FDA Approves NADH for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS) Trials at Georgetown University

NADH, a coenzyme that increases brain activity, will be examined for the first time in the United States for its potential benefits to persons suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), a complex medical condition that affects approximately 601o of the U.S. population each year.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved NADH for clinical trials, which began at Georgetown University Medical Center in June 1996 under the direction of Harry Preuss, M.D., Division of Nephrology, and Joseph A. Bellanti, M.D., Director of Georgetown’s International Immunology Center.

Georgetown’s initial trial of NADH will focus on its potential efficacy in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). According to Dr. Bellanti, the primary symptom of CFS is a general, unexplainable lack of energy. Individuals suffering from chronic fatigue report that they are barely functioning, feel burned out, exhausted, and tired all the time. They may feel dragged out, depressed, experience deep weariness.

In most instances, such fatigue cannot be relieved with adequate rest, adds Dr. Bellanti. However, it is important to note that because prolonged fatigue can be the harbinger of a definable medical or psychological problem, anyone who experiences unexplained fatigue longer than one month should see his/her physician. If no medical or psychological problems can then account for the fatigue, and it has lasted for more than six months and impairs normal daily activities, then chronic fatigue syndrome could be considered the culprit.

CFS occurs throughout the world, but it is not known how many people actually have the disorder because it is still not well understood by physicians and researchers, and often goes unrecognized and undiagnosed. it is most often reported in white women between the ages of 30 and 50.

Georgetown researchers also hope to use the coenzyme in the treatment of depression and obesity, as well as with people who have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease in hopes of preventing mental deterioration, memory lapses, and concentration difficulties.

NADH is a safe, natural compound that has shown much promise in patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in Europe, says Preuss. But much more extensive research is needed. This trial in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients is a first significant step down a tong road to investigate the many potential benefits of this energy producing coenzymes.

Reprinted from The Supplement,

June 1996.

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