Phoenix Rising - Cort Johnson's Column
...Presenting complex chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) research in a way we can all understand.
Dr. Cheney: Still the Heart of the Matter? - Oxygen Toxicity and the Heart
by Cort Johnson
(Research from the IACFS/ME Conference 2009)
Oxygen Toxicity as a Locus of Control for the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Paul Cheney, MD.
Dr. Cheney took 26 new patients and 17 health controls – provided them with 40% oxygen and then measured Itheir 'IVRT'. IVRT is measured during the diastolic phase of heart cycle as it expands to fill with blood. This expansion, requires a lot of energy – probably akin to the expending energy to blow up a balloon. Once you open the mouth of the balloon – the air rushes out; the same appears to be true of the heart. The ejection phase simply releases the energy stored up when you pumped up the heart – it requires very little energy.
IVRT or isovolumetric relaxation time measures how quickly the heart expands with higher IVRT times associated with reduced performance. Dr. Cheney found that increased oxygen levels caused IVRT’s of 100% of his ME/CFS patients and 65% of his healthy controls to increase; i.e. their heart expanded more slowly normal perhaps signalling a reduction in cellular energy - something Dr. Cheney associates with oxygen toxicity.
Dr. Cheney reports that the statistical difference between the two groups was enormous - (p<.0004) – a fact that can only be explained if left some data out. It appears that the IVRT in the ME/CFS patients must have dropped more dramatically than those of the healthy controls; i.e. both groups were often toxic to oxygen but the ME/CFS patients displayed much more toxicity.
Cell Associated Therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Is this the Next Frontier? - Paul Cheney, MD.
Dr. Cheney uses cell-signaling factors (CSF’s) or ‘live cell’ products (among other things) to treat ME/CFS. Kutapressin (Nexavir) is a CSF that he's used extensively in the past.
The study had 18 patients, average length of illness 15 years (!). Dr. Cheney used CSF’s from the hearts and livers of pigs applied in skin creams and low dose human growth hormone for the first six months; the same approach he was using, he reports in 2000. In the last six months the patients received oral doses of frozen adolescent pig heart and mesenchymal or fetal extract.
There were no changes in functioning in the first six months but some large reductions in IVRT and increased stroke volume were seen in the last six months. This resulted in about a 10 point increase in their quality of life (Karnovsky) scores – not a huge amount but potentially significant particularly if you’re very ill; if you’re at ‘4’ ten points is a 25% increase in well-being. Eleven percent of patients (those with environmental sensitivities) were intolerant to the medication.
Conclusion: It took a year (and a change in protocol) but these patients quality of life did improve. The average patient was, however, not well – or close to it.
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