March 14, 2011


me+ME: Dr. Mikovits in Nature

There is a quite interesting article on Dr. Judy Mikovits in Nature by one Ewen Callaway:

The second has a copy of the article and comments from members (also elsewhere).

The article seems balanced on the whole, though it is difficult to judge what the writer's sources are, and it discusses the XMRV-story up to now - that I briefly summarize as:  Hopeful news in October 2009 that XMRV was found in highly significant proportion in persons with ME/CFS, which is very interesting if true, regardless of whether XMRV is the or a cause of ME/CFS; followed by many publications that neither replicated the research nor could find XMRV in patients said to suffer from ME/CFS; at present an unclear status in that the WPI research never has been properly replicated, but only got confirmed indirectly, by what may be contamination as opponents of dr. Mikovits claim - and also gives some information about Dr. Peterson, whose name is in the WPI, but who left it in 2010 for undisclosed reasons.

Here is the relevant bit from the article in Nature - and the "he" who is quoted is dr. Peterson:

Mikovits says that she kept the XMRV work secret from Peterson over fears he would tell his patients, and left his name off the original Science manuscript until a reviewer questioned the omission. When asked whether that episode contributed to his departure, he says, "I was surprised at the secrecy and lack of collaboration."

That is a bit odd, and quite possibly Peterson and Mikovits simply disagree about XMRV.

It is likely the XMRV-story will get at least somewhat clarified, as there is research going on, notably by Dr. Lipkin, who got funded by the NIH to investigate it because of its possible presence in blood in bloodbanks, and its possible dangers as a human retrovirus.

So there is likely to be more on this the coming months. Personally speaking, I am still doubting, in that I do not know the role, if any, of XMRV in ME/CFS, which as far as I know nobody does, and that I also do not know what to think of the papers on XMRV which didn't find any or that claim XMRV is contamination.

For one thing, if it is contamination, it seems odd it hit at WPI, with Lombardi, Ruscetti and Mikovits et al, and at the NIH, with Loh, Alter et al, who all seem to be real specialists, who also knew from the start about the dangers of contamination, whereas it hit nowhere or hardly anywhere else, notably not in the far less specialized hands of doctors Wessely and Van der Meer, both with an active interest in not finding it, since their careers are based on its absence.

To put it otherwise, and answer a remark of Dr. Stoye from September last year, who investigated a large group of patients said to have ME/CFS - I write "said to", because just that is often a key methodological problem: Are these merely fatigued patients, handpicked by professor Wessely, or are they persons as ill as Lynn Gilderdale and Sophia Mirza were? - and could not find any XMRV, although he did not quite use the methods the WPI used, and said "Nobody likes to find a negative".

Well, for my part, and as I said: Dr. Stoye may have wanted to find it, and I do not know of any reason why he might not have wanted to find it, but I see no problem at all in explaining the outcomes of professors Wessely and Van der Meer about XMRV: They had and have a very strong personal interest in it not being found, and anyway I do not regard them as honourable men, or only in the sense Shakespeare inspired Marc Anthony with.

Incidentally, my reasons for thinking this are wholly unrelated to XMRV, and have everything to do with ME and with me: Just as both gentlemen presume to know that I am "a dysfunctional believer "(who is in fact a neurasthenic or malingering male hysteric, I suppose, that is these days euphemised, no doubt "to help the patient", for these gents also like to make such lying noises, to "somatoformer") I presume to know these gentlemen are liars and frauds, because the theories they presented about ME/CFS are just bullshit and they know it: It is not science what they present, but devious psychobabble dressed up as if it were real science, which it isn't: It is medieval pseudo-science, and both gentlemen know that too, but will never admit it, for then they are liable to huge payments to patients, as their institutions should also be.

Also, I deeply detest being slandered and defamed and offended by a couple of bullshitters, in the name of pseudo-science: See ME: Back to the Middle Ages with professor Simon Wessely: It's just evil drivelling baloney, no doubt offensive on purpose, because professor Wessely is that kind of man.

And I should know, for I have been ill since 28, am nearly 61, and did get an excellent M.A. in psychology and B.A. in philosophy, while being ill with ME, though not as ill as the last twenty years.

P.S. Whatever needs correction has to wait, and I presume there soon will be more relating to XMRV.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence".
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

    "Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)


See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

Maarten Maartensz (M.A. psy, B.A. phi)

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