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This is just another of the hopeless diseases -- with its own name. Each of them has its own invented name. The treatments recommended are never any use -- they all lead, eventually, to death or the psychiatrist's pills, which, also, lead to death.
Three is a cure. It does not lie in drugs.
Click here to return to the page on many different hopeless diseases, then read the fully developed article on fibromyalgia. Your solution is there, whether you believe it or not.]
For years we in the CFS/FMS/MCS community hav*e been watching the reports of Gulf War Illness (GWI) knowing, instinctively, that we all had something in common. Not only do we all have common symptoms, but we may also be infected with common pathogenic organisms. That pathogen is a Mycoplasma. Various pathogenic strains have been identified including the fermentans (incognitus), penetrans, genitalium, hominis, and pneumoniae. And, we may be infected with several of these strains at one time. Following is a simple overview of the information I have gathered about this Mycoplasma pathogen and how it affects us.HOW WAS MYCOPLASMA INFECTION IDENTIFIED IN GWS AND CFIDS PATIENTS?
Those of us who
have tested positive and have begun treatment with the
antibiotics recommended by the Nicolson’s have had
tremendous success. Some of these people have been ill
with CFS/FMS/MCS for 15-20 years. But, they are feeling
better for the first time since becoming ill! Some have
even returned to work. Many have completed several months
of antibiotics, and several have been taking them
continuously for 4-5 years. Since most of us in the
CFS/FMS/MCS community have been ill with this organism
for a lot longer than the GWI patients do, it may take
longer to successfully treat the infection.
WHAT IS MYCOPLASMA?
Mycoplasmas are the smallest and simplest organism known. They are not new. They were discovered over 100 years ago and evolved from bacteria. The "garden variety" mycoplasma is not usually associated with severe diseases. (13) However, sometime over the past 30 years, the organism has been altered to become more lethal. The Mycoplasmas found by the Nicolson’s, in their lab, contain unusual gene sequences that were probably inserted into the Mycoplasma by a specific laboratory procedure. This discovery has led them to conclude that the new forms of mycoplasma were specifically engineered for germ warfare. (9) In it’s laboratory evolution, the Mycoplasmas have became more invasive, more difficult to find, and capable of causing severe diseases in humans. Diseases, like Gulf War Illness, CFS, FMS, MCS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and AIDS, for instance.
The earlier form of Mycoplasma was studied by Dr. Shyh Lo, formerly of Tanox Biosystems, a spin-off biotechnology company from the Baylor College of Medicine, but now affiliated with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington D.C. Dr. Lo has been credited with discovering the new pathogenic form of Mycoplasmas, and he currently holds several patents on methods for special handling of the organisms for study and development. (10) In one of his patents (in 1991), Dr. Lo lists the following diseases that are caused by Mycoplasma: HIV infection, AIDS, Aids Related Complex (ARC), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Wegener’s Disease, Sarcoidosis, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Kibuchi’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Lupus. (10) In addition, Baseman and Tully have reviewed the literature on the role of Mycoplasmal infections in human disease and have concluded that they are important factors or co-factors in a variety of chronic illnesses. (11)
Unlike bacteria, the Mycoplasma has no cell wall. This enables it to invade tissue cells, incorporating the cell's nutrients, and using the cell to replicate itself (much like a retrovirus). (13) When the Mycoplasma breaks out of the cell, it takes a piece of the host cell membrane with it. When the immune system attacks the Mycoplasma, it also gets "turned on" to attacking the host cell. In this way, an autoimmune condition can begin. Autoimmune conditions associated with Mycoplasmas include arthritis, Fibromyalgia, myositis, thyroid dysfunction (Hashimoto’s or Grave’s Diseases), and adrenal dysfunction, signs and symptoms of Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and Lou Gehrig’s Disease. (12)
The Mycoplasma organism has the capacity to invade cells, tissues and blood, producing systemic infections in numerous organ systems. According to Dr. Nicholson, it can penetrate the central and peripheral nervous system. Because it has the ability to damage the immune system by invading the natural killer cells (NK cells) of the lymphocytes, it weakens them, reduces their numbers, and renders them susceptible to viral infections, such as Human Herpes Virus 6 (HHV6), HHV7 or HHV8. (14) (15) (16) It may also explain some of the environmentally sensitive responses that are seen with CFIDS and MCS.
Mycoplasma infection can trigger inflammatory cytokine over-production that is commonly seen in CFS/FMS. With the induction of CD-4+ helper cells of the immune system, an over production of cytokines such as Interleukin-1, Interleukin-6 and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha occurs. (15)(16)(17) These elevated cytokines have been implicated in the development of many of the CFS/FMS symptoms, including neurological involvement. (19)(20) They can have specific or nonspecific stimulatory or suppressive effects on lymphocytes, as measured by B and T cell activation. (18) In addition, the Mycoplasma infection has immunomodulating effects, activating the hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This can cause a cascade of limbic system symptoms characteristic of CFS/FMS. (19)
The Mycoplasma is a slow-growing, stealth-type organism that can cause the patient to be very ill. It activates the immune system, then can successfully hide from it within the host immune cells. It can then circulate throughout the body and go wherever a white blood cell can go. It can cause infection deep within any or all organs. It can even cross the blood/brain barrier and cause brain and spinal infection. It has also been known to cross the placental barrier to an unborn fetus.
Unless the white blood cell is split open and examined for the evidence of the live organism, it can go undetected for years. Because the organism resides deep within the cells, conventional antibody tests may be relatively useless. (21) The splitting open (fraction) of leukocytes (white blood cells) from a fresh blood sample, with a forensic PCR test is the most accurate way to detect the presence of active infection with a live pathogen. Further gene-tracking techniques perfected by the Nicolson’s are even more accurate. (22)
Although the researchers have not clearly established how contagious the Mycoplasmas are, they have made some inferences from the data they have collected. The Mycoplasma organism has been found in the blood and body fluids, spinal fluid, bone marrow, urine, and in the lungs, nose and mouth. The Mycoplasma is reported to be able to survive for two hours outside the body. Of those with Gulf War Illness, 50% of their spouses have contracted the disease and 100% of their children. Several babies have also been known to be born with the disease. Some sort of chemical exposure or immune distress (i.e., auto accident, surgery, cancer) appears to pre-date the onset of illness. Of those with CFS, FMS, and MCS, numerous friends and spouses have the illness, as well as close relatives. So, from the anecdotal reports, it would appear that Mycoplasma is contagious after both casual and intimate contact. This means that the organism may possibly be passed to another through sputum (coughing droplets that contain the organism), saliva, sexual secretions, blood, and urine. The disease is also developing in family pets.
If one tests positive for any of the Mycoplasmas, in order to safeguard those with whom you have close contact, it would be prudent to do the following: Wash your hands a lot, never share your food or drink with another, wash eating utensils with extremely hot water, keep your hands away from your face, avoid closed-air spaces where air is re-circulated (i.e., offices, airplanes), and use protective sexual practices.
If detected early, the diseases associated with invasive mycoplasmal infections are treatable with long cycles of high-dose antibiotics. (23)(24)(25) Followed with long cycles of low dose antibiotics. Since the organism is a slow-growing, intracellular type with a long life cycle, several, long term courses of antibiotics may be necessary. The infection may need to be treated for several months or years. (The disease is treated much as Lyme’s Disease is treated.) If a person is taking antibiotics, the testing will not detect the presence of Mycoplasma in the blood. And, if a person has been taking antibiotics, they must wait for at least two months, after stopping the antibiotics, for the test to be accurate.
As yet, we do not know if antibiotics are a cure for Mycoplasma infections. Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus) has the ability to enter any cell and alter itself, changing its cellular makeup with every cell division. This may make it impossible for readily available antibiotics to clear the body of this organism. (14) Also, one antibiotic may not be appropriate for all species of Mycoplasma.
What we are hoping for is to cause the organism to be diminished or go dormant until a cure is discovered. To do that, we need to kill as much of the live organisms from our bodies as possible with the antibiotics. Once our white blood cells are free of the infection, then they can become healthier and can, hopefully, do a better job to keep the Mycoplasma under control. This may take several months or years of antibiotic treatment to accomplish. During this time, it is important to not stop taking the antibiotic too early, for a relapse is certain.
IS TREATING MYCOPLASMA INFECTION THE ANSWER TO CURING CFIDS?
The precise nature and cause of CFS/FMS/MCS is not clear at this time. However, recent studies have shown that several microorganisms may be a factor in CFIDS. Clinical PCR testing has been positive for all of the human herpes viruses, particularly Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and Human Herpes Viruses-6, 7 & 8 (HHV-6, HHV-7, HHV-8). Most recently, organisms like Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) types I and II, the foamy or Spuma virus, and the Chlamydia pneumoniae bacteria have also been demonstrated. (26)
Perhaps with this evidence, it would appear that CFIDS has many causative organisms? That is a possibility. Researchers studying AIDS have found that Mycoplasma and HHV-6a may be co-factors for causing AIDS. (14) And, it is further speculated that this same HHV-6 virus may be a co-factor in CFIDS and Multiple Sclerosis. Dr.’s Konnie Knox and Donald Carrigan from the Greenfield, Wisconsin Laboratory (see Mycoplasma Resources), offer some of the most sophisticated human herpes assays in the world. They have been doing extensive research into the various forms of human herpes viruses and their effects on the body. Present in about 98% of the population, HHV-6 remains dormant and harmless in healthy people. But, when activated (possibly by the Mycoplasma infection), it can cause a highly dysregulated immune system often resulting in severe immune suppression. This increases an individuals vulnerability to control severe infections (such as Mycoplasma). Perhaps, if HHV-6 were a co-factor of our disease (along with Mycoplasma), it would appear to be best to be tested and treated for both concurrently, if one is found to be positive.
While the researchers sort out the chicken-or-the-egg, one-organism-one disease, multi-factor theories, it seems prudent for us to test for and consider treating the organisms that we can. Especially when, in the case of Mycoplasma, a few simple antibiotics can bring us so much relief! In the case of a positive test for HHV-6, there are several new antivirals, i.e., Zovirax or Labucavir that may be effective.
Infection with a Mycoplasma organism appears to cause most of the signs and symptoms of CFS/FMS/MCS. It can also account for most of the dysregulation of the immune system and the abnormal immune tests. It seems prudent to be tested for this organism, and if positive, to be treated with the recommended antibiotics. Many of us have been ill for 10-20 years and have spent thousands of dollars on treatments that did nothing. Wouldn’t it be a Godsend to have a treatment that worked?
The treatment course is long term and often difficult for many. And, while we may not become completely well, there is preliminary evidence that many of us who are taking the antibiotics are improving! It has certainly been a horrible disease for the Gulf War Veterans to contract, but for us, the fact that they did has saved many lives in the CFS/FMS/MCS community!
Nicolson, N.L. and Nicolson, G.L., The Isolation,
Purification and Analysis of Specific Gene-containing
Nucleoproteins and Nucleoprotein Complexes, Methods
of Molecular Genetics, 5:281-298 (1994)
2. Nicolson, Garth L., Antibiotics Recommended When Indicated for Treatment of Gulf War Illness/CFIDS, (1996)
3. Nicolson, G.L., and Nicolson, N.L., Chronic Illness of Operation Desert Storm: The Presence of Stealth Microorganisms in Gulf War Veteran’s Blood Suggests that Biological Warfare May Have Been Used In Desert Storm, Extraordinary Science, (1995)
4. Nicolson, G.L., Hyman, E., Korenyi-Both, A., Lopez, D.A., Nicolson, N.L., Rea, W., and Urnovitz, H., Progress on Persian Gulf War Illness-Reality and Hypotheses, International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Vol. 4, No.3, pp. 365-370, (1995)
5. Nicolson, G.L., and Nicolson, N.L., Diagnosis and Treatment of Mycoplasmal Infections in Persian Gulf War Illness—CFIDS Patients, International Journal of Occupational Medical Immunology and Toxicology, 5: 69-78 and 83-86, (1996)
6. Nicolson, Garth L & Nicolson, Nancy L., Mycoplasma Infections In Gulf War Illness: Results of a Preliminary Study on the Prevalence of Mycoplasmal Infections in Desert Storm Veterans with Chronic Fatigue and other Symptoms, Presented to the President’s Panel on Gulf War Syndrome, Washington, DC, August 14-16, (1995)
7. Schmidt, P., Blanck, R.M., Gulf War Syndrome and CFS, The CFIDS Chronicle, 8:25-27 (1995)
8. Nicolson, G.L. and Nicolson, N.L., Mycoplasma Infections-Diagnosis and Treatment of Gulf War Illness/CFIDS, CFIDS Chronicle, 9 (3): 66-69, (1996)
9. Nicolson, Garth L., Ph.D. and Nicolson, Nancy L., Ph.D., Summary Of Persian Gulf War Illness Pilot Study On Mycoplasmal Infections In Veterans and Family Members, 1997
10. Lo, Shyh-Ching, Patent # 5215914: Adherent and Invasive Mycoplasma, Patent # 5534413: Adherent and Invasive Mycoplasma, Patent # 5242820: Pathogenic Mycoplasma, Patent #5532134: Mycoplasma Diagnostic Assay, IBM Patent Server Database
11. Baseman, J. and Tully, J, Mycoplasmas: Sophisticated, Reemerging, and Burdened by their Notoriety, Emerging Infectious Diseases, 1997; 3:21-32
12. Nicolson, Garth L. Chronic Infections In CFS, FMS and Gulf War Illness, 1997
13. "Archives of Pathological Laboratory Medicine", May, (1993)
14. Montagnier, L., HIV, Cofactors and AIDS, Abstract from the International Conference on AIDS, June 6-11 (1993)
15. Rawadi, G., Roman-Roman, S, et.al., Effects of Mycoplasma fermentans on the Myelomonocytic Lineage: Different Molecular Entities with Cytokine-inducing and Cytocidal Potential, Journal of Immunology, Jan. 15 (1996)
16. Gallily, R., Salman, M., Tarshis, M., Rottem, S., Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus strain) Induces TNF alpha and IL-1 Production by Human Monocytes and Murine Macrophages, Immunological Letters, 34(1):27-30 Sept. (1992)
17. Brenner, T., Yamin, A., Abramsky, O., and Gallily, R., Stimulation of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha Production by Mycoplasma and Inhibition by Dexamethasone in Cultured Astrocytes, Brain Research, 608(2):273-79 Apr. 16 (1993)
18. Haier, Joerg, M.D., Nasralla, Marwan, and Nicolson, Garth L., Mycoplasmal Infections in Blood from Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Syndrome or Gulf War Illness, Abstract from the International CFS Congress, Sydney, Australia, 1998
19. Brenner, T., Yamin, A., and Gallily, R., Mycoplasma Triggering of Nitric Oxide Production by Central Nervous System Glial Cells and its Inhibition by Glucocorticoids, Brain Research, 641(1):51-56 Mar. 28 (1994)
20. Weidenfeld, J., Wohlman, A., and Gallily, R., Neuroreport 6(6):910-12 Apr. 19 (1995)
21. Komaroff, A. L., Bell D.S., Cheney, P.R., Lo, S.C., Absence of Antibody to Mycoplasma fermentans in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Clinical Infectious Disease, 17(6):1074-75 Dec. (1993)
22. Nicolson, G.L., and Nicolson, N.L., The Eight Myths of Operation Desert Storm and Gulf War Syndrome, Medicine, Conflict & Survival (1997)Hannan, P.C., Antibiotic Susceptibility of Mycoplasma fermentans Strains From Various Sources and the Development of Resistance to Aminoglycosides in Vitro, Journal of Medical Microbiology, Jun. 42(6):421-28 Jun (1995)
23. Poulin, S.A., Perkins, R.E., Kundsin, R.B., AIDS-Associated Mycoplasmas and Antibiotic Susceptibilities, Abstract of American Society of Microbiology Meeting, (1993) (abstract no. G-21)
24. Poulin, S.A., Perkins, R.E., Kundsin, R.B., Antibiotic Susceptibilities of AIDS-Associated Mycoplasmas, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Apr. 32(4):1101-03 Apr (1994)
25. Vojdani, Ari, Immunology of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, pp.36-42 (1997)
"Scientists at The Institute for Molecular Medicine have found that slightly under one-half of the very sick Gulf War Illness patients in a pilot study with the signs and symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia have chronic invasive infections involving certain uncommon mycoplasmas, such as Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus strain). "--Dr Nicolson
"Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus) has been tested on the Texas Department of Corrections prisoners in the late 1980s prior to the Gulf War. It was tested on death row inmates as well as other inmates in Huntsville, Texas. The guards then contracted it from the inmates, and the guards then gave it to their families and community. This mycoplasma vaccine testing was funded by the U.S. Army, and today there is an outbreak of 350 people in the Huntsville area with a strange disease resembling GWS."--Dr Nicolson
"Researchers Dr. Garth Nicolson and his wife Nancy have found a tiny bacterial microbe (a "mycoplasma") in the blood of nearly half the ill vets with GWI. Amazingly, this infectious agent has a piece of HIV (the AIDS virus) attached to it. This microbe could never have occured naturally. On the contrary, the composition of the microbe suggests a man-made and genetically-engineered biological warfare agent."--Dr Cantwell MD
"As soon as homosexuals signed up as guinea pigs for government-sponsored hepatitis B vaccine experiments, they began to die with a strange virus of unknown origin. The hepatitis B experiments began in Manhattan in the fall of 1978; the first few cases of AIDS (all young gays from Manhattan) were reported to the CDC in 1979. Scientists have also failed to explain how a brand new herpes virus was also introduced exclusively into gays, along with HIV, in the late 1970s. This herpes virus is now believed to be the cause of Kaposi's sarcoma, the so-called "gay cancer" of AIDS. Before AIDS, Kaposi's sarcoma was never seen in healthy young men. Identified a decade after HIV, in 1994, this KS virus is closely related to a primate cancer-causing herpes virus extensively studied and transferred in animal laboratories in the decade before AIDS. Also downplayed to the public is a new microbe (Mycoplasma penetrans), also of unknown origin, that was introduced into homosexuals, along with HIV and the new herpes virus. Thus, not one but three new infectious agents were inexplicably transferred into the gay population at the start of the epidemic (HIV, the herpes KS virus, and M.penetrans)."--Alan Cantwell MD
"The Geneva convention prohibits the development and testing of biological weapons, otherwise known as germ warfare agents, and similar provisions are specified in the Nuremberg Codes. Nonetheless, some mycoplasmas have been engineered and/or laboratory modified for use as biological/germ warfare agents. In 1970, the Department of Defense made an appropriations request for 10 million dollars into a 5 year study to develop immune system ravaging micro-organisms for germ warfare." George Hylak on Mycoplasma http://members.aol.com/ghylak/health.htm
"He wrote back and
made a statement that the modified mycoplasma (M.
fermentans incognitus) "...was found especially near
TDCJ institutions." TDCJ is the acronym for the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice. It had previously been
known as the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC)
Dr. Watson is the head of the Human Genome Project and was a co-discoverer of DNA. It seemed pretty strange to me that someone of that magnitude would be running around the Texas prisons. I was told at the time Dr. Watson was here there were experimental flu vaccines being administered to inmates. Bill Langlois, producer of Channel 11 in Houston, has also verified that Dr. Watson was at the Texas Department of Corrections during that time. Sally stated she had not found anything looking at the 1980's Board Agendas and Minutes. I asked if she had looked further back than the 80's and she said "No".
One of the experiments involved the use of M. pneumoniae. It is one of the most virulent types of mycoplasmas. Another experiment involved the mixing of viruses and mycoplasmas. The experiment of viruses and mycoplasmas was the hypothesis I made in 1997. However, the researchers who experimented on the inmates knew the effect of viruses and mycoplasmas as far back as 1976; twenty-one years earlier.
This pathogen had been released in our community with complete lack of regard for the inmates, the guards who worked at the prisons, the guards' families they came home to and the community at large. No one was informed. The experiments using M. pneumoniae lasted 10 years. The other had a time duration of "indefinite" with each overlapping one another.
When I studied Lyme Disease in 1997 I found the same antibiotic treatment was used to treat Lyme as is used to treat mycoplasmal infections. My son was diagnosed with parvovirus B19 not Lyme Disease, but he responded to the antibiotic. This didn't make sense until I found that ticks carry mycoplasmas."--Candace Brown
AIDS – Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is perhaps the most feared disease on the planet. Usually fatal, it slowly destroys the immune system until the individual is vulnerable to a wide variety of diseases that rarely affect non-infected persons. Those diseases may affect brain, lungs, eyes, or other organs, as do pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and Karposi sarcoma. People with AIDS also can experience debilitating weight loss, diarrhoea, weakness and depression.
AIDS is the most controversial disease of our time. Because the condition initially infected homosexuals, bisexuals and intravenous drug users, governmental attitudes and policies have been slow to respond to this growing epidemic. There has also been a great deal of controversy surrounding treatment methods.
AIDS has given birth to an entire industry involving specialist physicians and drug therapies (Altman 1998). It is estimated that the United States Public Health Service’s annual AIDS research budget was over $1.5 billion in 1994 (Division PHS Budget 1994). Burroughs Wellcome, the manufacturers of AZT, the most commonly used drug to inhibit the replication of HIV, reports sales in excess of $379 million of AZT during the 1992-1993 fiscal year. These early figures indicate that this has been a boom industry for those associated with the manufacture of AZT and other drug related companies servicing this market.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that since the initial discovery associated with HIV/AIDS, out of approximately 30.6 million people around the world who were infected with HIV, approximately 11.7 million had died from AIDS by mid 1997. It is estimated that 860,000 adults and children are living with HIV/AIDS in North America alone. (UNAIDS/WHO report : ‘Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic’ November 27, 1997).
Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus) and AIDS
Medical literature states that Mycoplasma fermentans has been recognized as an infectious pathogen in humans, and is associated with an acute fatal disease in previously healthy patients without AIDS (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology). Mycoplasma incognitus has now also been linked with AIDS (Nicolson 1998).
Shih Ching-Lo of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has stated that ‘Mycoplasma fermentans can cause death on its own’. Despite this mycobacterium’s link to AIDS and its invasive nature, most people are not aware of how it affects the body.
Mycoplasma fermentans has been described as a ‘co-factor’ in the progression of AIDS (Nicolson 1998). Growing evidence identifies Mycoplasma’s as an opportunistic pathogen and possibly a co-factor in many other chronic disease processes. M. fermentans was shown to be associated with lesions in the kidneys of HIV-positive patients, and was detected in 40% of HIV positive homosexual men, but in less than 1% of the general population.
Luc Montagnier, the founder of the HIV virus reports that Mycoplasma infections accelerate the progression of HIV disease by stimulating the replication of HIV-1 through selective activation of CD4+ T-lymphocytes. When a cell lysate of human Mycoplasma was added to cultured lymphocytes infected with HIV, significant enhancement of HIV replication was observed. This organism has the ability to produce systemic infections, manifesting itself in numerous organ systems. He further states that this Mycoplasma is highly invasive, and can activate, either directly or indirectly, CD4 lymphocytes and render them susceptible to viral infections.
Nicolson reports that Mycoplasma fermentans produces systemic infections in AIDS patients and in previously healthy non-AIDS patients, manifesting itself as a flu-like illness. It also enhances the cytopathic effect of HIV, producing fatal wasting illnesses (Human Pathology, May 1993). This report made the first association between Mycoplasma fermentans infection and AIDS-like illness in HIV-negative patients.
Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus strain) can generate toxic oxygenated products that damage the host cell. This damage, probably to the cell membrane, allows the Mycoplasma access to the interior of the cell. Once inside the cell wall, the Mycoplasma can alter the cell structure, possibly incorporating itself into the cell during division. If this occurs, the original cell has been altered, and the Mycoplasma continues to proliferate.
Nicolson (1998) has demonstrated that Mycoplasma fermentans:
In addition to the above documented tissue damage and diseases, Mycoplasma fermentans has been found to activate female hormones. Many female sufferers of Gulf War Syndrome and Mycoplasma fermentans infections begin to show physical signs of false pregnancy, or pseudocyesis. Nicolson reports that the body reacts as if conception has taken place and begins to gain weight to support a foetus. The weight gain and torso swelling persists since there is no birth to signal the body to stop producing the necessary amount of hormones. Thus the woman may constantly appear pregnant, and there have also been reports of women passing placental-like masses.
Mycoplasma fermentans has the ability to infect the entire body. Detection is difficult unless DNA detection using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory testing is used. Furthermore, Mycoplasma fermentans passes intra-cellular, invading different types of tissue. This means that it can be migrate through cells selectively, damaging cells as it goes.
HIV and its co-factors (viruses and bacteria accompanying HIV) impair the cellular walls of all structures including blood vessels, nerve cells and soft tissue structures. This damage can result in blockages of both small and large blood vessels. Obstructions reduce further the flow to the limbs, brain, heart and other vital structures. In fact, transient ischemic attacks, strokes and heart attacks have been recorded in extremely high numbers amongst patients in advanced stages of AIDS Neubauer 1988). Daily transient ischemic attacks increase as AIDS progresses, resulting in mental impairment, loss of muscle control, decreased memory, and reduced independence.
The drug Doxycycline has been demonstrated to be effective in the overall management of Mycoplasma fermentans. It has the ability to enter the cell and is considered effective against fighting this organism. The antibiotics are not a cure but a treatment. As Montagnier states, ‘the presence of this organism (Mycoplasma fermentans) can greatly increase the number of target cells, and raise the level of virus (HIV) replication too high to be controlled by the immune system. Eradication of the Mycoplasma will not be possible by antibiotic treatment alone, since it undergoes an intracellular phase’ (International Conference on AIDS, 6-11 June 1993). Mycoplasma fermentans has the ability to enter any cell and alter itself, changing its cellular makeup with every cell division. This makes it almost impossible for readily available antibiotics to clear the body of this organism.
Hyperbaric Oxygenation and AIDS
Mycoplasma has been identified as a ‘co-factor’ and has a synergistic effect increasing the hold of HIV. Further immune suppression accelerates the host effect and promotes further secondary opportunistic effects including circulatory AIDS disturbances.
'Hyperbaric Oxygenation has been demonstrated to be effective in the management of HIV/ AIDS. HBOT can force oxygen into all body fluids, by-passing the red blood cells, which are the regular oxygen carriers (Jain 1995). This by-pass overcomes the continuing complications associated with oxygen starvation in the tissues (hypoxia). HBOT helps reduce the severity of secondary complications arising from opportunistic infections' (Jain 1995).
In previous sections we have discussed the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygenation associated with patients who have suffered strokes, TIAs and peripheral vascular disease. Neubauer also reports that the mechanism of HBOT may benefit AIDS patients. Reillo in AIDS Under Pressure (1997) reports numerous patients with fully developed AIDS that have benefited from HBOT.
Dr Kief, treated a number of AIDS patients in the 1980s with ‘hyperbaric ozone blood washings’. He reported improvement of many associated symptoms including thrush, fungal infections, gastrointestinal problems and chronic low energy (Kief 1993).
Neubauer (1998) reports on a 29-year old male with AIDS related circulatory problems. The man suffered a sudden cerebral haemorrhage secondary to an HIV infection of the brain. The cerebral attack left him with left-sided paralysis and an inability to walk without a walker. Hyperbaric Oxygenation was commenced daily for one hour at 2 ATA. He also received physical therapy on an outpatient basis. After two weeks he began to regain use of his left leg. During this period he reported that he was not experiencing the levels of debilitating fatigue associated with his AIDS. He also gained ten pounds during the initial several weeks of HBOT due to his increased appetite. After one month, the patient had greater control of his previously paralysed lower limb and could now open and close and move his left arm and hand. Continued HBOT has enabled him to return to independent activities with improved mobility.
One of the secondary effects of circulatory compromise is evidenced with Kaposi’s sarcoma. Kaposi’s sarcoma has been linked to one of the many human herpes viruses as recorded by Moore and Chang. This opportunistic infection attacks blood vessels causing purplish lesions both externally and internally with multiple associated secondary complications. Normally treated with chemotherapy and radiation, these lesions have been reported to benefit from HBOT. Reillo (1998) has documented the benefits of HBOT with Kaposi’s sarcoma.
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia is another secondary infection responsible for killing a significant number of AIDS patients. Despite preventative drug treatments, this secondary infection is also devastating, dramatically affecting AIDS sufferers. Reillo has found that patients with AIDS who use HBOT in conjunction with medication have the best results for minimizing secondary complications.
NEURONTIN AND BRAIN INJURY TREATMENT
By Gail Kansky and Mike Reynolds
Dr. Jay W. Seastrunk is a psychiatrist who has worked with brain injuries for the past 30 years. With a practice in Duncansville, Texas, and a satellite office in Dana Point, California, Dr. Seastrunk has been treating all types of focal brain injuries he believes he's found in patients with CFIDS and multiple chemical sensitivity diseases.
Dr. Seastrunk believes that people who have experienced brain injuries, including PWCs, can be helped by Neurontin (gabapentin). The drug, originally developed by the Japanese, helps stabilize injured brain cells and helps to stop them from misfiring. Neurontin is a synthetic amino acid that is similar to L-Lucine but does not work the same as L-Lucine or GABA. However, because its molecular structure is so much alike, it uses the same transport system as L-Lucine to absorb the drug into the blood and then the brain.
Dr. Seastrunk finds the majority of his patients have a history of head trauma, but focal brain injuries can also be inherited. Brain focal injuries can be caused by toxic conditions as well as infections, high fevers, and illnesses such as MS and ALS. Various tests are used that can include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), that are usually normal. Functional MRIs are used to measure blood flow and a Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) identifies chemicals in the brain. This last test is one that, by combining it with special computer software, shows chemicals such as lactate that is elevated when one has an immune dysfunction. N-acetyl-apart (NAA) is a marker that shows the presence of neurons. In CFIDS, the left frontal lobe is usually the more severely affected, although sometimes there are nerve endings from the left frontal lobe that cross over to the right frontal lobe.
In MCS, combined with CFIDS, a liver spectroscopy can show an increase in glutamine, a toxic by-product. The creatine is often markedly abnormal. Dr. Seastrunk has a questionnaire that he calls an organic evaluator that, when answered by PWCs, shows a 95% rate of demonstrable brain pathology. The left frontal lobe is responsible for retrieving and restoring memories, understanding, and word finding while the right frontal lobe has cognitive dysfunctions that include mood swings and sleep abnormalities. Kindling is a process that happens when exposure to small amounts of a chemical or a toxic exposure causes the brain injury to fire. Dr. Seastrunk believes that chemicals trigger the nasal nerve cells that go to the brain and begin this firing process. He does not believe that detoxification will help since the chemicals are not actually in the brain. Women outnumber men with these illnesses because they are more sensitive to smells and that can trigger a focal brain injury. Both stress and sleep deprivation activate a focal brain injury. Thus, Dr. Seastrunk believes that you don't have to treat the immune system if the brain is treated. The brain will correct the immune abnormalities once treated correctly.
Parke-Davis, the company that purchased gabapentin, has seen dosages that range from 3,000 to 6,000 mg per day while, even at 10,000, the drug is not toxic. Dr. Seastrunk has never found anyone to be allergic to Neurontin in the hundreds of patients he has treated. It does not cross-react with other medications. Magnesium, however, will block Neurontin.
Neurontin is taken "in as evenly spaced intervals as possible. It is not wise...to take it only in the a.m. and then repeat in the p.m.," says Dr. Seastrunk. Side effects will occur when people first take the drug but usually pass aAer two to four weeks. However, we have heard from PWCs who claim they have side effects after being on the medication for months. One side-effect seen initially, is feeling drunk, while another is feeling excessively irritable. Some have felt their balance affected after being on the drug long-term and one PWC broke a hip while on the drug one year and, the next year, broke an ankle. Dr. Seastrunk tries to move the dose up to 3200 mg as quickly as possible, beginning at 100 to 400 mg dosages. At 3200 mg, he checks the blood level to see how much the blood is absorbing. While there are no therapeutic levels established for Neurontin, he looks for blood levels to be S to 18. Usually, benefits will increase up to 3200 mg and then level off. If one increases the dose too fast or is taking too much, he or she will feel drunk. Doses are often increased every two to three days, and two years is often the time taken for a full effect.
Migraines can sometimes occur with Neurontin. Increasing the dose can sometimes stop them. If not, Depakote (1,500 to 2,000 mg/day) or Parlodel (2.5 mg before meals) is prescribed. Dr. Seastrunk feels that a significant number of his patients show improvement but are still sick because they have something that is continuing to injure their brains. Often, this turns out to be Mycoplasma incognitus fermentens or Chlamydia pneumonia. About 15-20% of his PWCs have returned to normal health while the rest show a significant improvement, he claims. Some of these patients were bed-bound for years.
Brain injuries are also treated with SSRIs (ser-atonin reuptake inhibitors) such as EfTexor or Zoloft. Klonopin can help but can be habit-form-ing. Dr. Seastrunk says, "The antidepressant Effexor is often added ...for those who tolerate it, Effexor can be a tremendous boost toward healing."
Neurontin is expensive, at about $400.00 monthly. If you have no drug card or state insurance and earn less than $16,000 annually as an individual, the company will provide you with any amount of Neurontin for just $3.00 monthly. If you have no insurance but make more than $16,000, the company will charge $45.00 monthly.
Weight gain is often found by patients taking Neurontin. Dr. Seastrunk says this "is usually due to fluid retention or increased absorption of food and may be treated accordingly." Sometimes a PWCs initial reaction is to develop all their early symptoms in the first week. Dr. Seastrunk usually hospitalizes patients when he first begins the drug therapy. Those beginning the antibiotic therapy for additional microbes in combinations are advised to go very slowly. The antimicrobial therapy can take a few years. All these treatments are still considered experimental. Patients reactions vary from feeling initially drunk to being incredibly irritable. Yet some have claimed they have had no side effects at all.
Three groups of patients have been found:
1) 10-15% respond quickly and have little psychological trouble
2) 60-70% respond but take longer
3) 5% do not respond at all, while 5-10% won't comply with the regimen
"Close contact between the doctor and the patient" is needed for the first three months, emphasizes Dr. Seastrunk, "to fine tune the dosage."
If you are not sure you have a Focal Point Injury, members may send a SASE for a copy of Dr. Seastrunk's questionnaire, called "The Organic Evaluator." Requests should be addressed to the National CFIDS Foundation, 103 Aletha Rd., Needham, MA 02492. Neurontin is one of the drugs mentioned in Dr. Jay Goldstein's Treatment Protocol for Physicians, which is also available under the materials column.
Dr. Seastrunk has become very interested in Chlamydia pneumoniae and Mycoplasma fermen-tans (incognitus) and, during a lecture, said, "We see a certain portion of people who have this illness and focal brain dysfunction and they get better, but they continue to have sickness...we begin to look at Mycoplasma incognitus and Chlamydia pneumonia. Chlamydia pneumonia ...could be an explanation of the vascular problems that we see on MRI...they've got these things that look like MS that are vascular...it suggests that there's something actively ongoing that may be infectious that's continuing to injure the brain, and we need to kill that organism to stop the continuing injury."
(Sources for this article was material provided by the office of Dr. Jay Seastrunk and personal communication with PWCs.)
The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 * (781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606
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