researchers chart their progress
Using an Exercise Challenge to Investigate the
Pathophysiology of CFIDS
Dr. Christopher Snell
and Dr. Mark Van Ness, professors in the sports sciences department at the
University of the Pacific, are examining the physical cognitive responses of
CFIDS patients to exercise using multiple assessment strategies aimed at
providing a comprehensive picture of the bodily processes involved in the
production and supply of energy. Drs. Snell and Van Ness hope that their
research results will clarify the biological bases for the symptoms of CFIDS and
suggest therapeutic interventions directed at treating the causes of the
symptoms rather than merely treating the symptoms themselves.
The researchers have prescreened and
recruited 14 patients and controls, completed all exercise testing and collected
all pre- and post-exercise data from the study group. In addition to measuring
the pre-exercise function as indicated by status of the RNaseL pathway, blood
was also collected and processed post-exercise for possible further assessment
of immune function.
a Risk Factor for CFIDS
Huber, professor of pathology at Tufts University School of Medicine, has
completed the first phase of her study of HERV-K18 as a risk factor for CFIDS.
Previous research has shown that EBV infection, as well as exogenous IFN-á,
activate transcription of the envelope gene of a human endogenous retrovirus,
HERV-K18. This retroviral gene encodes a superantigen, which is a class of
proteins that is capable of deregulating the immune system. Dr. Huber hopes that
this new research will establish whether a differential distribution of HERV-K18
allele and genotype frequencies exists in CFIDS patients, compared to healthy
Dr. Huber and her research team have
collected 100 patient blood samples from a physician in New
York. The research team has processed the blood,
prepared genomic DNA and tested the samples for feasibility for PCR typing
assay. A DNA bank has been generated from the samples, and the group continues
to collect additional samples.