I have been ill since April 2009. Prior to this time I was an extremely active and busy person with a life I absolutely loved. I caught a flu like virus following a walking holiday and have never felt well since. I have been from doctor to doctor and not one has been able to give me a definitive answer to what is wrong with me. I have been told that I have “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” which in my opinion is a highly unhelpful diagnosis which doesn’t really mean anything. I have done research into my condition and it seems that the illness that seems to match the symptoms I have (flu-like feeling, constant head pressure, sore throats, swollen glands, weakness, dizzyness and pain in my spine) is ME.
When I first started researching the illness it seemed that there had been a fair amount of research done but either 1. it had been ignored or 2. not come to any solid conclusion. On 9th October 2009, I received a text from my father who had just heard on the BBC Radio 4 morning news that “XMRV virus has been linked with M. Ever since then, it still continues to be the most talked about piece of ME research, despite controversy in the press.
In 2009, Whittemore Peterson Institute scientists discovered a significant link between a newly-found retrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), and the neuroimmune disease, ME/CFS. Their ground-breaking discovery was published in the world-renowned journal Science, on 8th October, 2010.
This discovery brought renewed interest to the much-maligned disease and a flurry of research was conducted in order to confirm the link.
On August 23rd 2010, US government scientists validated the link, announcing they had found an association between a family of infectious murine leukaemia viruses and ME/CFS. They reported that 87% of those sampled carried at least one of the retroviruses, along with 7% (1 in 14) of the healthy controls.
XMRV is similar to HIV, the retrovirus that causes AIDS.
Following the validation study several countries banned ME/CFS patients from giving blood. In many cases these bans are for life.
This research DESERVES more time and money spent on it. It is important to find out why such a high percentage of ME patients are testing positive for XMRV. I do not yet know my XMRV status as I am waiting for my result that was part of a study.
For more information on XMRV and the Whittemore Peterson Institute, please visit the following site: http://www.wpinstitute.org/
If you would like to donate a regular, small amount to help push this research on, then please consider participating in the COUNT ME IN campaign. For more details visit: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=160913563956987