ME/CFS Intramural Study in the News (Miriam Tucker Does it Again)


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Miriam Tucker is one of our journalist gems. She's covered ME/CFS several times - most notably, if I remember correctly, when her Washington Post story featured Whitney Dafoe.

This is another really good one on Brian Vastag and the NIH Intramural Study.

Check out the whole article here - and read some tidbits below.

In July 2012, a science reporter for The Washington Post, Brian Vastag, was in Wisconsin visiting his family when a high fever hit. He became instantly bedridden with flu-like symptoms that never went away.

"It didn't feel like anything I'd ever had before. ... The things that distinguished it were the dizziness and the feeling of unreality in the head," Vastag says.
Now, nearly five years later, the 45-year-old can no longer concentrate or read even a few sentences without becoming exhausted. A short walk to the mailbox means lying down for the rest of the day.......

The study's lead investigator is neuroimmunologist Dr. Avindra Nath, chief of the Section of Infections of the Nervous System and clinical director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Prior to joining NIH in 2011, Nath ran a multiple sclerosis clinic, where he evaluated many ME/CFS patients in order to rule out MS, which can cause similar symptoms. That's where his interest in ME/CFS began, he says.

"I became comfortable that, 'Yes, they do have a real story that's very convincing' ... but [when you run the usual tests] you don't find anything. That made me feel that it's probably worth pursuing further,"

The current hypothesis, Nath says, is that, in contrast to people with normal immune systems that act to quell an infection and then subside, there is "a subset of individuals whose immune systems over-react and do a lot of collateral damage."

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