Journal of IiME Volume 5 Issue 1 (May 2011) International Science Symposium on ME continued Dominic O’Donovan, (Cambridge,UK) a neuropathologist presented the results of autopsy on 4 patients who had a specialist diagnosis of CFS: 1. A 32 year old male with a 20 year history of CFS, who died of a suicide overdose of medication. Spinal cord and brain at autopsy showed excess corpora amylacea, which was in excess of normal ageing. There were intermediate filaments closely related to glial cells, and maybe within the glia rather than the axons. No evidence of ganglionitis. (EBV negative) 2. A female of 32 with a 5 year history. She had been unable to tolerate food or water, due to the pain and discomfort of ME/CFS. She finally died of renal failure. The pathology showed a focal chronic inflammatory infiltrate (T8 lymphocyes) in the dorsal root ganglia. (EBV negative). 3. A female of 43 – an assisted suicide in Switzerland with a barbiturate overdose. The brain showed global ischaemia, but this was likely due to the drugs used. Dorsal root ganglia showed mild excess of lymphocytic nodules of nageotte but with no obvious inflammation, but this could represent a subtle chronic inflammatory state. 4. A female of 31 whose death may have been due to opiate ingestion. There was some toxic demyelination with spinal subarachnoid haemorrgae, but she was on warfarin. There was some mild possible chronic ganglionitis. Differential diagnosis here was discussed and would have included AIDs, Sjorgren‟s syndrome, varicella zoster and paraneoplastic disease. These results have raised the possibility that some cases of CFS may have sensory or autonomic ganglionitis. A specific brain and tissue bank in the UK is proposed. Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) Olga Sukocheva (Adelaide, Australia) presented the immunohistochemical and microbiological post mortem findings in a 20 year old patient with fatal idiopathic encephalopathy. This patient had been diagnosed with CFS following a severe encephalitic like illness aged 10. There was evidence of inflammatory damage with suppression of microglial cells. Down regulation of ankyrin B was detected in the white matter of the hippocampus. There was no significant difference in ankyrin G. Tests for Coxiella burnetii and Legionella were instituted. C.burnetii antigens were present in astrocytes, and in the microglial cells in the grey matter of the hippocampus. C.burnetii antigen was also found in spleen and liver macrophages,lymphoid tissue, bone marrow, lung and heart tissues. Legionella antigen was not found. Dan Peterson (Nevada,USA) started his talk with a brief overview of the incidence and effects of CFS in the USA. He then went on to describe research problems, such as the varied definition, heterogeneity of patients, lack of biomarkers, patient self-selection, researcher bias and lack of funding. He described a number of “scientific journeys” undertaken in CFS research. He stressed the importance of the bringing together of the patient, biotechnology, database informantics, genomics and clinical medical guidelines. Diseases can now be defined from a molecular perspective. Networking and collaboration are keys to successful research. There needs to be large-scale clinical data gathering, with international biospecimen collection. He then went on to discuss the importance of looking at viral infections in CFS. Leukotropic herpes viruses particularly HHV6, HCMV and EBV are among a number of major candidates in CFS. He reported on large studies in which active HHV6 was detected in 28%, HCMV in 29% and EBV in 51%. 10% were co-infected. Active EBV infection significantly correlates with Continued page 25 www.investinme.org Page 24/58

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