Keeping you up-to-date on
recent events across the nation and around the world
Think tank makes recommendations
physicians, researchers and patient advocates participated in a "think tank" on chronic fatigue syndrome
(CFS) in Reno, Nev., in March. The group examined rehabilitation strategies and basic science findings
and made recommendations on how knowledge about CFS can be applied by clinicians, including suggestions
on mycoplasma testing, research priorities and the usefulness of exercise and physical therapy.
more details, see the Spring issue of The CFS Research Review. The think tank was organized by
Dr. Paul Levine of George Washington University and hosted by Dr. Daniel Peterson and patient advocates
Coco and Jerry Crum and Annette and Harvey Whittemore.
Sleep drug approved
fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) will soon have another option for getting themselves to
sleep. Sonata (zaleplon), a prescription sleeping pill, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Unlike other sleep medications that need to be taken in anticipation of sleep problems, Sonata
can be taken either at bedtime or during the night after patients have tried to fall asleep on their own,
as long as they have four or more hours of sleep time remaining.
The drug will be available in 5 mg
and 10 mg capsules; price has not yet been determined. Sonata should hit your pharmacy's shelves by summer.
CINDA partners with nurse
may be joining the effort to educate health care practitioners and the general public about CFIDS, thanks
to the Chronic Immune and Neurological Diseases Association (CINDA). Through a new partnership with the
organization, information on CFIDS, fibromyalgia, Gulf War Illness, multiple chemical sensitivities and
post-polio syndrome has been posted on www.cyber-nurse.com, a
site for and run by nursing professionals. CINDA is also holding a series of forums about those diseases
on the site.
New option to treat irritable
has approved a new prescription medication to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in women whose predominant
symptom is diarrhea. The drug, Lotronex (alosetron), works by slowing down intestinal movement. The drug
will be available as 1 mg tablets with a recommended dose of one tablet twice daily. The drug's manufacturer
expects Lotronex to be available by this summer.
Effect of chemicals on
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has created a half-million dollar center to help evaluate the
toxicity of chemicals by observing how they turn "on" or "off" thousands of different genes. The center's
work may eventually unlock some of the secrets of how our environment can change our genetic make-up and
possibly cause disease. The Internet site for the center is http://dir.niehs.nih.gov/microarray.
HRSA hosts CFS/FM seminar
and Services Administration (HRSA), the agency that directs national health programs for underserved,
vulnerable and special need individuals, is working to ensure that its own employees are informed about
CFIDS and fibromyalgia (FM). On March 8, HRSA's entire staff was invited to a presentation by CFIDS Association
member Clare Newbrand, RN, fibromyalgia doctor Daniel Clauw, MD, and fibromyalgia support group leader
Andrea Kramer. The seminar, sponsored by HRSA's Office of Women's Health, and strongly supported by HRSA's
Chief Medical Officer and CFSCC representative, Dr. William Robinson, was standing room only, demonstrating
the crucial need for information about CFIDS and FM.