Drug Hoped To Treat CFS Causes Impaired Immune Function, Griffith Study Says



Louise Durack in Griffith News.


Reports that a drug used to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer could also treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) have been refuted by a new Griffith University study.

To be published in BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology, the study by Griffith’s National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases(NCNED) concluded that the use of Rituximab in CFS patients could incur problems with their immune cells and is not beneficial as a potential treatment.

The Natural Killer (NK) cells have vital functions in fighting viruses, bacteria and tumours.

“We found that these functions were significantly impaired when exposed to Rituximab in CFS patients,” says Scientific Co-Director of NCNED, Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik.

CFS – sometimes known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) – is a complex illness characterised by impaired memory and concentration, metabolic, cardiac, gut and immune dysfunction and debilitating muscle pain and fatigue on exertion (also known as neuroimmune exhaustion).

It is estimated that the prevalence rate of CFS/ME worldwide is between 1 and 2 per cent.


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