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By J.W., Ph.D.

From Summer 2010 Forum

In the summer (the US's winter) of 1999, I attended a conference put on for medical professionals as well as researchers in Sydney, Australia. It was sponsored by the Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation. Alison is one of the youngest to have joined the National CFIDS Foundation's (NCF)Memorial List which has incorporated many names from Australia. Some of the most striking information I gleaned from that conference, as I have now understood, has been scientifically proven today with the help of the NCF. I came upon my long forgotten notes from that conference recently and found two speakers at the conference most interesting: Dr. Ahijit Chaudhuri and Dr. W. John Martin.

My notes on Dr. Chaudhuri were carefully taken. This neurologist was then part of a team working in Scotland and he began his talk by focusing on some of the most common symptoms that occur with what he called "CFS". He mentioned alcohol intolerance, difficulty concentrating, severe headaches, chocolate cravings, irritable bowel, paroxysmal sweating, chest pain, tremors, myoclonus, new allergies, lightheadedness and fainting tendencies in addition to a difficulty in accelerating efficient heart rate. When he saw patients, he also found a decreased number of white blood cells, steroid metabolism lowered, low carnitine levels, largely reduced exercise tolerance and abnormal cardiac and brain SPECT scans. The fatigue, he found, is quite similar to that found in many neurological illnesses and felt it is likely that there is a channelopathy effect. An example that he used of channelopathy was ciguatera poisoning! He explained that the toxin attacks the sodium ion channel and allows potassium to escape from the cells. He said the ion channel changes can explain the neurochemical sensitivity found and illustrates how a patient actually exacerbates symptoms when they exercise as the body tries to correct this abnormal ion channel function taking place. How much did he already know in 1999? Did he already know that "CFS" was definitively an ion channel problem and his explample of ciguatera was part of the actual cause? Did he already know that the "ciguatera epitope" found just three years later with NCF funding was causal? Does he already know what the "epitope" consists of? Dr. Chaudhuri had already done muscle biopsies whih showed abnormal mitochondria, reduced intracelluler potassium, glycogen and creatine reductions and some abnormal pyruvate/lactate levels. The ciguatera epitope been proven to do all this damage by the John A. Burns School of Medicine's Dr. Yoshitsugi Hokama.

Dr. Martin, an Australian who had lived in the United States for many years, spoke about the stealth viruses he had found that caused a systemic infection with a spectrum of neuropsychiatric manifestions and mentioned autism, ADD and behavioral disorders along with "CFS". He noted that these viruses have an oncogenic potential. He went on to say what the stealth virus may resemble or be related to and he talked about a Mohave Valley epidemic that took place in 1996 where 18 of 19 patients were positive to his stealth virus. Of course, we now know that Dr. Martin was testing his patients for ciguatera and calling it a "stealth virus" was an obvious way of keeping the true knowledge of his work a secret. Dr. Martin had been talking about his stealth virus since the early 1990's. Was he already using the testing for ciguatera at that time? Why wasn't he truthful? Why isn't he to this day? He took down his original website that told about "CFS" stealth viruses after the NCF exposed what he had really found although I recently noticed it appear on the foundation's website and quietly cheered the courage of those at the NCF.

I continue to soundly applaud those at the NCF for following the scientific direction in all their funding. At the same time, I continue to ask myself how much has already been known by others but ignored or hidden as patients such as myself continue to suffer through the years.

The author is an member from Australia and a longterm patient. A paper published by Chaudhuri (Pearn et al) is now available to our members.

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