This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Identifying Potential Biomarkers for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This video is of a presentation that was given in 2008 at a conference about the viruses HHV6 and HHV7.  The presentation outlines some objective findings of abnormal test results in people with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) as defined by the CDC as potential biomarkers.  The abnormal findings include abnormal SPECT scans, EEGs, MRIs, and substances found in spinal fluid.  Spike waves were found more often on EEGs of those with CFS than healthy controls, which is interesting to me as I was found to have what are called "alpha intrusions" on EEGs that were done as part of a sleep study.  I'm wondering if those would count as spike waves.

Here is the second part of the presentation:

The second part of the presentation discusses signs of infection in CFS patients.  Findings include:
- As many as 70-85% of patients report that their CFS began with an acute flu-like illness
- Elevated circulating immune complexes compared to healthy controls
- Poor function in Natural Killer cells
- Elevated levels of CD8 T-cells bearing activation antigens
- Upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines
- Increased TGF-beta
- Upregulation of gene expression for genes involved in immune activation, energy metabolism, and neurohormones involved in the stress response

Evidence for HHV6 in CFS includes antibody identification, the presence of large refractile giant cells which are known to result from HHV6 infection, and many studies have found active HHV6 infection in CFS patients.  I found the closing paragraph of the presentation especially interesting:

"The possible association of HHV6 with temporal lobe seizures and MS, and the shared clinical features of CFS with temporal lobe seizures and MS are provocative, but of uncertain significance at this time".