Friday, October 16, 2009

The ME Association - MEA statement on retrovirus XMRV and ME/CFS

The ME Association - MEA statement on retrovirus XMRV and ME/CFS: "ME ASSOCIATION POSITION

These are clearly important research findings that could help with both the diagnosis and management of ME/CFS, and we congratulate all those involved.

However, a number of questions still have to be answered before anyone can conclude that this virus plays a significant role in either the cause, transmission, clinical assessment or management of ME/CFS. Much more epidemiology and laboratory work now needs to be done to answer the essential points set out below:

Carrying out further and larger studies using different populations of people with ME/CFS, including people at different stages of the illness (to see if the virus is present in the same percentages in both early and late cases) and in all degrees of severity.
Using different international laboratories to test for evidence of the virus.
Assessing what, if any, correlation there is between the presence of this virus and (a) severity of symptoms, (b) a clear infectious onset with a known infection, and (c) various other factors involved in sub-grouping of people under the ME/CFS umbrella.
Assessing to what extent this virus is also present in other chronic conditions, especially those such as multiple sclerosis and lymphoma where viral infections have been implicated as a causative factor.
Assessing whether this virus is acting as a benign marker of disease or immune dysfunction, or is a 'passenger virus', or whether it has a role in the actual disease process and development of symptoms.
Investigating whether the presence of the virus in healthy people acts as a predisposing factor in the development of ME/CFS (possibly when another infective trigger appears) and/or prostate cancer - rather than being involved in th"

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