"Herpesviruses and certain intracellular bacteria establish latency in the vagus nerve and reactivate during periods of stress or illness, causing the release of proinflammatory cytokines. HHV-6 is a highly neurotropic virus and potent inducer of cytokines such as IL-6 and NFkB, which many groups have proposed as an etiological theory for the role of HHV-6 in neurological conditions such as seizures and epilepsy. If this low-level “chronic” infection is localized to the vagus nerve it would be undetectable in the plasma, but could be demonstrated through analyzing tissue biopsies of the vagus nerve, VanElzakker suggests. HHV-6 is well known for invading the hippocampus and other parts of the limbic system, and also establishes residence in the human sensory ganglia along with other neurotropic herpesviruses including HSV-1 and VZV (Hufner 2007)." HHV-6foundation.orgOne problem with testing this theory is that viral infection of a nerve cannot be detected through simple blood plasma samples. That appears to be why the researcher behind this theory, Michael VanElzakker, proposes testing the theory by taking tissue samples from PWMEs who have "died prematurely from other causes." Apparently, what happens in vagus stays in vagus.
Monday, July 15, 2013
What Happens in Vagus, Stays in Vagus: ME/CFS a viral infection of the vagus nerve?
This article from the HHV-6 Foundation website describes recent research suggesting that ME/CFS may be due to viral infection of the "vagus nerve," a cranial nerve that controls all sorts of important functions like heart rate, blood pressure, and the ATP cycle. (See, Wikipedia here)