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By NCF Medical Committee
Written permission required for reprinting © 2010

From Fall 2010 Forum

Q: With all the publicity and information coming out about the role of XMRV and MLV retroviruses in CFS, what are the NCF's thoughts on this?

A: Since the NCF is now armed with the latest information regarding the role of ionizing radiation in CFIDS/ME, this really has provided us with a different but valid view of the latest retroviral information. It is well known that ionizing radiation produces very specific DNA damage, oftentimes referred to as genotoxic damage. Well, marine toxins, unfortunately, cause this type of damage as well but somewhat differently. Marine toxins act like poisons. Poisons produce genotoxic damage but via different means from a cell perspective. When you "couple" or bring together a radionuclide and a toxin, this produces an extremely potent synergistic combination that is insidiously slow and deadly. If you search the medical literature or toxicology archives for that matter, you will see that various combinations of compounds can be put together along with radiation to increase the overall effectiveness of the radiation. In simple terms, there is a multiplication or amplification of its characteristics to enhance its effectiveness. That is why, in some cancers, chemotherapy is combined with radiation treatments. Our own disease process is no different in this regard. That is why a disease model greatly helps to provide us with a visual "road map" of the disease process as this is a continuous process that desperately needs to be halted!

With this in mind, let me now show you how this pertains to retroviral infections. First of all, let us not forget one thing here. Not to beat a dead horse, but Stat-1 is vitally important for appropriate immune surveillance and without it functioning correctly, we are subject to all kinds of infections, viral or bacterial. With that now said, there is new information that must also be applied here. If you search the medical literature, you will find a number of publications applicable to the very question you have asked. The literature shows that ionizing radiation causes a dramatic increase in the gene expression of retroviruses. Basically, the mechanism at play here is directly tied to that for DNA repair. So this ultimately becomes a chicken and egg question once again or "who's on first?" Our research indicates that the toxicologic issues, which now include the marine toxin plus radionuclide(s), supersede the infection. Why? Because in a hierarchical system, the system process that is closest to the root dictates function and outcome. In other words, ionizing radiation directly alters Stat-1 and seriously disrupts cellular DNA repair mechanisms in addition to adversely impacting a wide variety of cell types and corresponding tissues from a functional standpoint. This level of damage far exceeds that which has been associated with retroviral activity. If you don't believe me, check out the literature on whole body irradiation and its negative impact on the human body. The nuclear bombing of Japan along with the disasters of Chernobyl ought to serve as friendly reminders of the sheer devastation regarding the impact of nuclear materials on human life and civilization as a whole. For CFIDS/ME patients, this has been done but on a miniaturized scale.

Were you aware that the same microalgae species, capable of producing marine toxins, are also capable of concentrating radionuclides from nuclear dumping or nuclear test detonations in the ocean? If society has contaminated the global water supply in this regard, would this not also contaminate the global food supply? Many patients and physicians laughed when the first ciguatera publications were released. Who is laughing now? We have a serious global problem. If a U.S. Congressman brings this to the attention on the floor of the House, doesn't this suggest that we have a problem? I recommend that you read the book "Poison in the Well" that scrutinizes the release of nuclear waste in the ocean. I, for one, have grown very tired of watching my friends die from this horror. Afterall, don't these patients deserve to be treated with dignity and respect? Don't they also deserve some quality of life before they leave this earth? Let's just quit the bickering and get on with it and solve this problem before it's too late for all future generations.

The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 *(781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606