Entries in Norway (2)


Chronic Fatigue Study Supports Autoimmune Theory

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BERGEN, Norway) -- A new study supports the theory that chronic fatigue syndrome is an autoimmune disease, offering patients with the controversial condition new hope for a cure.

Two injections of the cancer drug Rituximab, which suppresses the immune system, relieved chronic fatigue symptoms in 10 of 15 patients several months later, according to a small Norwegian clinical trial. The drug works by depleting the body's B-cells, lymphocytes that release antibodies important for fighting infections. It has also been shown to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, another autoimmune disease.

The study suggests antibodies might be misguidedly attacking patients' own tissues in chronic fatigue syndrome, and that the delayed relief from Rituximab is linked to the "gradual elimination of autoantibodies," Øystein Fluge of Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway, and colleagues wrote in the journal PLoS One.

The trial stemmed from a fluky finding: A patient taking Rituximab for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma experienced an unexpected decrease in chronic fatigue symptoms. The researchers have now launched a phase 2 clinical trial that will incorporate "maintenance" Rituximab injections three to 15 months after the initial treatment.

The autoimmune theory of chronic fatigue syndrome was bolstered by a 2009 study that linked the condition to a virus called XMRV. But the study was knocked down last month when nine independent labs failed to replicate the findings, leaving chronic fatigue patients -- many of whom battle skepticism about their condition -- still searching for answers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cultured Men Are Happier and Healthier, Study Finds

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(TRONDHEIM, Norway) -- Men who are cultured, like those who visit museums, galleries and theaters, are happier and healthier than those who do not, according to a new study out of Norway.

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology looked at 50,000 adults and found that participating frequently in cultural activities was often associated with good health, satisfaction with life, and low anxiety and depression, particularly in men.

The authors conclude that “use of cultural activities in health promotion and healthcare may be justified.”

Their findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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