Belgian physician Kenny de Meirleir has been using GcMAF, coupled with an old antiviral, the injectable Nexavir (formerly called Kutapressin), on ME/CFS patients and reports that 80 percent are improving. Derived from pig liver, Kutapressin was first used as an anti-inflammatory for skin conditions. In the 1980s, when doctors began using Kutapressin to treat ME/CFS—the drug is particularly effective against herpes viruses—it acquired the moniker “mini Ampligen.”
The patients more likely to respond to the GcMAF/Nexavir cocktail appear to be those expressing the wild type (no mutations) in VDR “Fok” and a double mutation in VDR “Bsm/Taq,” an unusual combination. Those with the opposite profile—a double mutation in Fok and no mutations in Bsm/Taq (another unusual combination)—have reportedly not responded to the drug cocktail.
The technical term geneticists use for a mutation is SNP (pronounced SNIP), which stands for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism. The “Reference SNP” number is abbreviated “rs.” Many SNPs have more than one rs, some have none, some are numerical, others have letters. Why? For no other reason that the fact that the rs numbers haven’t been standardized—as if things weren’t complicated enough.
To simplify matters, autism specialist Dr. Amy Yasko and others use terms like “Fok” and “Bsm/Tak” instead of rs numbers when discussing certain mutations in the VDR gene.
By statistical analysis, ME/CFS patients did not differ significantly from controls, mutationally speaking, in most cases. (However, that doesn't mean that mutations can't cause problems, especially for those with chronic illnesses.) There were six exceptions: ACE, one COMT SNP, one MTHFR SNP, one MTRR SNP, one AHCY SNP, and one BHMT SNP, where more ME/CFS patients sported genetic mutations than their healthy counterparts. The black boxes distinguish these six SNPs. Amy Yasko’s lab tested most of the ME/CFS patients. (Some autistic children have parents with ME/CFS.) The genetic testing company 23andMe tested the rest.
The percentages in white represent ME/CFS patients; in purple are the controls. Also included in the chart are both the P value (P stands for probability) and the statistical method used to determine whether the mutation percentages are statistically significant. In the case of the two VDR SNPs, it’s a chi-square distribution, and the ME/CFS population doesn’t differ significantly from the general population. Some of the other SNP stats were calculated through FET, which stands for Fisher’s Exact Test.
Here are some SNP exceptions:
- ACE, one of the few genes in which more patients than controls had mutations, isn’t really a mutation at all, but a deletion.
- The MAO gene resides on the X chromosome, so males, who have only one X chromosome (which they inherit from their mothers), have only one MAO SNP. Females have two X chromosomes—one inherited from each parent—so they sport a pair of SNPs. In the interest of simplicity, Amy Yasko lists males with a +/+ or a -/- for the MAO gene. In actuality, however, males have only one – or +. 23andMe uses the letter “T” to signify +.
This article and the accompanying chart are copyright CFS Central 2010. All Rights Reserved. You may quote up to 150 words from this article as long as you indicate in the body of your post (as opposed to a footnote or an endnote) that the excerpt is by Mindy Kitei for CFS Central. You may not reprint the chart or more than 150 words from this article on blogs, forums, websites or any other online or print venue. Instead, refer readers to this blog to read the article and view the chart.