Chronic fatigue syndrome thesis

Authors: Charlotte Russell. Abstract This thesis has been prepared in a paper based format and includes an empirical paper, a systematic review and critical reflection.


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The systematic review is prepared for submission to 'Sleep Medicine Reviews'. The empirical paper is prepared for submission to the 'Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology'. Eight studies were found and their methodological quality varied.

The role of sleep in chronic fatigue syndrome

To understand heterogeneity in findings, information regarding intervention delivery, including the presence of sleep management components, methodology and sleep outcome measures was extracted and synthesised. We conclude that GET can improve sleep, when delivered by experienced therapists in outpatient settings. The evidence for CBT on sleep is limited, moreover, at present we know little about the effectiveness of adding sleep management components to interventions.

We suggest that sleep outcomes used previously have not been sufficiently comprehensive and sensitive to measure change in sleep difficulties experienced in CFS. Implications for further research are discussed. Singh says she and her co-workers also had problems with contamination.

Specifically, they fingered a PCR reagent, the Taq polymerase enzyme, as the source of the mouse sequences they detected. They further found that one of the machines they used to test samples also had been contaminated with XMRV in studies they had done months before the current analysis. We have complete confidence in every bit of the results in the Science paper. We don't think any of it is wrong.

"Personality characteristics in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome." by Janette Marie. Collier

There is no evidence of contamination in our lab, and we have controlled for that all along. Mikovits notes that Singh's group did not use the identical protocols for every analysis, and stresses that discrepancies between their labs may also reflect her own finding that XMRV levels vary in patients day to day. Singh counters that although some protocol differences exist, they worked closely with Mikovits' team to replicate the original work.

Singh says the fact that they didn't find XMRV in any of these patients is significant. Not all of them would have gone negative on the day when a phlebotomist met with them. But the large community of CFS patients, who often find themselves confronting a medical establishment that questions the very existence of their disease, pounced on this finding, and some even started taking antiretroviral medicine to treat their supposed XMRV infections.

About Summit

Singh's lab earlier reported that antiretroviral drugs do work against XMRV in test tube studies. But she now cautions CFS patients that taking them is unwarranted and even dangerous. The XMRV saga is far from over. Unlike Coffin and many other skeptics, Singh contends that a virus similar to XMRV does infect humans, and her own work supports the prostate cancer connection.

Project results

The debate about whether XMRV infects humans and is linked to disease promises to come to a head later this year, when two different studies sponsored by the U. National Institutes of Health are completed. The studies both involve Mikovits and several other independent labs testing the same samples.