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Dr Sudhir Gupta’s Chat Transcript from the AACFS Seattle Conference

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Please Welcome Dr. Sudhir Gupta. Dr. Gupta is a Professor of Medicine, Pathology, Neurology, and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Chief of the Division of Basic and Clinical Immunology at the University of California, Irvine, California. Dr. Gupta has been involved in CFS research for the past 10 years publishing one of the earliest papers on the comprehensive immunological analysis is CFS.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

Daisy: What are your main thoughts on the changes in the brain and Central Nervous System of sufferers with CFIDS/FM?

DrGupta: As far as changes in the brain with CFS, they include decreased blood flow in the brain, which may cause some of the symptoms.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

bapta: Dr. Gupta, what do you think of the idea of using experimental animal inoculation with representational difference analysis to search for novel infectious agents in CFS?

DrGupta: Experimental animal inoculations have serious problems because we don’t know the specific virus.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

Daisy: Is the possibility of a retrovirus still being investigated?

DrGupta: Not many studies have been done on the brain, the jury is still out on that. The HHV-6 virus has to be a live virus to study on an ongoing basis, so we need a larger number of people to make the study. Several years back a study was done by John Marting, who looked at that in one single patient—so be careful, as only one patient has been studied. There are some major footprints that we have seen, but when you look at culturing that virus it is hard to reproduce and study it as the retrovirus sequences can show themselves in a number of different ways.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

dannyboy: Ampligen has been tested since the mid-1990s and has been proven effective in eradicating HHV-6 and LMW RNaseL enzyme from CFS patients. Do you think an immune-modulator like Ampligen will work for CFS sufferers?

DrGupta: It is an interesting molecule, and has some rationale, where there is a chronic infection. But the molecule has not been approved by the FDA, and we don’t have enough information or clinical trials. But it does seem to be one single molecule that seems to be helping. In fact, I met a patient yesterday that has been significantly helped by this molecule.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

JGMom: Dr Gupta, have you found a pattern of cytokine profiles in people with autoimmune diseases, CFS or autism?

DrGupta: As far as autism, there was a shift from TH1 to TH2 type; in cases of autoimmune diseases there have been studies to show that TH1 type of cytokine that plays a role in their pathogenics. There are other autoimmune diseases where TH2 seems to be imported. Based upon these findings, there are ongoing clinical protocols to either regulate TH1 or TH2 cytokines, to treat certain autoimmune diseases. As far as CFIDS, data are not clear. There is a general consensus in the literature, as well as our own study, that cases that the immune cells from patients with CFIDS cross-sected TNF, and iL6. These 2 cytokines appear to play a very important role in inflammation and come of the functions of the Central Nervous System. As far as TH2 and TH1 cytokines, the data are conflicting and that could be due to a methodology problem, as well as heterogenating of CFS itself.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

dannyboy: Is CFS a viral disease or is it all in the mind only?

DrGupta: CFS could be both. There are some footprints that show the process of the virus: there are increased levels of RNase which is a molecule which is produced in response to the infection; it is not necessary to have a viral infection of the brain to have symptoms of the virus but you can have a symptoms in the Central Nervous System without the brain being affected.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

LVDesertRose: Do you think there is significance to HHV-6 active in the brain and CFS?

DrGupta: Not enough data available.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

Rosebud200: Dr. Gupta, have you heard of using the antiviral supplement Monolaurin for CFIDS?

DrGupta: Not personally, but even well documented drugs, like Zoviax and related drugs have not been effective, so it is unlikely.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

Dmom: Wouldn’t the TH shift either towards 1 or 2 dictate whether the virus or the reaction to it was the problem?

DrGupta: Yes, it could give you some lead. For example, for almost all of the viral infections it is the TH1 response that is responsible for the protection of the viral infection. Therefore, an increased TH1 response in the patient for more than 6 months would point toward more of the persistence of the viral infection. Because in a natural case of any viral infection there is an initial TH1 response, which becomes normal when the virus is eliminated. Another possibility is if the patient has a defect, or decreased TH1 response, there will be inefficient clearance of the virus which will allow the persistence of the virus. Summary – a low TH1 response and prolonged high TH1 response may suggest a chronic persistence of a viral infection.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

Daisy: I am a nurse . Recently I have had 2 other family members diagnosed with CFIDS/FM also. How soon can we expect to study our families?

DrGupta: Daisy, it depends on so many things. It just depends on where you live, and get the study done. If you are in Colorado, contact Dr. Jim Jones, at the National Jewish Hospital.

Question directed toward Dr. Gupta:

JGMom: Which TH1 cytokines or TH2 cytokines have you found to be most significant in the pathology of these? Which treatments are successful?

DrGupta: All the treatments based on those cytokines are still under investigation. IL4 has been the one most used to regulate TH1 response.

That was the last question the doctor could answer. We thank Dr. Gupta for hosting this chat and hope that you have all benefited from the answers given. Thank you all for your participation.

Click here for past chat transcripts

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