Supply”) (1/20/11)
Science magazine reported on the latest XMRV studies and events, with quotes from several experts about the December 2010 Retrovirology articles and other studies in “Studies Point to Possible Contamination in XMRV Findings.” (1/6/11)
Virology Blog writer Dr. Vincent Racaniello examined a 2008 study by researchers at Cleveland Clinic and UCLA (“Retroviral integration and the XMRV provirus”). (1/4/11)
New York Times writer David Tuller outined the current status of CFS research and the association with XMRV/MLV-related viruses in “Exhausted by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Its Doubters.” (1/4/11)
The first 2011 episode of the popular science podcast “This Week in Virology,” “Ten Out of ’10,” summarized 10 virology stories from 2010, beginning with XMRV/CFS/prostate cancer. (1/2/11)
Yahoo Finance announces that “The CFIDS Association of America Breaks Ground on Its ‘Institute Without Walls’ to Transform Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research.” It outlines new additions to the Association’s comprehensive research initiative to advance objective diagnosis and effective treatment of CFS: five new grant awards, two new projects using resources from a central biobank and curation of a biomarker ‘hit list’ to guide future research. The new investments total $2 million. (2/23/12) This story also ran on more than 325 other sites, including MarketWatch (2/23/12), Breitbart (2/23/12), Yahoo Finance (2/23/12), The Boston Globe (2/23/12), The Houston Chronicle (2/23/12), The Las Vegas Review-Journal (2/23/12), The Los Angeles Daily News (2/23/12), MedIndia (2/23/12), Newsday (2/23/12), Pharmaceutical Industry Today (2/23/12), Provident Healthcare Partners (2/23/12), Reuters (2/23/12), The San Francisco Chronicle (2/23/12), StreetInsider.com (2/23/12), The Sacramento Bee (2/23/12) and Medical Xpress (2/23/12).
The Wall Street Journal’s Amy Dockser Marcus returns to CFS coverage in a Health Blog post titled “With Help from Author Laura Hillenbrand, Drug Repurposing Comes to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” She focuses on one of the Association’s newly announced research grants, given to biotech firm Biovista to explore the use of existing drugs in new ways to treat CFS, and makes mention of Hillenbrand’s $250,000 gift to support such research. (2/23/12)
About.com’s Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome blogger Adrienne Dellwo reported on the results of a study conducted by Norwegian researchers and published in the online journal BMC Gatroenterology that hypothesizes that a “Bowel Parasite May Lead to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Researchers focused 1,262 people who were “hard hit by a waterborne outbreak of Giardia enteritis … Of those 96 people, 58 (60%) were diagnosed with ME/CFS. That’s about 4.5% of the people affected by the outbreak.” (2/15/12)
medicalphysicsweb published “Diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome,” a report on “… a pilot study carried out in the UK and published in journal Physiological Measurement, [that] has shown that a simple optical technique has the potential to identify individuals with CFS.” Researchers measured peripheral pulse sites such as the ear lobe, finger tips or toe pads of both CFS and healthy controls during a tilt table test. They “found that there were significant differences between the CFS group and the controls for combinations of pulse amplitude and timing measurements …” (2/10/12)
The Journal of Psychosomatic Research published a study by German researchers that sought to determine “Are fatigue symptoms and chronic fatigue syndrome following Q fever infection related to psychosocial variables?” reported website SciVerse. They “aimed to determine the prevalence of fatigue symptoms, chronic fatigue, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in a sample of patients who were exposed to Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) infection compared to controls, and to contrast Q fever patients with and without fatigue symptoms related to somatoform symptoms, hypochondriacal worries and beliefs, psychosocial complaints, and social support.” Using questionnaires with 84 Q fever-exposed patients and 85 matched controls from the Jena region of Germany, the team found that “Patients who were exposed to a Q fever infection in the past indicated more fatigue symptoms and chronic fatigue than controls (54.8 vs. 20%, 32.1 vs. 4.7%) but did not show more criteria for a CFS (1 patient in each group),” and concluded that “Although in our sample fatigue symptoms were common among Q fever patients, we found no increased prevalence of CFS in contrast to several other studies. The combination of fatigue symptoms with other psychosocial symptoms/problems support the view of a biopsychosocial etiology of fatigue symptoms.” (2/9/12/)
Web site 7th Space Interactive reported on a Norwegian study published in the online journal BMC Gastroenterology. In “Chronic fatigue syndrome after Giardia enteritis: clinical characteristics, disability and long-term sickness absence,” researchers sought to “…describe the clinical characteristics, disability and employment loss in a case series of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) after infection [with Giardia lamblia gastroenteritis].” They reported, “In all, 1262 patients had laboratory confirmed giardiasis. At the time of referral (mean illness duration 2.7 years) 16 % reported improvement, 28 % reported no change, and 57 % reported progressive course with gradual worsening. … After giardiasis enteritis at least 5% developed clinical characteristics and functional impairment comparable to previously described post-infectious fatigue syndrome.” (2/8/12)
About.com’s Adrienne Dellwo delved into “Illness Clusters: The Reason Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome “Bring Friends.”” She describes a researcher’s efforts to identify co-morbid conditions to both CFS and fibromyalgia: “… the cluster of illnesses we generally see all having a key feature in common: central sensitization (CS). As a group, they’re called central sensitivity syndromes (CSS), although some of the conditions are classified as diseases.” (12/31/11)
Adrienne Dellwo, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome blogger on About.com described research into “Heart Abnormalities in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” She reported on two studies that confirm several cardiac irregularities in CFS patients, including low nocturnal heart rate variability, small left ventricle (in one subgroup), postural tachycardia, short QT interval, abnormal cardiac wall motion with exercise (in certain subgroups) and low blood volume and reduced cardiac function.(12/23/11)
HealthCanal.com reported that researchers at the University of Liverpool (UK) “are the first to implement a newly developed technique that is more sensitive to identifying mitochondrial function within the muscle’s fibres. [They] anticipate that these new methods will demonstrate whether skeletal muscle mitochondria in patients with CFS are dysfunctional, which would result in muscle fatigue and further complications leading to chronic inflammation and pain.” (“Study to reveal causes of chronic fatigue syndrome”) (12/21/11)
Web site HealthCanal.com noted a grant made by the UK’s Medical Research Council to researchers at Newcastle University to “fund new projects to investigate the mechanisms and underlying biological processes involved in the illness, which could eventually lead to better diagnosis and the development of more effective treatments” in an article titled, “New research into causes of debilitating condition.” (12/21/11) This story was also reported on iTV (12/21/11), The Journal (12/21/11) and Medical Xpress (12/22/11) .
The UK’s BBC News produced a report on a British study that asserts that “Chronic fatigue syndrome ‘affects one in 100 pupils’.” The study, “Unidentified Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a major cause of school absence: surveillance outcomes from school-based clinics,” published in online journal BMJ Open, examined more than 2,800 students between the ages of 11 and 16 at three secondary schools in Bath and determined that 28 of them have CFS. “Overall 1% of pupils had chronic fatigue and the illness accounted for more than 6% of pupils who were missing large amounts of school,” according to the researchers, who described the impact of missing school as “potentially devastating.” (12/12/11) This study was covered by numerous outlets, including The Guardian (12/12/11),UK Press Association (12/13/11), Nursing in Practice (12/13/11), WebMD (12/13/11), The Telegraph (12/13/11), NetDoctor (12/13/11), AOL Lifestyle UK (12/13/11), US News & World Report (12/13/11), The Huffington Post UK (12/13/11), iVillage (12/13/11), MedicalXpress (12/13/11), MedicineNet (12/13/11), The Irish Independent (12/13/11), Yahoo News (12/13/11), e! Science News (12/13/11), MSN UK (12/13/11), HealthDay (12/13/11), The Medical News (12/14/11), Doctors Lounge (12/15/11), Medical News Today (12/16/11), About.com (12/19/11), The Independent Online (1/3/12), and NursingTimes.net (1/7/12).
Web site HealthCanal.com described the launch of a new study by researchers at the University of Leicester in the UK that will “look in-depth at visual issues in ME/CFS patients. The researchers hope that collecting medical evidence of such symptoms could aid in the diagnosis and treatment of ME/CFS.” (“University researchers launch groundbreaking new study into symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome“) (12/8/11)
The London Evening Standard repored on the results of a study conducted by Swiss scientists that claims “the brain triggers muscle fatigue during heavy exercise. The team, from the University of Zurich, used MRI scans to identify the areas of the brain involved – the thalamus and insular cortex, which analyse potential threats to the body including pain and hunger. With experiments on an exercise bike, the researchers discovered just how strongly the insular cortex can slow us down.” The team said the finding could lead to cures for muscle fatigue and diseases including CFS. (“Muscle fatigue from exercise is in the mind, study reveals“) (12/6/11)
About.com’s Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome pages reported on a study that recorded “Structural Brain Changes in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” British “researchers used a type of neuroimaging called voxel-based morphometry, which allows them to map the brain and look for anatomical abnormalities. They say the results showed reductions in grey matter” and in white matter in various parts of the brain. They theorized that these reductions may be responsible for memory impairment, vision processing and differences in intended and actual movements. (12/5/11)
Science Daily noted a study conducted by researchers from the University of Zurich that found that “The head plays a key role in tiring endurance performances. They have discovered a mechanism in the brain that triggers a reduction in muscle performance during tiring activities and ensures that one’s own physiological limits are not exceeded. For the first time, the study demonstrates empirically that muscle fatigue and changes in the interaction between neuronal structures are linked.” These are the results of the final of a three-part series of experiments and published in the European Journal of Neuroscience that could have significant implications in the diagnosis and treatment of CFS. (“How Muscle Fatigue Originates in the Head”) (12/5/11) This study was also reported on in EurekAlert (12/5/11), The Medical News (12/5/11) and The London Evening Standard (12/6/11).
“Childhood maltreatment and the response to cognitive behavior therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome” was the topic of a study by Dutch researchers and published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, spotlighted on web site SciVerse. After enrolling 216 patients in a CBT course and measuring changes between pre- and post therapy in fatigue, disabilities, physical functioning and psychological distress, they concluded that “a history of childhood maltreatment was not related to the treatment response of cognitive behavior therapy for CFS. In patients with a history of childhood maltreatment CFS symptoms can be treated with CBT just as well as those without.” (12/1/11)
Researchers at London’s Kings College concluded that “acceptance may be an important factor to consider within treatments for CFS” following a study of 259 patients on the issue, reported web site SciVerse. Their research, “The role of acceptance in chronic fatigue syndrome,” published in the December issue of the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, aimed to demonstrate that “lack of acceptance would be positively correlated with fatigue and impairment in functioning; that there would be a significant relationship between perfectionism and acceptance; and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) would increase acceptance.” All patients “completed questionnaires measuring fatigue, physical functioning, work and social adjustment, lack of acceptance, perfectionism and depression. Ninety consecutive attenders received a course of CBT and completed further questionnaires at discharge and 3 months post-treatment. … At discharge and follow-up patients showed significantly increased acceptance, as well as reduced Concern over Mistakes, less fatigue and impairment of physical functioning, and improved work and social adjustment.” (12/1/11)
Columbia University professor of virology Dr. Vincent Racaniello’s popular virology blog hosted a comprehensive view of CFS, with a particular look at the role of the CDC in naming, researching, diagnosing and treating the illness, written by David Tuller of the “New York Times.” (“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the CDC: A Long, Tangled Tale”) (11/23/11). This article has been re-posted on Microbe World (11/23/11), Watching the Watchers (11/24/11) and Discover (12/1/11).
A story on the Better Health website reported on a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that assessed the health status of 5,469 deployed Gulf War veterans compared to 3,353 non-deployed veterans. “At 10 year follow up, the deployed veterans were more likely to report persistent poor health. The measures were functional impairment, limitation of activities, repeated clinic visits, recurrent hospitalization, perception of health as fair or poor, chronic fatigue syndrome illness and post-traumatic stress disorder.” (“Study Shows That Deployed Veterans Have Worse Health Than Their Non-Deployed Counterparts”) (11/13/11)
“Sleep Differences Separate Fibromyalgia From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” noted a post on About.com’s FM and CFS pages in a report on a study published in the journal Sleep. Among the findings are evidence that “ME/CFS-only participants were more likely than healthy people to wake up from REM sleep” and confirmation of earlier research pointing to abnormal sleep patterns in FMS and ME/CFS. (11/9/11)
Web site 7th Space Interactive described a study published in the International Journal for Equity in Health in which British researchers report on the “need for equity in health and social care expressed by adults living with CFS/ME.” In the study of “35 adults with CFS/ME in England, purposively selected to provide variation in clinical presentations, social backgrounds and illness experiences, … [p]articipants emphasised needs for personalised, timely and sustained support to alleviate CFS/ME impacts and regain life control, in three thematic areas : (1) Illness symptoms, functional limitations and illness management; (2) practical support and social care; (3) financial support. Access of people with CFS/ME to support from health and social services was seen to be constrained by barriers stemming from social, cultural, organisational and professional norms and practices, further heightened for disadvantaged groups including some ethnic minorities.” The scientists concluded that changes in attitudes and the inclusion of patients in healthy policy decision-making are needed to address these issues. (“Social Support Needs For Equity In Health And Social Care: A Thematic Analysis Of Experiences Of People With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Myalgic Encephalomyelitis”) (11/02/11)
msnbc’s website reported that “[p]robiotics, or ‘good bacteria,’ may lower levels of inflammation in the body, which could benefit patients who have inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis, a new study says. Inflammation normally helps your body fight off infection, but chronically high levels of it may cause swelling and pain and damage tissues. Psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and chronic fatigue syndrome are all disease in which inflammation is thought to play a role. In the new study, patients with one of these conditions who took the probiotic bacteria B. infantis for eight weeks had lower levels of inflammation compared with those who took a placebo. And healthy people who took probiotics also saw a reduction in inflammation compared with those who took a placebo.” The results will be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology this week. (“Probiotics do ease gut problems, several studies show”) (10/31/11) This story was also reported on newswise (10/24/11), EuerkAlert (10/31/11), Medical Xpress (10/31/11), ScienceDaily (10/31/11), Myhealthnewsdaily (10/31/11), NewsBlaze (10/31/11), MarketWatch (10/31/11), The Medical News (10/31/11), Huliq (11/1/11), Medical News Today (11/1/11), MedicineNet.com (11/4/11), WebMD (11/4/11) and MedIndia (11/5/11).
Norwegian TV’s TV2 was the first to cover the news about the results of the study published in online journal PLoS ONE that shows that two infusions of cancer drug Rituximab may provide durable relief from CFS in “English version: Norwegian research breakthrough can solve CFS-mystery.” The study also provides support for other possible approaches to repair immune abnormalities that have been identified in CFS patients. TV2 has broadcast and published more than 30 stories about this research breakthrough, including interviews with patients, the researchers and politicians.(10/19/11) These results were reported in more than 100 other international outlets and online, including EuerkAlert (10/19/11), WebMD (10/19/11), MedicineNet (10/19/11), MSNBC (10/20/11), Der Spiegel (10/20/11), New Scientist (10/20/11), Medical News (10/20/11), Medical Xpress (10/20/11), Medical News Today (10/21/11), Pharmaceutical Business Review (10/21/11), AOL Lifestyle UK (10/24/11), Medscape (10/24/11), The Daily Mail (10/24/11), ABC News (10/24/11), BBC News (10/24/11), The Huffington Post (10/26/11) and SciBX (10/27/11).
7th Space Interactive, a science website, reported on a study published in the online journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in which researchers undertook a systematic review from 17 sources of randomised controlled trials (RCT) of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments in patients with CFS/ME. Studies of “any type of CAM therapy used for treating CFS were included, with the exception of acupuncture and complex herbal medicines.” The researchers concluded, “The results of our systematic review provide limited evidence for the effectiveness of CAM therapy in relieving symptoms of CFS. However, we are not able to draw firm conclusions concerning CAM therapy for CFS due to the limited number of RCTs for each therapy, the small sample size of each study and the high risk of bias in these trials.” (“Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a Systematic Review”)(10/7/11)
In “NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program documents two-year pilot as clinic of last resort,” website Health Canal reported on the first two years of work of the Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A report published online in the journal Genetics in Medcine “… focuse[d] on 160 patients of the total 326 cases accepted into the program. More than half of the accepted patients had undiagnosed neurological problems. Other prominent disorder categories include gastrointestinal disease; fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome; immune-mediated and rheumatic illnesses; psychiatric conditions; pain; dermatologic disorders; and cardiovascular disease. So far, most of the solved cases — 37 of 39 cases for which the UDP team arrived at a diagnosis — involved diseases previously encountered in the world of medicine, according to UDP authors.” (10/6/11) This story was also posted on SMA Headlines (10/10/11) and Pharmabiz (10/10/11).
Website ScienceDirect e-published ahead of print the abstract of a study set to publish in the June 2012 print edition of the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, “Confidence judgment in depression and dysphoria: The depressive realism vs. negativity hypotheses.” The multi-national team of researchers said, “According to the negativity hypothesis, depressed individuals are over-pessimistic due to negative self-concepts. In contrast, depressive realism suggests that depressed persons are realistic compared to their nondepressed controls. However, evidence supporting depressive realism predominantly comes from judgment comparisons between controls and nonclinical dysphoric samples when the controls showed overconfident bias. This study aimed to test the validity of the two accounts in clinical depression and dysphoria.” They tested 68 patients, including 16 with CDC-defined CFS, others with major depression and healthy controls and concluded, “The present study confirms depressive realism in dysphoric individuals. However, toward a more severe depressive emotional state, the findings did not support depressive realism but are in line with the prediction of the negativity hypothesis. It is not possible to determine the validity of the two hypotheses when the controls are overconfident.” (10/04/11)
Website SciVerse reported on “Evidence for inflammation and activation of cell-mediated immunity in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS): Increased interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor-α, PMN-elastase, lysozyme and neopterin,” a study set to publish in the “Journal of Affective Disorders.” Researchers noted, “There is evidence that inflammatory pathways and cell-mediated immunity (CMI) play an important role in the pathophysiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). …Given the broad spectrum inflammatory state in ME/CFS, the aim of this study was to examine whether inflammatory and CMI biomarkers are increased in individuals with ME/CFS. In this study we therefore measured plasma interleukin-(IL)1, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α, and PMN-elastase, and serum neopterin and lysozyme in 107 patients with ME/CFS, 37 patients with chronic fatigue (CF), and 20 normal controls. … Serum IL-1, TNFα, neopterin and lysozyme are significantly higher in patients with ME/CFS than in controls and CF patients. Plasma PMN-elastase is significantly higher in patients with ME/CFS than in controls and CF patients and higher in the latter than in controls.” (10/03/11)
The Daily Utah Chronicle reported that “National Institutes of Health funds $1 million study on fatigue.” The article notes, “The grant will enable Kathleen and Alan Light, both Ph.D. research professors in the Department of Anesthesiology, to increase their study by more than 140 subjects to distinguish chronic fatigue syndrome from fibromyalgia. Their work—demonstrating the effects of exercise on patients with CFS and fibromyalgia—has been funded by smaller NIH grants and was recently published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.” These researchers parlayed a 2008 grant from the CFIDS Association into this larger award. (Utah) (9/21/11)
Website netdoctor published the results of “New research reveals economic cost of ME and CFS,” a study published in the British Medical Journal and conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK who examined data on 2,170 patients and determined that “ME and CFS cause lost earnings of more than £102 million a year in the UK, as a result of the illnesses’ impact on employment and productivity.” (9/15/11) This story was posted on several other outlets, including The Asian Age (9/15/11), Medical Xpress (9/15/11), e! Science News (9/15/11), Medical Xpress (9/15/11) and Health Canal (9/15/11).
The Health blog of the Wall Street Journal announced the launch of the Chronic Fatigue Initiative, a venture-capital like effort that will pump more than $10 million into CFS research through 2014. “The initiative wants to fund projects that hunt for the causes of the illness, the creation of a central bio-bank for blood and other biological specimens and the development of a cohort of 200 patients and 200 healthy controls for studies,” noted the post by Amy Dockser Marcus. (“Applying Venture Philanthropy to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”) (9/15/11) This story was also reported on the Science Insider website of Science magazine (9/19/11).
WebMD published “Stomach bug linked to IBS and chronic fatigue,” about the results of a Norwegian study published in the journal “Gut” that suggests a link between giardiasis, a parasitic infection, and CFS and irritable bowel syndrome. Following a 2004 giardiasis outbreak in Norway, a team of researchers at University of Bergen followed 817 people who had laboratory-confirmed Giardia infection during this period, and 1,128 matched controls who were not affected. They reported that three years after the outbreak, 46.1 percent of the people who were exposed to Giardia reported irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), compared to 14 percent in the control group. The same percentage – 46.1 percent – of the exposed group reported chronic fatigue, compared with 12 percent of controls. (9/12/11) This story was also reported on onmedica (9/14/11), Internal Medicine News (9/12/11), Family Practice News (9/12/11) and Medscape (registration required for full access) (9/12/11).
About.com’s Adrienne Dellwo described “The Brain-Gut Connection in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” in a post on the site’s Fibromyalgia & CFS pages. She cited “[n]ew research demonstrat[ing] that bacteria in the digestive tract can have a direct influence on neurotransmitter function in the brain … Researchers say the bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus, when fed to mice, altered receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA, which calms the brain. GABA dysregulation is implicated in depression, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome, as noted in the study, and also in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.” The study, “Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. (9/7/11)
“How Much Research is Being Done on Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?” asked About.com’s Fibromyalgia & CFS blogger Adrienne Dellwo. In this commentary post, she notes, “Before I started this job, about 4 years ago, I had no idea how much research was going on. It’s actually quite a bit. Not as much as it should be, granted, but you might be surprised to learn that new research is coming out every week, and studies are getting underway all the time. A quick search of PubMed, a medical-research archive, shows that since Aug. 1 at least 26 new articles mentioned fibromyalgia while at least 15 mentioned chronic fatigue syndrome.” (9/5/11)
NPR’s “Morning Edition” aired a story titled “Cracking the Conundrum of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” by health policy correspondent Patti Neighmond. She focused on the results of Britain’s PACE study, published in the journal Lancet earlier this year, that said patients who were treated with cognitive behavioral and/or graded exercise therapies realized moderate gains in their conditions, and included comments from a psychiatrist. Dr. Lucinda Bateman, a CFS clinician and researcher, attempted to balance the report with a dissenting view of the usefulness of these therapies. Listen to the report and read the accompanying story posted on NPR’s “Shots” blog online. (9/5/11) This story was also posted on numerous other outlets including numerous public radio stations, The Wall Street Journal (9/5/11), The Huffington Post (9/5/11) and Health News Reviews (9/6/11).
The September issue of Ladies Home Journal magazine published a story titled “What Ever Happened to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?” Writer Margery Rosen interviewed patients, clinicians, researchers and Association president and CEO Kimberly McCleary to paint a comprehensive picture of CFS. (9/1/11)
“Impaired Heart Function in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” is the title of a post published on About.com’s Fibromyalgia and CFS pages. It reviewed a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine that found that “The hearts and blood flow of people with chronic fatigue syndrome are significantly different from healthy people’s. Researchers looked at several measures of heart function and blood movement and concluded that chronic fatigue syndrome was associated with ‘markedly reduced cardiac mass and blood pool volumes’ as well as other abnormalities.” (8/3/11)
Website 7th Space Interactive reported on “Prevalence of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronicfatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in three regions of England: a repeated cross-sectional study in primarycare,” a study published in journal BMC Medicine. It examined the prevalence of CFS in England using three case definitions and called for the consistent application of the Fukuda plus Canadian definitions to improve the comparability of research. (7/28/11)
A post on the Harvard Health Blog directed readers to a new Harvard Special Health Report, “Boosting Your Energy,” that “…offers information about the causes of fatigue and how it is linked to illness.” Edited by CFS expert Dr. Anthony Komaroff, the report includes a section on CFS. (“Fight Fatigue by Finding the Cause”) (7/6/11)
“EEG spectral coherence data distinguish chronic fatigue syndrome patients from healthy controls and depressed patients – A case control study” is the title of a study reported on by Website 7th Space Interactive and published in the journal BMC Neurology. Harvard researchers worked “to determine if spectral coherence, a computational derivative of spectral analysis of the electroencephalogram (EEG), could distinguish patients with CFS from healthy control subjects and not erroneously classify depressed patients as having CFS.” They tested 632 subjects: 390 healthy normal controls, 70 patients with carefully defined CFS, 24 with major depression, and 148 with general fatigue. Aside from fatigue, all patients were medically healthy by history and examination. They concluded, “EEG spectral coherence analysis identified unmedicated patients with CFS and healthy control subjects without misclassifying depressed patients as CFS, providing evidence that CFS patients demonstrate brain physiology that is not observed in healthy normals or patients with major depression. Studies of new CFS patients and comparison groups are required to determine the possible clinical utility of this test. The results concur with other studies finding neurological abnormalities in CFS, and implicate temporal lobe involvement in CFS pathophysiology.” About.com also reported on this study’s results. (7/1/11)
The University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center posted an educational press release on its website titled, “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Challenges Patients, Medical Professionals.” The release offered basic information about CFS and invited readers to learn more about the UC Women’s Health Research Program and ongoing clinical trials, including those on CFS and fibromyalgia. (6/30/11) The release was reposted on e! Science News and Medical Xpress (7/1/11) and on HealthCanal (6/30/11).
Website 7th Space Interactive reported on the results of a Canadian study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine that “examine[d] the geographic and socio-demographic characteristics of alternative care consultation in Ontario.” Using the Canadian Community Health Survey for people aged 18 or over who had a consultation with an alternative health care provider, researchers four types of consultations and found that “in 2005, more than 1.2 million adults aged 18 or over consulted an alternative health care provider” (13% of the total population of Ontario). It also found that “people with a chronic condition, lower health status and self-perceived unmet health care needs were more likely to see an alternative health provider. Women with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome and chemical sensitivities were more likely to see an alternative provider if they felt their health care needs were not being met.” The researchers concluded that “The analysis revealed that geography is not a factor in determining alternative health care consultations in Ontario. By contrast, there is a strong association between these consultations and socio-demographic characteristics particularly age, sex, education, health and self-perceived unmet health care needs. The results underscore the importance of women’s health needs as related to alternative care use.” (“Alternative Health Care Consultations in Ontario, Canada: A Geographic and Socio-Demographic Analysis”) (6/23/11)
Science website SciVerse reported on a study, “Mitochondrial enzymes discriminate between mitochondrial disorders and chronic fatigue syndrome,” published in the journal Mitochondrion and conducted by a research team in the Netherlands. They “studied the extent of mitochondrial involvement in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and investigated whether measurement of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex (RCC) activities discriminates between CFS and mitochondrial disorders,” noting that “Mitochondrial content was decreased in CFS compared to healthy controls, whereas RCC activities corrected for mitochondrial content were not. Conversely, mitochondrial content did not discriminate between CFS and two groups of mitochondrial disorders, whereas ATP production rate and complex I, III and IV activity did, all with higher activities in CFS. We conclude that the ATP production rate and RCC activities can reliably discriminate between mitochondrial disorders and CFS.” (6/22/11)
The Calgary Herald and other Canadian outlets including CTV, The Montreal Gazette, Canada.com and The Vancouver Sun reported on a study conducted by researchers at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the University of Calgary that “shows that adults over the age of 50 with at least one chronic illness are more likely to experience a major depressive episode than those living without a chronic illness. … According to the data, collected only among the aging and elderly people living independently outside of care centres, some of the highest correlations of depression: up to 30 per cent of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome being diagnosed with major depression, 14 per cent of patients with fibromyalgia and nine per cent of patients with migraines.” (“Chronic illness boosts chances of depression in adults over 50, study finds”) (6/14/11)
Website 7th Space Interactive reported on the results of a study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, “Immunological abnormalities as potential biomarkers in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.” Researchers investigated immune system markers in 95 CFS patients and 50 healthy controls and reported data suggesting “significant dysregulation of the immune system in CFS/ME patients. Our study found immunological abnormalities which may serve as biomarkers in CFS/ME patients with potential for an application as a diagnostic tool.” (5/28/11)
“The functional status and well being of people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and their carers” was the subject of a story on Website 7th Space Interactive about the results of a study published in online journal BMC Public Health that compared the functional status of CFS patients and their caregivers to that of other chronic illness sufferers and their caregivers. Physical and mental indicators were significantly lower in both CFS patients and their caregivers than for the general population and diseased-specific norms for other diseases. (5/27/11)
Website 7th Space Interactive published an article titled, “Evidence for a Heritable Predisposition to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” that reports on a study published in the online journal BMC Neurology, in which researchers presented an ”analyses of familial clustering of CFS in a computerized genealogical resource linking multiple generations of genealogy data with medical diagnosis data of a large Utah health care system.” They observed “significant excess relatedness of CFS cases compared to that expected in this population.” (5/27/11)
The May edition of “Eyes on Evidence,” the free monthly e-bulletin from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) Evidence, covering major new evidence as it emerges with an explanation about what it means for current practice, included an expert commentary on new data from the recently published PACE trial that compared treatments for CFS among 641 patients. (“NHS Evidence expert commentary: Comparing treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome”) (5/12/11)
In “A Disease Register for ME/CFS : Report of a Pilot Study,” website 7th Space Interactive described the UK’s National ME/CFS Observatory’s ME/CFS Disease Register, “a pilot study in East Anglia, East Yorkshire, and London [that] aimed to address the problem of identifying representative groups of subjects for research, in order to be able to draw conclusions applicable to the whole ME/CFS population.” (5/9/11)
U.S. News & World Report and numerous other outlets, including Yahoo! News, iVillage, MedicineNet and BusinessWeek, ran a HealthDay story titled “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Hits Teens, Too” that outlined the results of a study conducted by Dutch researchers and published in Pediatrics that declared CFS “overlooked” in teens. (4/22/11)
Expert Reviews scrutinized the Schutzer-Smith study that found unique protein markers in the spinal fluid distinguishing CFS patients from post-treatment Lyme patients and healthy control subjects. (“Cerebrospinal fluid profiles could be used to distinguish between Lyme disease and chronic fatigue syndrome”) (4/21/11)
TIME magazine’s HealthLand blog reported on the results of the Dutch teen study. (“CFS in Teens: Rare but Serious”) (4/19/11)
Reuters covered the results of a Dutch study, published in the journal Pediatrics, that found significant impact on teens with CFS and their families. (“Chronic fatigue rare but serious in teens”) Other outlets, including MedLine Plus and MSNBC, picked up the story. (4/18/11)
Website ScienceDirect included a story about the results of a study from Belgium of the cognitive deficits in CFS compared to major depression (MDD) and healthy controls. Published in Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, the study, “Cognitive deficits in patients with CFS,” showed objective impairment in attention and memory in CFS. (4/15/11)
“Scientists Study How Retroviral Genes May Play a Role in Lymphoma and Other Diseases,” by Amy Dockser Marcus of the Wall Street Journal, described endogenous retroviruses and the potential role they play in CFS and other diseases. (4/12/11)
BioTechniques published “Proteome-wide association studies: the new hope in disease diagnosis,” a report on the study of CFS showing 700 unique spinal fluid markers. (4/7/11)
Website MyHealthNewsDaily described recent research and the NIH’s CFS State of the Knowledge meeting in “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Proves Chronically Mysterious.” (4/4/11)
Canadian national newspaper The Globe and Mail reported that health officials in British Columbia have dedicated $2 million for the study and care of patients with CFS, FM and Lyme disease in “British Columbia funds study of fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, CFS.” (3/30/11)
In “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, an Illness That’s Hard To Live With—Or Define,” part of an extensive package of CFS stories in a single issue of the Wall Street Journal, Professor Leonard Jason of DePaul University examined the history of CFS, clusters of illness and case definitions. (3/4/11)
The New York Times’ David Tuller wrote about the different case definitions used for CFS and how they shape research outcomes in “Troubles of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Start With Defining It.” (3/4/11)
The CBS Early Show covered CFS and the new research on cerebrospinal fluid proteins in CFS in “Evidence surrounding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” (2/25/11).
The Wall Street Journal’s Amy Dockser Marcus continued her coverage of all things CFS with a post on the paper’s Health Blog about the cerebrospinal fluid study in “A Step Closer to Tests for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Lyme Disease.” (2/23/11)
CBS Evening News with Katie Couric shared the news about the study of CFS showing 700 unique spinal fluid markers in “Research breaks Chronic Fatigue stereotypes.” (2/23/11)
The Star-Ledger reported on the study that differentiated proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid of CFS patients. (“UMDNJ researchers track Chronic Fatigue Syndrome proteins in spinal fluid”) (2/23/11)
NPR’s Richard Knox explored the Lancet study in a blog post and audio recording of a story, “Psychotherapy and exercise look best to treat chronic fatigue syndrome,” that aired during “All Things Considered.” (2/18/11)
David Tuller of The New York Times reported on the results of the PACE trial in the U.K., published in the Lancet, comparing treatment approaches. (“Psychotherapy Eases Chronic Fatigue, Researchers Say”) (2/17/11)
Want more information about media coverage of CFS past and present? Visit our archive.