Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from the CFIDS Chronicle (Fall 2001, volume 14, issue 4).
A preliminary study has found that injecting patients with lab-grown versions of their own immune cells may improve the overall function and cognitive abilities of some people with CFIDS.
Researchers surgically extracted lymph nodes from 11 patients, then removed immune cells from the nodes and grew more of them in a lab setting. The new cells were then injected into the patients.
Many people with CFIDS have an imbalance of immune cells in their bodies. In some cases, Th-1 helper cells are reduced while Th-2 types are increased. The researchers in this study injected a higher proportion of Th-1 cells into the patients to help improve their ratios.
During a 24-week follow-up period, researchers found that the patients showed improvement on several function tests and also appeared to have improved cognitive abilities. None showed any adverse reaction to the injection.
The authors stress that the results are preliminary and must be tested on a larger scale before firm conclusions can be drawn. The study appeared in the Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (volume 8, number 1, 2001); the lead author is Nancy Klimas, M.D., of the University of Miami.