- NEEDHAM, MA -- Research sponsored
by the National CFIDS
- Foundation was formally announced at the International
Symposium on Toxins and Natural Products in Okinawa, Japan on November
17-19, 2002 by Dr. Yoshitsugi Hokama. The research, for the first time,
discovered ciguatoxin, a potent neurotoxin, in the blood of Chronic Fatigue
- "Chronic ciguatera poisoning has already been suggested
as a scientific model for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)," stated
Dr. Hokama. Ciguatoxins are potent, heat stabile, non-protein, lipophilic
sodium channel activator toxins and are recognized as some of the most
potent biological toxins known. They produce dramatic neurological manifestations,
such as peripheral sensory or motor symptoms (including paresthesias, pain,
burning, tingling, numbness), central symptoms such as headache, autonomic
dysfunction and also affect multiple body systems (gastrointestinal, immune,
hepatic, cardiovascular) and the muscles.
- Many CFS patients in the study had higher levels of the
toxin than the patients with cancer, hepatitis or acute ciguatera poisoning.
- Quantitative assay results range from 1:5, the lowest
toxin level, to 1:160, the highest toxin level. All CFS samples gave titres
of at least 1:20, with the majority of titres from 1:40 to 1:160.
- Dr. Hokama presented his preliminary findings in a lecture
titled "Acute phase lipids in sera of various diseases: Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome, ciguatera, hepatitis, and various cancer with antigentic epitope
resembling ciguatoxin as determined with Mab-CTX."
- Dr. Hokama is a Professor in the Department of Pathology
at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at
Manoa. He is a world expert in the area of fish toxins with hundreds
of peer reviewed publications to his credit. Hokama developed the Membrane
Immunobead Assay test for patient sera, using a specific monoclonal antibody
for ciguatera toxin (Mab-CTX). His current research into Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome and a ciguatera toxin connection was funded by the National CFIDS
Foundation's research grant program.
- Gail Kansky, President of the National CFIDS Foundation,
said, "We believe this to be a significant breakthrough. CFS, which
has come to include myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a very severe illness
that has not received adequate funding or appropriate medical attention.
Although there are still many unanswered questions and much work to be
done, research efforts will ultimately turn the tide in the understanding
of this disease and allow patients to receive appropriate medical therapies.
We are indebted to Dr. Hokama and his colleagues for providing this
monumental first step."
- For more information on this study or Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome, please contact:
- The National CFIDS Foundation
- 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492
- (781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606