Archive for October, 2009

11
Oct
09

Source of the XMRV virus?

19112008118

*I’m sure it isn’t the source and I’m sure that the photographed establishment is a purveyor of the finest kebabs,

burgers and fried chicken.

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09
Oct
09

calm down, calm down…..

Nearly twenty four hours after the news broke, the story of how retrovirus
“XMRV” has been found in 67% of M.E. patients
(compared to just 4% in the
general population) according to research by the Whittemore Peterson Institute
in Nevada is, in principle, a very welcome piece of news for us who have long
been campaigning for the reduction nay cessation of the stranglehold that
psychiatric research has had on, to use their favourite term,
“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”.

However within those twenty four hours, I can already see some unwelcome reactions
to this news. I’m not talking about reactions from the usual suspects necessarily –
I’m talking about about those in the M.E. world itself.

Maybe I’m old and grizzled but the discovery of the clinical discrepancy does
throw up some potential and not insignificant problems in my mind, or what I have
left of one.

Firstly, the almost overwhelmingly positive response in the M.E. world could lead
to complacency.

Secondly, this finding is not guaranteed to convince the medical profession that
this should be predominantly treated in a biological, not psychiatric or psychological,
manner. Complacency from patients added to a possible adherence to psychiatric and/or
psychological reasoning from doctors could, potentially, cause more problems in the short
term for patients. To put it more succinctly, campaigners, carers and patients themselves
should redouble their efforts on the back of this news.

The third problem relates to the 33% in the research who did not show signs of XMRV.
What about them? Could that be “us”?

If so, what treatment or research will be available to people who have been diagnosed
with M.E. (or that even more ghastly nonsense of C.F.S.) given the high possibility
(O.K., probability) that M.E./C.F.S. has become a dustbin diagnosis?

Overall, dare I suggest that it’s been a good day for those of us who want to say
goodbye to the obsessive psychologisation of this diagnosis but it does highlight
potential problems and pitfalls.