|Research Leaps Forward
By Gail Kansky
What began as a theory just a little over a year ago is "proving to be exceptionally strong," according to David Berg, MS, director of HEMEX Laboratories, Inc.in Phoenix, AZ. Antibodies from the immune system, which can be caused by many culprits, including HHV-6, mcyoplasma, CMV, Chlamydia pneumonia or even the stealth virus, go on to attack the protective covering of the endothelial cells in the small vessels or capillaries of the body. All of these triggers have the capability to activate the coagulation system to form fibrin, and this buildup is causing the dysregulation of good circulation. This is a forward in the understanding and in the ability to potentially correct this syndrome. These data seen in Myalgic Encephalopathy are also seen in infertility, fibromyalgia, breast implant sickness and Gulf War Syndrome and will be presented at the International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis (ISTH) meeting and Satallite Symposium in Washington, D.C. by David Berg in the middle of August. With a patient he know personally suffering from this disease, his research group of Lois Hill Berg, Dr. John Couvaras, and himself went on to research this theory and try to help reverse this process in patients suffering from Myalgic Encephalopathy.
The Bergs began studing this phenomena in 1998 in patients who had miscarriages or problems with fertility. In a retrospective study, the researchers discovered that these patients domonstrated symptoms of Myalgic Encephalopathy that included migrane like headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, tirgger points and pelvic pain. A blinded trial using the ISAC panel to test patients confirmed this information. The blinded study of over 40 Myalgic Encephalopathy, FMS patients and 12 controls that was submitted in the ISTH abstract was exciting enough for them to invite David Berg to give an oral presentation. He has even found this same mecahanism in a small number of MS patients whom his laboratory has tested. At the time we spoke to the researcher, he had tested about 200 patients!
The pathogens mentioned previosly have the ability to activate coagulation. This hypercoaguable state results in increased blood viscosity, witch makes blood harder to pump around, resulting in many other symptoms, ie headache, IBS, trigger pints, and tired heart. The treatment for patients is an anticoagulant protocol, using heparin followed by coumadin. The use of low-dose anticoagulants provides the body with additional capacity to stop fibrin formation triggered by the pathogens. Then, the normal mechanism of cleaning up the vessels (the fibrinolytic system) can accomplish its job. This results in normal or normalized blood flow, giving oxygen and nutrients to the body properly.
Sometimes patients experience a tremendous detoxification problem after about four weeks of heparin therapy. This indicates, he feels, that the underlying trigering event (viral or bacterial pathogen) is exposed by the fibrinolytic cleanup of the sides of the vessels where there was fibrin deposition. This results in an inflammatory attack. Some doctors have tried increasing the heparin at this time to make it easier on the patient when this occurs. This effect seems to last two or three weeks before the body begins to realize the benifits of the therapy. By using heparin to stop fibrin generation and then the fibrinolytic system breaking down the fibrin that has built up, and antiviral or an antimicrobial therapy may do even more good. Mr. Berg visualizes a protocol of heparin therapy the frist month, with antivirals or antibiotics added in conjunction with the heparin after the first month. Heparin therapy usually last for three months followed by low-dose coumadin.
Although his numbers are still small for research projects, he hopes to have a larger trial funded. If this theory is proven, it will show that correcting the thick blood (hypocoagulation state) will self-regulate many of the symptoms in Myalgic Encephalopathy, including the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis problems, IBS, migraine-like headaches, ect.. It would certainly put an end to all the psycobabble patients have had to endure for far too long. The data Mr. Berg has gathered points to the immune system activating the coagulation problem in the illness by removing protiens that protect the system and continuing on to, in effect, glue other proteins together (fibrin deposition). While this process does not usually cause a blood clot in most patients, it does interfer with the body's ability to transfer nutrients and oxygen in the small blood vessels. Currently, the process is called Antibody Mediated Thrombosis, but Berg suggests that a new label may be more appropriate: "Immune Systeme Activation of Coagulation" (ISAC Syndrome). Although the NCF funded a small protion of the double-blind study (that the laboratory completed with flying colors!), much of the expence has been borne by HEMEX Laboratories, a feat almost unheard of in today's materialistic world.
The current study of using anticoagulants to reverse the faulty mechanism is ongoing at this time. Their website, www.hemex.com, has additional information.
Our fall newsletter will contian anouther discovery by this same research team!
To discuse ISAC Syndrome and treatment click here
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