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More Evidence Virus Plays Role in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Date:8/24/2010

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Another study has found evidence that a mouse virus may play a role in chronic fatigue syndrome, a poorly understood disorder that causes incapacitating exhaustion and malaise.

Using blood samples collected in the mid-1990s from chronic fatigue sufferers from the New England area, researchers found evidence of gene sequences for murine leukemia virus (MLV)-related virus in the blood of 32 of 37 patients, or 86.5 percent.

Evidence of the virus was detected in only three of 44 healthy controls, or 6.8 percent of people who did not have chronic fatigue syndrome, the researchers noted.

The team also did genetic testing on fresh blood samples from eight of the chronic fatigue patients and found evidence of MLV in seven of them.

The study, published in the Aug. 23-27 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted by researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

About one million people in the United States have chronic fatigue syndrome, according to the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) Association of America. Symptoms include debilitating exhaustion that lasts for months and is not alleviated by sleep and often made worse by physical activity.

People with chronic fatigue can also experience joint aches and muscle pain, headaches, enlarged lymph nodes and sore throat. At the same time, many have to battle with the disbelief (from some quarters) that CFS is a "real" disease.

The saga of MLV-related viruses and chronic fatigue syndrome began last October, when a different team of researchers reported in the journal Science that they had found a mouse virus called xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV, in the blood of 68 of 101 patien
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