Tuesday, January 26, 2010

ME, BCG and paralysis

Writing for the Guardian about Kay Gilderdale's acquittal, Sandra Laville tells us confidently:
Until 14, Lynn had been a bright and sporty schoolgirl, who lived with her family in Stonegate, East Sussex. But after a BCG vaccination she was struck down by ME and within four months was unable to move from the waist down.
I am puzzled.

What is the scientific evidence that BCG can cause ME? And what is the scientific evidence that ME can cause paralysis?

5 comments:

DNA said...

There is a case report by a team from a london teaching hospital, in a peer reviewed journal ,of a 13-year-old girl who developed a sensory neuropathy following bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination, consistent with acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy or acute sensory axonal neuropathy.

this neuropthy is sometimes called guillain barre syndrome and can cause loss of sensation and or temporary or permanent paralysis.

It was widely known that Roosevelt had polio paralysis ,Yet his age (39 years) and many features of the illness were apparently more consistent with a diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), known as CFS/ME, is an increasingly diagnosed condition that causes extreme physical and mental tiredness (fatigue) that seriously interferes with a person's daily life.

.I am unable to shed light an evidence base for a connection between BCG vaccine, Paralysis and ME but paralysis does sometimes occur in association with a diagnosis of ME . The exact pathophysiology is known. 'Functional' paralysis is also a reported entity.

There is much ,as yet, unknown about this entire area which is unfortunate as it can devastate the lives of individuals and loved ones.

DNA said...

sorry, should read 'The exact pathophysiology is UNknown'

Anonymous said...

I too would be interested to know of any info relating to possible links between the BCG vaccine and ME. Does anyone know of any website links which may be of interest?

Anonymous said...

I just found this by googling BCG CFS.

What I have read is that the BCG vaccine activates something called NF-kappa-B.

Last year it was found that 67% of ME/CFS sufferers were infected with a retrovirus called XMRV, compared to 4% of healthy controls. This is the third human infectious retrovirus. The first two are HTLV, and HIV. It is thought that XMRV messes up the immune system like HIV does.

I have read that XMRV "based on its DNA sequence, has its replication stimulated by NF-kappaB activity".

So if the BCG vaccine activates NF-kappaB, and NF-kappaB activity makes the retrovirus replicate - that could be how the BCG vaccine could make someone ill, if they were already infected with this XMRV retrovirus.

Anonymous said...

I was given the BCG vaccination twice at 14, as apparently it didn't 'take' the first time. I already carried the 'herpes' virus and within a year I came down with glandular fever. Every time I had a work-related flu jab I would come down with the most debilitating and lengthy flu or spell of tonsillitis.

20 years on I have been diagnosed with ME, having apparently had it this past 20 years, and have a low quality of life which can be particularly attributed to the length of time I have struggled on undiagnosed and untreated. Reading that last comment ('the BCG vaccine could make someone ill, if they were already infected with this XMRV retrovirus') I feel there is a pattern in many ME sufferers medical history, pointing at the careless and ill-considered applications of mass-immunisation.

Is this why medical councils, governments and welfare systems are turning an obvious blind eye to the ME conundrum ? I don't care about blame I just care about treatment, support, care and (fingers crossed) recovery.

Point of interest: there are 250,000 ME sufferers in the UK compared to 100,000 HIV patients. Last National AIDS Day our PM gave a rousing speech about the importance of continued care, support, funding and research needed for sufferers of AIDS.
Then consider this quote of Dr. Marc Loveless(infectious disease specialist and head of the CFS and AIDS Clinic at Oregon Health Sciences University, in Congressional Testimony, CFS Awareness Day, May 12, 1995):
"I have treated more than 2,000 AIDS and CFS patients in my career. And the CFS patients are MORE sick and MORE disabled every single day than my AIDS patients are, except for the last two months of life!"