"The global implications here could prove to be staggering!" - Gail Kansky, CFIDS Foundation President
The National CFIDS Foundation Inc., of Needham Mass, has announced its formal disease model for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) also known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) as well as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).
According to the NCF, a subgroup of patients with CFS fit a unique disease profile based on a model for a radioactive toxin.
Since starting its formal research grant program, the NCF has provided $1 million in grant funding to pursue its own directed research to study ciguatera toxicology; a critical immune protein known as STAT-1; and myelodysplasia as well as myeloid leukemia - all of which have been identified in the patient subgroup. [Ciguatera poisoning is caused by a family of organisms that infect warm-water fish. STAT-1 is involved in upregulating genes in response to signals from interferons, which are made by cells as an immune response to viral infection. Myelodysplasia is failure of the bone marrow to produce enough blood cells. ]
According to Alan Cocchetto, Medical Director, "Our research suggested that a relationship existed between ciguatera poisoning, STAT-1 and myelodysplasia as well as leukemia. Early evidence also suggested that some type of catalyst was potentially involved in this disease process.
“Because of some very unique characteristics identified during the course of our research, what emerged was the potential for low level radiation to act as the catalyst to evoke a specific response that fit the profile for our patients. We believe this to be very important since radiation not only adversely impacts STAT-1 but it has also been found to cause myelodysplasia as well as myeloid leukemia, the very things we have been studying.
“In addition, the bystander effects associated with low level radiation exposure cause real problems at the cellular level and this unfortunately translates into an increased risk for cancer."
Gail Kansky, CFIDS Foundation President, stated, "The Foundation's real revelation came when our staff linked specific research on mitochondrial DNA deletions, first published by Australian scientists in 1995, to work published by scientists in Ireland in 2005. They had identified exactly the same unique mitochondria characteristics to be due to the direct effects of low level radiation exposure.
“This same defect had been mirrored in CFS but it hadn't been classified for ten years. Because this fits our disease model, we are pursuing additional research studies. There is no doubt in my mind that we have found several key pieces to this disease puzzle tied to our patient group."
Furthermore, Kansky added "What is especially discouraging is that the global implications here could prove to be staggering!"
The Foundation has also noted that CFS has been previously identified as a characteristic aftermath of radioecological catastrophe. A lengthier article including references will be in the fall edition of the newsletter.
[Note: footnotes pertaining to the findings described in this press release, with links to the cited articles and videos, are available at the NCF website www.ncf-net.org/library/PressRelease100820AddInfo.htm]
Founded in 1997, the goals of the NCF are to help fund medical research to find a cause, expedite treatments and eventually a cure for CFIDS/ME. The NCF is funded solely by individual contributions. Additional information can be found on the Foundation's website at www.ncf-net.org or in The National Forum quarterly newsletter. The NCF can be reached by phone at 781-449-3535.
Source: National CFIDS Foundation news release, Aug 20, 2010