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Pro Health to Match CFIDS Research Contributions

  [ 3098 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • February 10, 2003

The path to a cure for CFIDS is charted one step at a time. Each study takes us a bit further along that path, answering some questions, raising new ones.

The mysteries that continue to puzzle scientists who’ve been studying CFIDS for years are now piquing the curiosity of researchers just entering this critical field of exploration. And, together, we’re making progress.

But clearly, there is an urgent need for more effective treatment options, a definitive laboratory marker, a cause.

This is a pivotal time for CFIDS science.

Driving relevant, cutting-edge research is at the heart of The CFIDS Association of America. In effect, the Association acts as a “scientific venture capitalist,” identifying gaps in current knowledge, providing seed money for promising pilot projects and enabling investigators to gather the data they need to successfully compete for larger grants.

To that end, I’m pleased to announce that the Association will fund two new studies this year with more than $155,000 in grants.

Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD, division of endocrinology at the UCLA School of Medicine.

Friedman’s study, “Decreased Cerebral Blood Flow and Orthostasis in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” will look at the possible causes behind the decreased blood flow to the brain that occurs in some people with CFIDS. This phenomenon could be due to a decreased ability to produce a hormone called renin. Renin, made in the kidneys, stimulates the production of other hormones that help conserve salt in the body. Without enough salt, blood flow to the brain may be impaired – resulting in the onset of a number of CFIDS symptoms.

A preliminary study found defects in the renin production mechanism of 19 of 21 people with CFIDS.

Giris Jacob, MD, DSc, director of the Jacob Recanati Autonomic Dysfunction Center in Haifa, Israel, will examine the possible link between a persistently overactive immune system and CFIDS. His team will study 50 patients who have recently suffered from flu-like illnesses and have felt fatigued for at least three months, providing a rare opportunity to look at people just developing CFIDS – as well as some who may recover.

Jacob will test the patients for the levels of cytokines – proteins produced by the immune system – in their blood. In particular, the scientists will test levels of interleukin 1 (IL-1), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha.

The study also will look to test the hypothesis that overactive immune systems are responsible for problems with the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Finding a link between the two body systems may lead to future studies that improve both the diagnosis and treatment of CFIDS.

Both projects were chosen using a peer-review process that began with the evaluation of 37 letters of intent and 11 full applications.

Since 1987, The CFIDS Association has provided more than $3.8 million in research grants and is the nation’s largest not-for-profit source of funds for scientists studying CFIDS.

We’re proud that Pro Health shares the Association’s commitment to accelerating the progress of CFIDS research and are grateful for their equally solid commitment to raising the funds that, in turn, will help make ground-breaking research possible.

Your tax-deductible donation to The CFIDS Association will be matched, dollar for dollar by Pro Health. So, please, give as generously as possible.

New research promises better diagnostic tools, new directions for treatment and an end to this devastating illness.

Please support CFIDS research today.

K. Kimberly Kenney

President & CEO

The CFIDS Association of America

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