This week’s headlines (week of June 29, 2015)


This week’s top stories…

The drug makers of fibro drugs Lyrica and Cymbalta are currently facing lawsuits that could cost them billions of dollars. In the UK, Pfizer is being accused of keeping physicians from prescribing a cheaper, generic version of Lyrica. In the U.S., some patients are suing Eli Lilly, claiming the drug maker didn’t reveal the severity of Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms.

The National Institutes of Health has released a position paper on ME/CFS, telling us (again) what we already know: We need more research, better treatments and more education for physicians.

Tune in via webcast on Wednesday, July 1, when researchers Ian Lipkin and Mady Horniq from Columbia University’s Center for Infection & Immunity will take the Chili ME Challenge to support research for ME/CFS. This year’s tagline is “donate now and put the heat on ME/CFS!

Head-shaking headlines…

This story takes accusations that FM/ME/CFS is “all in our heads” to a whole new disturbing level. Hundreds of UK parents of children with ME/CFS have been accused of child abuse. Why? Because the government thinks the parents are making up their children’s illness. (And no, I’m not joking…)

And then there’s this story…Have you heard about the latest “cure” for ME/CFS? This woman claims her ME/CFS disappeared after she took an icy swim in the ocean. (Anyone want to try it?)

Research news…

Do you take an afternoon nap? Turns out, you’re not alone. This new study looks at the napping habits of those with fibromyalgia.

Norwegian researchers are studying the use of cyclophosphamide, an anti-cancer drug, as a possible treatment for ME/CFS.

TNX-102 SL, a new fibro drug under development by Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp., has a new name. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has tentatively accepted Tonix’s proposal to market the drug under the name Tonmya.

Extended-release gabapentin may be promising new treatment for fibro.

Russian researchers are using a new device to measure the “energy status” of ME/CFS and diabetes patients.

A new study shows that balance training improves the balance and functionality of fibro patients. And another recent article in Arthritis Research and Therapy says resistance exercise improved pain intensity and acceptance in women with fibro.

King’s College London is studying sets of twins – one with fibro and one without – to see if there are differences in their DNA. Researchers are hoping to identify how fibro develops and possibly find a biomarker that might one day lead to the development of a diagnostic blood test for fibro.

Of interest…

New England Patriots defensive tackle Dominique Easley raises awareness for fibromyalgia during football camp after his 12-year-old sister is diagnosed with it.

ME/CFS blogger Sue Jackson loves her family, but spending time with them can be exhausting. She tackles the issue of social exhaustion in this post reprinted on Health Rising.

CBS Miami profiles Dr. Nancy Klimas, renowned immunology and chronic fatigue expert from Nova Southeastern University. Klimas is using a $4 million grant to study ME/CFS, Gulf War illness and immune system disorders.

A fibro success story: Illinois woman with fibro competes in triathlon.

Looking for a movie watch? Netflix has finally added Cake, a movie that deals with a topic we all know about: living with chronic pain. Starring actress Jennifer Aniston, Cake tells the story of Claire, a woman who struggles with chronic pain every day as she tries to overcome the tragedy of losing her child and marriage. (I watched it last week. Due to the subject matter, it’s obviously a bit depressing, but I’d still give it 3 out of 4 stars.)

Off topic…

Johns Hopkins is first major medical facility to open a center devoted to studying Lyme disease.

And this week’s just for fun link: Craving a Mickey D’s cheeseburger? You won’t be after watching this video.

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