Those of you who have yet to hear the latest on the Rituximab study, I’ve put together some quick info. For all the haters and non-believers, there’s finally undeniable scientific proof that ME/CFS is an autoimmune disorder thanks to the Rituximab study just completed by Norwegian scientists Fluge and Mella.
The first study of its kind for the immune system cancer drug Rituximab for use in ME patients was a small sample test of 30 patients. The study was initiated by the profound changes in ME symptoms for a cancer patient on the drug. The changes were so dramatic that researchers took up the call to begin studying the drug and its effects on ME patients. After a delay in change that lasted beyond the study window of 3 months, on follow-up 67% of ME patients who received Rituximab saw moderate to major improvement in symptoms, as opposed to a 12% increase in placebo patients. Additionally, 64% showed accountable clinical improvement.
The delay in effectiveness may sound alarming, however it shows that the drug was working in exactly the way it should, just as it does for cancer patients. The aim of the drug is to destroy B cells, effectively wiping out the malfunctioning B cells and the havoc they wreak in ME and cancer patients alike, proof positive that ME is indeed an autoimmune disease rather than a psychological problem as some suspect.
Click here to read more about the study, which will inform a larger, more extensive clinical study and has sparked a number of other studies in other countries, as well.
Show it to all your doubters and be sure they understand the implications clearly. ME/CFS isn’t a fake illness or a mental illness. The study even prompted an apology from the Norwegian Health Directorate for its treatment of ME patients. It sure would be nice to hear that from the NIH and CDC in the U.S someday, but I won’t hold my breath.