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Updated: Monday, December 11, 2000

December 11, 2000

EFNS: Cabergoline May Be Effective In Reducing Symptoms Of Restless Legs Syndrome 

Heat Speeds Up Efficacy Of Opiate Analgesic

Methadone in the Treatment of Chronic Nonmalignant Pain:  A   2-Year Follow-up

Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire Provides Responsive Measure Of Perceived Improvements 

CHRONIC PAIN AND THE DOCTOR-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AN ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT: The paper "describes the reconnaissance stage of an action research project that investigated the : problems found in the relationship between doctors and persons with chronic  pain, and seeks, enacts and evaluates solutions to them."  

November 26, 2000
Study found reduced ACTH response after infusion of the hormone vasopressin in CFS patients    Source: Psychoneuroendocrinology Volume 26, Issue 2, Pages 175-188 Date: February 2001

August 12, 2000
  Fibromyalgia Research: Challenges and Opportunities from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

August 3, 2000
Antibody Research May Aid in Treatment of Sjogren's syndrome, FMS, and CFS
A possible link between the symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome (SS) and an antibody in the blood that interferes with nerve transmission has been identified by medical researchers in Adelaide, South Australia.

August 2, 2000
Mark J. Pellegrino, M.D., is a Board Certified specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation who completed his training at Ohio State University Dodd Hall where he was Chief Resident.  He is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine who serves as the Rehabilitation Medical Director at Alliance Community Hospital Center for Rehabilitation.  he has a private practice in Canton, Ohio.

Dr. Pellegrino is uniquely qualified to help patients with fibromyalgia.   Not only is he a physician whose area of special interest is treating this condition, he has it himself.  He has done research in fibromyalgia and has published several articles.  he is also the author of several book, "Fibromyalgia, Managing the Pain", "The Fibromyalgia Survivor" and "Laugh at Your Muscles".  He started the first fibromyalgia support group in Canton, Ohio, which continues to meet on a monthly basis.  He is a national expert on fibromyalgia and has given numerous lectures.

July 22, 2000
Scientific Workshop Summary:  The Neuroscience and Endocrinology of Fibromyalgia
A scientific workshop on the Neuroscience and Endocrinology of Fibromyalgia was held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in Bethesda, Maryland, on July 16 and 17, 1996. The workshop, organized by Dr. Stanley Pillemer and Dr. Susana-Serrate Sztein of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), NIH, focused on the basic science of chronic pain, neuroendocrinology, circadian rhythms, and sleep disorders.

July 19, 2000

New Fibromyalgia Information Index - An extensive collection of resources on Fibromyalgia, organized into categories. Find out about diagnosis, treatments, research, coping with pain, and more.

July 19, 2000
An Interview with Dr. Don L. Goldenberg, Chief of Rheumatology, Director of the Arthritis-Fibromyalgia Center, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton, Massachusetts

May 8, 2000
Getting Back to Basics:CFS and FM Are More The Same
Than They Are Different
by Melissa Kaplan
The Carousel Network Newsletter, May 2000, VI(5):3-10
For years, now, those of us diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome have waited for the PTB (powers that be) to come up with a better name. Not only do we want a name more reflective of what the disease/disorder/syndrome does to our bodies and minds, we want that word fatigue out of the name. We are tired of people telling us, “Well, I’m tired, too,” and we are tired of people thinking that the often overwhelming fatigue is the most serious or devastating symptom we experience.
Many of us are tired of waiting for the PTB to come up with something better.
May 8, 2000
Don't Be Fooled by Fraudulent Health Claims
Every year, consumers waste billions of dollars on unproven, fraudulently marketed, and sometimes useless health care products and treatments. If a health care claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here's how to spot false claims and avoid being taken for a ride.
April 17, 2000
JAW PROBLEMS: For TMJ, conservative treatment is best

10 million Americans suffer from painful TMJ. Unfortunately, doctors have no standard treatments to improve the complex joint that joins the jaw bone to the skull. The vast majority of TMJ patients are women in their childbearing years. While treatment options abound, doctors recommend conservative, reversible therapy for TMJ.
April 17, 2000
Scrutinizing Squalene The U.S. Defense Department has agreed to review a study that could help answer why thousands of military personnel who served during the Gulf War have unexplained illnesses.

April 15, 2000
What is a Syndrome? - David A. Nye MD tells us why Fibromyalgia is considered a "syndrome" rather than a "disease".

March 21, 2000
Health Concerns Grow Over Herbal Aids
By Guy Gugliotta, Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 19, 2000; Page A01
Mounting evidence suggests that increasing numbers of Americans are falling seriously ill or even dying after taking dietary supplements that promise everything from extra energy to sounder sleep.
February 27, 2000
Support Groups More Popular Than Ever -- Embarrassment Not a Deterrent  The increasing availability of the Internet is helping to fuel a rapid growth in self-help groups according to a new study published in the February issue of American Psychologist, a journal of the American Psychological Association (APA).
February 16, 2000
Misunderstood Malady
Fibromyalgia sufferers must deal with pain and negative feedback 
By Joan Whitely of the Las Vegas Review-Journal
February 4, 2000:
Overlapping Conditions Among Patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Temporomandibular Disorder
January 8 2000:
New Study Debunks CFIDS Myths, Reveals Greater Prevalence
November 12:
New Diagnostic Tool for CFS
New data presented to the Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggests the discovery of a potential diagnostic tool and therapeutic measurement for CFS.
November 8:
HMO to Accept Care Decisions
October 22:
Clinton Orders Human Experiments
- Executive Order 13139 http://www.pub.whitehouse.gov/uri-res/I2R?urn:pdi://oma.eop.gov.us/1999/10/1/8 is requiring military personnel to receive experimental vaccines not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Courts-martial are pending.
A day after Republican Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut ended congressional hearings on the controversial decision mandating the inoculation of 2.4 million U.S. troops against anthrax, President Clinton quietly signed an executive order, or EO, that denies soldiers the right to refuse experimental vaccines.
June 17, 1999
Real Audio Fileclick here for sound bite
WASHINGTON--Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles today introduced his Pain Relief Promotion Act and urged Congress to pass it this year.
"Alleviating pain and other distressing symptoms in cases of advanced chronic disease and terminal illness is a public health priority," Nickles said. "It is my desire to see that better pain control methods are discovered, offered in medical training and made available to anyone in need. When Oregon legalized assisted suicide it created a dynamic whereby some doctors underutilized controlled substances as pain relievers. This bill for the first time affirms, by law, that federally controlled substances should be utilized for pain control, even if use of such substances increases the likelihood of death.
"At the same time, this bill re-affirms the intent of Congress that using federally controlled substances for the purpose of assisting in suicide is not allowable under existing law."
    The measure is designed to:
  • Re-affirm doctors' ability to use controlled substances to aggressively manage patients' pain and discomfort (especially among terminally ill patients) and reject their deliberate use to kill patients.
  • Provide doctors and health professionals with the most reliable, state-of-the-art practices on relieving pain.
  • Provide research grants and establish a program for palliative care focusing on the treatment of pain and end-of-life symptoms.
  • Educate local, state and federal law officers to better accommodate the legitimate use of controlled substances for pain relief.
  • Clarify existing law to retain a uniform national standard over controlled substances. In those states which do not legalize assisted suicide, the application of the Controlled Substances Act is not changed.
The bipartisan Pain Relief Promotion Act is the result of a year-long effort to develop legislation that promotes the emerging discipline of palliative care, comforts terminally ill patients and those in chronic pain, and protects doctors who prescribe drugs for the legitimate medical purpose of relieving pain.
The bill is supported by the National Hospice Organization, which represents 2,000 hospices specializing in end-of-life care nationwide.
Senator Don Nickles website: http://www.senate.gov/~nickles/

Mycoplasma Registry for Gulf War Illness & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The following information is taken from information supplied by"
Sean & Leslee Dudley at the Co-Cure list (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Information Exchange):
Mycoplasma Registry for Gulf War Illness & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
303 North 47th Street, J-10
San Diego, CA 92102-4801
Tel. & Fax: 619-266-1116
e-mail: mycoreg@juno.com
Sean and Leslee Dudley became ill with chronic fatigue syndrome over ten years ago. They were the first civilians to be added to the Department of Defense Persian Gulf War Illness Registry.
The Registry has became a source of support and information for patients throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia, and it provides telephone interviewing to assist people needing help. It is an unincorporated nonprofit association,
California registration number 6679. The Registry works to unite CFS and GWI groups in getting a stronger voice and more funding, and it also recognizes other illnesses in which Mycoplasmas have been found or believed to act as either a cause or cofactor.
The Registry grew out of an effort to keep statistics about people who called for help and it started registering people in protest of the Centers for Disease Control's refusal to track Mycoplasma infection. The Centers for Disease Control does not categorize Mycoplasmas, chronic fatigue syndrome or Gulf War Illness as reportable diseases, and the lack of accurate numbers can be used to justify lack of funding. All names are kept confidential but numbers and statistics are used for the media and politicians.
The registry form may be found at either:
or at the end of the Mycoplasma Information Package at

UT Southwestern researcher finds genetic cause for Gulf War syndrome
DALLAS - June 16, 1999 - A genetic trait can predispose people to Gulf War syndrome, a new study has found.
In an article published in today's issue of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, a UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas researcher shows why some veterans of the Gulf War may have gotten ill from certain chemical exposures while others did not.

The "Push" for Awareness
Russell Jones (RJ), President of Our World FM/CFS Inc. left yesterday on his journey via wheelchair for Fibromyalgia and CFS awareness. The trip began in Constantia, New York and ends in Daytona Beach, FL. The 1,246 mile journey is dubbed "the push for awareness" as RJ will be pushed by volunteers along the route by anyone who "believes that FM/CFS Conditions and Syndromes are Real." Please support RJ's effort anyway you are able to.
Check to see if you, your support group, family or friends might be able to help push RJ.
For information on the trip, see:
For the actual route RJ will be taking, see: http://www.abcjb.com/news/articles/daytona%20route%20.htm
Go to: http://www.abcjb.com/disc15_toc.htm to add what you can do to help including overnight sleeping along the way help and Follow cars to help.

Obtaining Disability Benefits - David versus Goliath?
This is Part I of a guest feature article by disability attorney Scott E. Davis. From About.com;s Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Time for Lyme Aid
Ticks of Summer Get Ready to Roust Team Human.  Are ticks winning the summertime war against humans? We have ways to combat Lyme disease, but those ticks have quite a few tricks up their arcarine sleeves. (A.Shepherd/ABCNEWS.com)

Understanding FM: Why Does Even the Tender Touch Hurt?
Such is the basis of study for a team of researchers from the University of Florida (UF), led by Dr. Roland Staud, an associate professor of medicine at UF's College of Medicine who is also affiliated with the UF Brain Institute. Working with two other professors from the university, Dr. Staud will use a nearly $800,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded to him to continue his fibromyalgia (FM) studies for the next four years. For the complete text of this article see:

Misspending of CDC Funds
By Lisa Lorden
Dateline: 6/2/99 - Lisa Lorden, host of About.com's Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Website, has  posted an article regarding the Inspector General's report on the CDC misspending of research funds.  She's included links to most of the online information that is available, including items from the CFIDS Association and news coverage by the general press.  You'll find the article at: http://chronicfatigue.about.com/library/weekly/aa060299.htm

Ordinary Touches Multiply Into Severe Pain For Fibromyalgia Patients
By Eric Benjamin Lowe
GAINESVILLE, Fla.---The millions of Americans who suffer from fibromyalgia live with a two-edged sword: excruciating pain, accompanied by the doubts of many who dismiss it as a made-up illness invented by a troubled mind.
But researchers at the University of Florida and elsewhere are beginning to piece together clues that reveal the physical basis of the puzzling syndrome that causes severe fatigue and aches, and has defied easy diagnosis.  UF scientists have found an abnormal central nervous system reaction in those with fibromyalgia-the body magnifies ordinary repetitive stimulation into an experience of crippling pain.
This is particularly important because it has been unclear if fibromyalgia was just an imagined illness or a real syndrome," said Dr. Roland Staud, an associate professor of medicine at UF's College of Medicine who also is affiliated with the UF Brain Institute. "We now have good evidence that shows that it's not a psychological abnormality, but that there is a neurological abnormality present."
Staud, who presented his research findings at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology last November, recently was awarded a National Institutes of Health grant worth nearly $800,000 to continue his studies for the next four years. Donald Price, a UF professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery, and Charles Vierck, a UF professor of neuroscience, are collaborating on the research. Their goal is to develop a better understanding of the condition, with an eye toward improving diagnostic tests and treatments.
An estimated 3.7 million people in the United States - primarily women who are diagnosed during their 30s and 40s - have fibromyalgia, according to the NIH. A chronic illness with no known cure, its cause also is not known.
Researchers have theorized that an injury to the central nervous system or an infectious agent might be responsible for triggering it in people who have inherited susceptibility. Symptoms include persistent and widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and tenderness in the neck, spine, shoulders and hips.
Staud and colleagues found the central nervous system abnormality by conducting a series of repetitive stimulation tests on people with the syndrome as well as healthy research participants. The tests involved repeatedly placing warm plates on their hands and arms. The healthy participants felt the sensation but did not report it as pain. For those with fibromyalgia, however, the sensation would magnify with each repetition into an experience of crippling and unbearable pain.
"When a sensation signal reaches the spinal cord, the signal can be omitted, changed or augmented," Staud said. "If it is augmented, then something that is innocuous, such as pressure on the skin, can then be perceived as a painful stimulus."
Jessica LeMay, one of Staud's patients, has been battling fibromyalgia since 1993. The 30-year-old Lake City resident said the pain starts in one area and usually spreads, sometimes becoming overwhelming.  "I imagine if someone had taken a baseball bat and beaten me with it, that's got to be what it feels like," she said. "Depending on the day, I'll just move out of the way if someone tries to touch me."  The pain of fibromyalgia often interferes with a person's working life.
"These are people who are diagnosed in their productive years. Many have personal or professional problems adjusting to the pain experience," Staud said. "The illness makes some people feel dysfunctional because they can't do the activities they once did."  The condition can worsen from stress and inadequate sleep, Staud said.
Because living with fibromyalgia often causes stress, and pain makes sleeping difficult, a vicious cycle develops.  LeMay said many people dismiss her condition, not understanding the "huge difference" between her severe fatigue and the healthy person's occasional tiredness.  "When this fatigue would come about, it's almost like a weight being dropped on you, and you can't function anymore," she said.  LeMay said she is hopeful that Staud's research will lead to more effective treatment for fibromyalgia patients and better understanding by the general public.  "In our society, you either get better or you die, and fibromyalgia patients don't do that," she said. "We don't fit in the mold, so people don't know what to do with us."
Recent UF Health Science Center news releases are available at http://www.health.ufl.edu/hscc/index.html
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University of Florida for journalists and other members of the public. If you wish to quote from any part of this story, please credit University of Florida as the original source. You may also wish to include the following link in any citation: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990521094553.htm

Funding for chronic fatigue diverted, report says
By Richard A. Knox, Boston Globe Staff, 05/16/99

The new Social Security ruling on CFS
This Ruling clarifies disability policy for the evaluation and adjudication of disability claims invo1ving Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This Ruling explains that, when it is accompanied by appropriate medical signs or laboratory findings, CFS is a medically determinable impairment that can be the basis for a finding of ``disability.'' This Ruling ensures that all adjudicators will use the same policies and procedures in evaluating disability claims involving CFS, and provides a consolidated statement of these policies and procedures.

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Guideline Increased From $500 to $700  
SSA raises from $500 to $700 the average monthly earnings guidelines used to determine whether work done by persons with impairments is SGA. They raised this level as part of efforts to encourage individuals with disabilities to attempt to work, and to provide an updated indicator of when earnings demonstrate the ability to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA).

Vaccine role cited in Gulf War illness
Did Defense use soldiers as 'guinea pigs'?  By Sarah Foster WorldNetDaily.com

Breakthrough on Gulf War Illness
From Insight Magazine.  After a year of stonewalling by the DOD, a new study at the prestigious Tulane University Medical School confirms that victims of a mysterious sickness may have been poisoned.

What's Really Causing Gulf War Illness?
From Popular Science.
One man's dogged research points to an unusual-and likely-suspect... 

When Illness Is Real, but Symptoms Are Unseen
New York Times.
More than a century ago, physicians encountered a syndrome they called neurasthenia, characterized by a wide variety of symptoms that variously included fatigue, weakness, muscle and joint pain, headache, memory and concentration difficulties, runny nose, disturbed sleep and palpitations. Researchers expected that a cause would soon be identified -- a virus, bacterium or toxic agent -- that would account for these complaints. It never happened.
Instead, through subsequent decades, a host of disorders with similar sets of symptoms were identified. They included so-called "effort syndrome" that afflicted veterans of the Civil War and World War I, chronic brucellosis, hypoglycemia, myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic candidiasis and chronic mononucleosis.
Now the prevailing ailments go by the names of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities, sick building syndrome, silicone-associated rheumatic disease (from breast implants) and gulf war syndrome.

Chemical plane crash inquiry
From BBC. 
A long-awaited inquiry into the crash of an Israeli cargo jet into an Amsterdam apartment complex has opened in The Hague. A Dutch parliamentary commission is trying to find out whether the crash six years ago was responsible for serious medical problems subsequently reported by rescue workers and local residents. It will also look into the cause of the disaster.

Gene Therapy Selectively Blocks Pain Responses In Mice

WESTPORT, Mar 16 (Reuters Health)
An engineered recombinant herpes simplex virus containing cDNA for human preproenkephalin, an opioid peptide precursor, has been shown to block certain pain responses in mice. This approach could be used to control chronic and severe pain in humans, the research team says.

New York Times prescribes psychiatric therapy for CFS
See the full text of this article, published March 16.

Children With M.E.
A new report by an independent group of medical and educational professionals, "Children With M.E.", is now available from the editor, Dr Anne Macintyre.  This report can be viewed and downloaded at http:// www.ayme.org.uk and http://www.jafc.demon.co.uk/yaonline

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