ME and Ophelia

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Kevin's homage to the Badger movie


# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 5/28/2005 0 comments

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Scientists find key to curing debilitating ME?

Not sure what to make of this, but to me it sounds extra special interesting so I am copying it here for future reference.

A report at entitled "Scientists find key to curing debilitating ME":

London, May 24, 2005

A remedy for the debilitating condition ME, which causes extreme fatigue in patients, could be available in as little as a year after groundbreaking research.

A Glasgow University team has discovered the malfunction in sufferers' genes, which appears to prompt their immune system to "work overtime", making them extremely tired, reports the Scottish daily Scotsman.

The lead scientist, John Gow, said a cocktail of drugs could be used to "turn off" the genes - that cause the condition also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), once derided as "yuppie flu", allowing patients to live "a fairly normal" life.

The university has already patented the genes involved. It took a while to realise the gravity of the disease.

In 2002, Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer for England and Wales, said "CFS/ME should be classed alongside other diseases such as multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease".

Gow, a senior lecturer in clinical neuroscience at the university, mapped all 33,000 genes in CFS sufferers and compared them with the genes of healthy people. He said they found CFS sufferers had a particular kind of "unusual gene expression".

"This means the genes are switched on or off at an inappropriate time. We have identified a number of genes that are wrongly switched on," he said.

"It looks like the immune system is working overtime when it shouldn't be, making the patient tired."

Every cell in the body contains the same 33,000 genes, but only about 10 per cent are actually doing anything at any one time. There are genes related to the production of liver proteins in brain cells, for example, but these should be "switched off" because liver protein is not required in the brain.

Drugs can be used to control chemical pathways that act on the genes and Gow said he had identified ones that could be used to regulate the over-active genes in CFS.

These drugs are already on the market for other conditions and could be given to CFS sufferers within a year if tests prove positive. "This is not a major breakthrough yet, but it is a big step forward," he said.

A prototype diagnostic testing kit has already been developed, which would give doctors "a yes or no answer" about whether someone had the condition. Currently it takes about six months to make a diagnosis.

[Note M.E. = Myalgic Encephalomyelitis]