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Ask the Doctor: Do you think ME will ever be cured or even significantly treatable?

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Q: Do you think ME will ever be cured or even significantly treatable?
 
A: With this particular question, the answer is definitely yes. Even now with the recent Rituximab paper, 64% of patients treated returned to normal or near normal activity1. But do not expect this treatment to be available soon. Medicine moves very slowly and it may be ten years unless the FDA should choose to “fast-track” these studies.
 
I have always believed that ME/CFS is treatable. Firstly there is no proven tissue damage in the disease, and symptoms can be removed temporarily with a number of non-approved treatments that increase cerebral blood flow. And all providers that have patients with ME/CFS have seen some who spontaneously recover. Which means that it is at least possible. If it turns out that this disease is an autoimmune disease, all the more reason to be optimistic. I can remember back in the mid 80’s saying that this disease could be cured, and here it is thirty years later saying the same thing. But someday……
 
1. Fluge O, Risa K, Lunde S, Alme K, Rekeland I, Sapkota D, et al. B-lymphocyte depletion in myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome. An open-label phase II study with Rituximab maintenance treatment. PLoS ONE. 2015; 10(7).

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