Chronic Fatigue Syndrom and XMRV Virus Connection Discussed
The connection between Chronic Fatigue Syndrom and the XMRV virus took center stage this week, as a group of international scientists met in Bethesda, Maryland at the National Institute of Health, to disucss a possible link between the two. The retrovirus, XMRV or xenotropic murine leukemia virus, may also be linked with prostate cancer. It was first discovered in humans in 2006.
"We are at the very earliest stages" of understanding XMRV, said Cleveland Clinic urologist Eric Klein, MD, part of the team that discovered the virus in men with prostate cancer.
The link is unclear though due to conflicting studies performed over the past year. One of the studies showed a strong link between the virus and chronic fatigue syndrom, while the other study showed no clear connection. The conflicting studies are one of the reasons scientists got together this week.
"Were trying to hash out why the negative studies were negative," Klein said during a morning break. "There's debate about the robustness of the techniques used in the four negative studies as well as how the researchers defined CFS [when selecting eligible participants]."
It may be a few years before scientists have enough data to be able to identify a connection between the 2, but the research will continue.
"With XMRV, were just gathering the puzzle pieces now."