Het laatste nummer van het magazine van Stanford Medicine
besteedt, aan de hand van het (succesverhaal) van Erin (gefingeerde naam),
uitgebreid aandacht aan ME/CVS, de rol van het afweersysteem en
het Stanford Initiative on Infection-Associated Chronic Diseases
De "drietrapsraket" van dr. Montoya en colega's ziet er in grote lijnen als volgt uit:
- Het lanceren van het Stanford Initiative on Infection-Associated Chronic Diseases (voltooid)
- Grootschalig onderzoek van het immuunsysteem (cytokines, lymfocyten, genen, etc.)
uitgevoerd in het The Human Immune Monitoring Center (HIMC) van de Stanford Universiteit
om te komen tot (immunologische) biomarkers en daadwerkelijk effectieve behandelingen.
- Het ontwikkelen van een geheel nieuwe visie op het menselijke afweersysteem.
Immune system disruption
The search for answers
By Kris Newby
Illustration by Jeffrey Decoster
Photography by Timothy Archibald
Erin keeps a photo of herself playing soccer
in the living room of her tidy cottage near San Francisco Bay.
It captures her image frozen in time and space,
hurtling like a comet between two opponents,
her white-blond ponytail fanned out like flames.
"She was a midfielder with boundless energy, lightning fast,"
recalls the coach of her Big Ten college soccer team.
Erin, in her early 30s, always
assumed that soccer would be at the center of her life.
As a little girl, her favorite toy was a soccer ball, a present from a cousin living in Rome.
At age 4, she drew a picture of herself competing in the Olympics.
In high school, she was invited to try out for the national teamís talent pool.
After college, she played for the Detroit Jaguars, a semi-professional team.
But her dream of playing competitive soccer abruptly ended after a trip to Mexico in 2007.
"I was doing social work at an orphanage when I got sick," says Erin
(who asked that her real name not be used).
"I passed out and was hospitalized with
a high fever, low blood pressure and swollen lymph nodes.
After that, I was never the same."
Thus began her seven-year journey
battling a devastating illness with no known cause or cure.
She was bedridden for all but four hours a day.
She could stand only for 20 minutes without fainting.
But the worst symptom was the brain fog.
"It was like my thoughts were stuck in molasses", says Erin.