Endocrine Society Features Two ME/CFIDS Papers

     At the 84th Annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society, held on June 19-22 in
San Francisco, two papers on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) were presented
showing more abnormalities of the "enigmatic disorder, often acquired."  One,
entitled "Association of Corticosteroid-Binding Globulin Gene Polymorphisms
with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" (Torpy, et al) was work that was done at the
Medical University of Queensland,  Brisbane (Australia).  Studies with twins
showed a possible genetic link in monozygotic vs. dizygotic twins and an
increased risk of the illness in blood relatives of patients with the illness.  Unlike
the twin studies funded by the US Government in the United States, the Australian
studies have not concentrated their efforts on searching for some thread of
psychobabble but have zeroed in on the biology of the cruel illness.  The study
found that a corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) increased the risk of acquiring
CFS in blood relatives.  The CBG is a 383 amino acid corticol carrier protein and
it participates in the stress response.  Since it fell following an acutely stressful
period along with hypercoritsolism, which increased the free cortisol, it was
hypothesized the this CBG gene may predispose a person to developing the illness
either through an HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis means or through an
in inherited means.

    The second paper presented on the subject was entitled "Altered Interrelations
among Plasma Stress Hormones during Treadmill Exercise in Females with
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome."  The authors (Habib et al) were from the Clinical
Nuroendocrinology Branch of the NIMH in Bethesda, MD.  This project
concentrated on the cortisol as well and found "significant abnormalities in the
interaction between the sympathetic-adrenal limb and the HPA limb of the stress
system in  CFS".  This suggests that the abnormal catecuolamine metabolism
could very well contribute to the deficient stress response in ME/CFIDS patients.

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