Wednesday, 23 June 2010

All in the mind: An illness called "Cough"

I would recommend the following article, written by Jean Stapleton (my mother), to you. It is short, easy to read, but makes a very good point!

It is also available as a PDF file online at -

All in the mind: An illness called “Cough”

It has been found that a large number of people in the U.K. suffer from “Cough”. The Best Treatment Institute has now issued guidelines for treatment of this condition. Firstly, no expensive medical investigations need be carried out and no system of sub-groups within the condition need to be set-up. Patients suffering from multiple symptoms have been excluded from research studies, as they would only complicate outcomes.

It has been found that the underlying cause of “Cough” is anxiety, which may relate to specific events or be a long-term state of mind. Talking therapy and breathing exercises have shown very promising results in the recent S.T.C. (Stop That Cough) trial. Some participants in the trial found that fruit pastilles had a calming effect. The treatment directive is therefore based on a combination of these three: talking therapy, breathing exercises, soothing pastilles.

Does all this sound improbable? Then take care what illness you go down with. There is one condition in the U.K. which can last for years, devastating the lives of sufferers and their families. It is actually named in the medical world by one of its symptoms, which happens to be a symptom of many conditions, some serious, some trivial; some psychological some physical. But attempts to distinguish it from other conditions are frowned upon and extensive investigations are not to be carried out. It is actually classified by the W.H.O. as neurological, although in most cases there is multi-system involvement. It is not unusual for studies set up in the U.K. to exclude those with neurological symptoms but include a mixed bunch of physical and mental conditions. All research funded by the government is of a psychological nature, but results are said to relate to the physical condition of those who have been excluded from studies.

So, if you are unfortunate enough to suffer from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.), you will be told that you have “chronic fatigue” and offered talking therapy and exercise programmes under psychiatric supervision. If you are severely affected by the condition it is very unlikely that you will make it to the nearest “chronic fatigue” clinic as you are no doubt house-bound or completely bed-bound.

Internationally there is a lot of good research into the physical causes of M.E. In the U.K. such research is carried out by dedicated individuals and self-help groups. One Doctor recently went public stating that after attending an International conference he had realised that he had been wrong: this is a serious illness. Oh that more Doctors would be we willing to state openly that the children, teenagers and adults with severe M.E. known to them, have not chosen to miss out on all the joys of normal living. Their severe illness needs to be acknowledged. Maybe the medical profession could show a little humility, in that complex conditions not yet fully understood should not be deemed to be “all in the mind”.

© Jean Stapleton

XMRV Findings Confirmed

Original Press Release from the Netherlands: FDA and NIH confirm 'XMRV findings' -

Gendringen, NL (MMD Newswire) June 22, 2010 - The FDA and the NIH have independently confirmed the XMRV findings as published in Science, October last. This confirmation was issued by Dr. Harvey Alter of the NIH during a closed workshop on blood transfusion held on May 26-27 in Zagreb. Two journalists from the Dutch magazine for health professionals, ORTHO, who have been working on XMRV stories for several months, were able to obtain a copy of the Alter lecture.

In the October 8, 2009 issue of Science Express, the Lombardi-Mikovits group at the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), the Cleveland Clinic and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reported that 67% of 101 chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients tested positive for infection with xenotropic murine retrovirus (XMRV). Only 3.7% of 218 healthy subjects tested were positive for this gammaretrovirus. Since that time, a number of research groups have proved unable to independently confirm these findings.

On Friday last, the AABB released an Association Bulletin recommending that its member blood collectors actively discourage potential donors who have been diagnosed with CFS from donating blood or blood components. This interim measure was proposed by the AABB Interorganizational Task Force on XMRV. This Task Force includes representatives from several government agencies, including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The fact that the measure was introduced suggests the presence of information not yet published. The ORTHO journalists were able to obtain a pdf document of the lecture given by Harvey Alter at the IPFA/PEI 17th Workshop on 'Surveillance and screening of Blood Borne Pathogens' in Zagreb. The International Plasma Fractionation Association (IPFA) represents the not-for-profit organizations around the world involved in plasma fractionation. The IPFA is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The highly-experienced Dr. Harvey Alter is Clinical Studies Chief at the Infectious Diseases and Immunogenetics Section of the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda. "The data in the Lombardi, et al Science manuscript are extremely strong and likely true, despite the controversy", was one comment on the XMRV findings reported by Alter in Zagreb. "Although blood transmission to humans has not been proved, it is probable. The association with CFS is very strong, but causality not proved. XMRV and related MLVs are in the donor supply with an early prevalence estimate of 3%‐7%. We (FDA & NIH) have independently confirmed the Lombardi group findings."

ORTHO contacted Dr. Harvey Alter today for a reaction. He did not want to comment, but confirmed that a paper is soon to be published.

ORTHO is a Dutch magazine for health professionals focusing on nutrition and dietary supplements. ORTHO has been publishing reports on CFS since 1988. Editor-in-chief: Gert E. Schuitemaker (PhD). Tel: / E-mail:

Friday, 18 June 2010

When I survey the wondrous cross

I am sometimes asked "What is your favourite hymn?", mainly by those who know that I am very fond of hymns. With so many great hymns it is difficult to think of one particular favourite, but I think it would have to be Isaac Watts's "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross" -

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God:
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingling down:
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small,
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6 v 14).

For further information about both the hymn and Isaac Watts, see

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Callous Disregard

Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines - The Truth Behind A Tragedy by Dr Andrew Wakefield.

From the website - -

The subject is autism; the suspect is childhood vaccines. This is the account of how a doctor confronted first a disease, and then the medical system that sought and still seeks to deny that disease, leaving millions of children to suffer and a world at risk.

In 1995 Wakefield came to a fork in the road. As an academic gastroenterologist at the Royal Free School of Medicine and the University of London, Wakefield was presented with a professional challenge and confronted by a moral choice. Previously normal children were, according to their parents, regressing into autism and developing intestinal problems - many parents blamed the MMR vaccine. Trusting in his medical training, parental narrative, and above all, the instinct of mothers for their children’s wellbeing, he chose the hard road.

Walk that road now, here; some already have - the parents of affected children. Many will, either as parents or grandparents, as the worldwide tsunami of childhood developmental disorders break hearts and bankrupts educational and healthcare infrastructures.

Wakefield provides the facts, an explanation of the problem that confronted him and his colleagues 15 years ago. He does this in a detailed forensic analysis of the lies, obfuscation, cover ups, and the dystopian science and medicine that panders to commercial interest at the expense of your children.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Invest in ME Conference DVDs

DVDs of the 5th Invest in ME International ME/CFS Conference can now be ordered from IiME; click on the above link for further details.

The latest IiME Journal is also now available; it is a special conference edition, containing abstracts from the conference and information about the speakers. To download the journal as a PDF file, click on (4.1mb)