CFIDS HERO RETIRES, WORK CONTINUES
Yoshitsugi Hokama, Ph.D. has officially retired from the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, University of Hawaii, but he is returning as Emeritus Professor of Pathology. The work on CFIDS/ME will continue under the leadership of Drs. Ken Yabusaki and Cara Campora. They will continue to maintain the CTX epitope assay that measures cardiolipin and phospholipids along with an assay for anti-cardiolipin using the ELISA method and has been discovered to be a marker for autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Hokama was planning to retire at the end of 2002, the year that the National CFIDS Foundation first approached him after they found a patent showing that his assay was being used by Dr. W. John Martin who claimed the positive results were a "stealth virus." After announcing his work at an international toxicology medical conference in the fall of 2002, two publications on the work were published in 2003. The first publication was in a medical journal for researchers (Journal of Clinical Analysis) that requires each paper to be replicated before acceptance. The second journal may have been the first in history to ask for a submission on "chronic fatigue syndrome" (Journal of Toxicology). Based upon our pilot fundings, Dr. Hokama went on to get a substantial grant from the National Insitututes of Health to continue to work. Before that happened, however, Dr. Hokama understood how patients around the world were suffering and how the politics were interfering with good biomedical research. After reading Osler's Web and other medical journal papers, he secured an international blood permit from the Centers for Disease Control and opened up testing for patients around the world. The testing remains available to patients today, a gift he made sure he left to all patients before his retirement. The testing protocol may be had by request as well as it being available on our website for patients around the world.
One of the most important answers to CFIDS/ME came with his initial work. For years, patients who required anesthesia for surgery had been having adverse and, often, life-threatening effects. Specialists had all noted this consequence around the world and many gave their own hypothesis about what may deter this such as Paul Cheney, M.D., Ph.D. With the work done by Dr. Hokama and his research team, it was found that the ciguatera epitope used the sodium channel in the body and that using anesthesia that did not use this channel prevented such adverse effects from anesthesia which often included severe cardiac complications. The suggested anesthesia protocol has been available for years on our website as well as copies offered to our members. Unfortunately, there are some specialists that continue to note the dangers of anesthesia to CFIDS/ME but are either unaware or not willing to accept scientific advancements that have been made. Recent examples were suggestions made by Charles Lapp, M.D. on the website of ProHealth and another by a British physician on a website from Australia (Hummingbird's Guide to ME) which exclude this important and proven and replicated information.
We congratulate Dr. Hokama on his belated retirement and on his becoming a Emeritus Professor. The knowledge that he has given to the world about CFIDS/ME has been a tremendous advancement. While there are many researchers around the world, few have proven to have the combination of his high intellect combined with his compassion and high morals.
The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 * (781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606