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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a physically debilitating
illness associated with immunologic abnormalities, viral
reactivation, and impairment of cognition. In a randomized,
multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of 92
patients meeting the CFS case definition of the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, the response of several
laboratory and clinical variables to an antiviral and
immunomodulatory drug, poly(I).poly(C12U), was determined.
Measures of clinical response included Karnofsky performance
score, a cognition scale derived from a self-administered
instrument assessing symptomatology (SCL-90-R), an activities
of daily living scale, and exercise treadmill performance.
After 24 weeks, patients receiving poly(I).poly(C12U) had
higher scores for both global performance and perceived
cognition than did patients receiving placebo. In particular,
patients given poly(I).poly(C12U) had increased Karnofsky
performance scores (P < .03), exhibited a greater ability to
do work during exercise treadmill testing (P = .01), displayed
an enhanced capacity to perform the activities of daily living
(P < .04), had a reduced cognitive deficit (P = .05), and
required less use of other medications (P < .05).
Strayer DR, Carter WA, Brodsky I, Cheney P, Peterson D, Salvato P,
Loveless M, Thompson C, Shapiro DE, Elsasser W, et al