World ME expert Dr Nancy Klimas to visit New Zealand

November 5, 2010

From New Zealand's ‘Scoop' website, 5 November 2010 (from a press release issued by the Associated New Zealand ME Society).

Professor Nancy Klimas will be visiting New Zealand in late November, at the invitation of Associated New Zealand ME Society (ANZMES), to update the medical community on recent developments in the research, diagnosis, management and treatment of patients with ME/CFS, and the ongoing investigation into the possible links with xenotropic murine leukemia virusrelated virus (XMRV).

Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a debilitating long-term disease that can affect anyone. In New Zealand, it is estimated that there are around 20,000 sufferers. It is thought to afflict around 150,000 in the UK, and over one million in the US.

Nancy Klimas is a professor of Medicine, Psychology, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She leads a multidisciplinary research team representing the fields of immunology, autonomic medicine, neuroendrocrinology, behavioural psychology, rheumatology, nutrition and exercise physiology.

Prof Klimas is also director of Research for the Clinical AIDS/HIV Research at the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Centre.

Over the week of 21-30 November Prof Klimas will be lecturing in Auckland, Whangarei, Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga, Wellington and Dunedin. Recent investigations by the Whittemore-Peterson Institute have been verified by independent studies performed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirming the strong association between a family of murine leukemia viruses (MLV), that includes XMRV, and ME/CFS.

Although this is at the early stages of investigation it does show that ME/CFS is a real physical illness and patients need long-term medical support and assistance from others.

There is currently no cure for the illness and there are difficulties in making a clear diagnosis of the condition. The study by Whittemore-Peterson Institute, NIH and the FDA may lead to the development of both a diagnostic tool and a treatment, potentially using medications already in use today for other conditions.

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