Radiation as the cause of my persistent viral and neurological illness.

I wrote this post about how my way of thinking had changed on July 22, 2014. I try to log everything that happens to me… “where and when” is always essential. The exact timing yields important clues.

I was touted as a “boy genius” as a child… but I am only moderately intelligent. My talent has always been a phenomenal memory. My memory has enabled me to visualize what is going on in large computer programs, and mathematical algorithms that I have developed. I was able to collate large amounts of seemingly disparate information and unify it into a whole. I always saw the “big picture” in front of me. I tried to utilize this in this blog.

Now my big picture vision is a tiny pinhole. I can still do easy tasks like Step 1, Step 2, etc… as long as they have no physical involvement, and I have absolute peace and quiet, with no interruptions.

At the time I wrote the post, I didn’t know how much of this was due to enteroviral ME or radiation exposure. Fukushima radiation has been affecting my memory. I remember in June 2013, when the last major cloud of radioactive iodine started moving across the US, and my thyroid started to swell again, I had a hard time completing simple tasks. I tried to replace a headlight lamp in my car… but I kept reaching for the wrong bulb. I had a heck of a time with it. Online memory tests indicated that I may have had Alzheimer’s. I was convinced that radiation had finally caused me to come down with Alzheimer’s disease. But this was “brain fog”, which is common with fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, SEID, etc.

After the severe enteroviral illness which started on April 1, 2014, encephalomyelitis symptoms started around April 20. The vision in my left eye started getting dark and blurry. Then nystagmus commenced in my left eye. I developed optic neuritis in the left eye, and Bell’s palsy, which is facial paralysis, on the left side of my face. It is common to have these kind of symptoms on one side of the body only with encephalitis and encephalomyelitis, and MS, which is a kind of encephalomyelitis.

In late May, I suddenly went completely deaf. Shortly after this, my hearing started creeping back in, but it was accompanied by very loud tinnitus. Loud noises started to bother me… soon it was any noise, however small. This is called hyperacusis.

A benign tumor had developed on my pituitary gland in 2011. This greatly increased symptoms of my autoimmune disease, and I suffered widespread inflammation. My thyroid in particular, was affected. In January 2012, the tumor had grown so large that affected the fluid transport in my right eye, and it started to bulge out. I lost vision in the eye, except for a small circular ring, and suffered severe migraines. Ololiuqui seeds, which providentially arrived in the mail at this very time, caused the tumor to shrink. I later found that these seeds contain hydergine (discovered by the great chemist Dr. Albert Hoffmann), and I started taking this medication in tablet form, which worked very well to shrink the tumor. Unfortunately, not all the pituitary functions had come back to normal.

So the first thing I thought when I developed tinnitus and hyperacusis, was that the tumor had come back. So I doubled my usual dose of hydergine. Within a half-hour, the tinnitus and hyperacusis had increased tremendously, and the elevated level of this lasted a week. I had researched this medication throroughly, and knew it had been banned in France, due to suspected effects on the heart. What happens is that hydergine binds with the 5-HT2B serotonin receptor, which then releases a large amount of the anti-inflammatory cytokine TGF-beta. This cytokine is implicated in heart injury. It also opposes interferon-gamma, and destroys immune cells which release this pro-inflammatory cytokine. IFN-gamma is the main cytokine responsible for the creation of the IDO enzyme. IDO dysfunction is implicated in many neurological diseases.

Well, this was coming on so fast, that by mid-June I had reached the point where more than one sound happening at once would make me freeze up. My brain could no longer process two things at once. My memory was completely gone, to where I could not remember one second ago. It was like my consciousness was completely erased. These bouts lasted for just a few minutes. But I became frantic. It was around this time that post-exertional malaise (PEM) started occurring. That means these bouts would occur 24-48 hours after any kind of exercise, going to the store, etc.

I had already come across the ICC, the International Consensus Criteria, and I knew I had myalgic encepahlomyelitis. I tried with great difficulty to find forums and FB groups, in order to talk to people who had this disease. But all I could find were people who lacked energy to do anything, who were housebound and bedbound in some cases, and who had “brain fog”. On a scale of 1 to 10, brain fog was 1, and what I had was a million.

It turns out that the disease these people have is not encephalomyelitis at all. It is now called SEID (Systemic Exertional Intolerance Disease). I have exertional intolerance too. A lot of diseases have this as a symptom. The problem was that the CDC changed the name of ME to “chronic fatigue syndrome” (even though it does not include chronic fatigue) in 1988. It also included the disease now called SEID. The name was changed again to ME/CFS in order that it would be “taken more seriously”. So the people with enteroviral encephalomyelitis, which ME traditionally referred to, were left out in the cold completely.

My research has now led me to understand that the exertion intolerance in true ME is due to immunosuppression. This is the shutdown of Th1 cellular immunity, and the lack of Th1 cells in the body. These produce interferon-gamma. This happens because, in certain important areas of the brain, cellular immunity causes destruction of neurons, and the body removes the inflammation completely, allowing the enterovirus to spread.

So there are two things going on. Severe IFN-gamma deficiency causes IDO dysfunction, and a greatly increased amount of serotonin and glutamate activity in the brain. This is metabolic, and in itself causes neurological symptoms. Also, these neurotransmitters bind to receptors, which are neurons infected with the virus. This is where encephalomyelitis in involved, and makes things unpredictably worse.

Muscles release TGF-beta 24 hours after exercise, which drives IFN-gamma and IDO down further. Muscle activity also causes enteroviruses to replicate. This is the cause of PEM.

So what does this have to do with radiation? Dr. Martin Pall has said that the main risk factors for getting ME are:

1. High levels of inflammation.
2. PPAR dysfunction (high blood pressure).
3. Abnormal cortisol levels.

I already had autoimmune disease before Fukushima. The pituitary tumor, as I noted, greatly increased the amount of inflammation. It also disturbed ACTH function by the pituitary, which produces cortisol.

Pituitary tumors occurred at elevated levels after Chernobyl in the affected areas. Iodine-131, cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium are implicated. My thyroid problems increased in late 2011 with the radioactive iodine cloud, which I believe were caused by the action of I-131 on the pituitary, not so much the thyroid itself.

The enterovirus caused a case of the “flu” which would have gone away in a week, without the pituitary dysfunction, and accumulation of radioactive toxins in my body. But instead the enterovirus was not cleared out, spread to the brain, and caused a lifelong neurological disease.

Yablokov has a section in his book (pp. 104-112) “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment” which is devoted to neurological illnesses of those contaminated by Chernobyl radiation.

Previous views claiming resistance of the nervous system to radiation damage are refuted by the mounting collective data that demonstrate nervous system illnesses among the populations of the contaminated territories, especially liquidators. Even rather small amounts of nuclear radiation, considered harmless by former measures of radiation protection, have resulted in marked organic damage. Clearly, the existing radiation levels in the contaminated territories have harmed the central nervous system of countless people.

For many inhabitants of the contaminated territories, especially persons that were radiated in utero and liquidators, nervous system functions, including perception, short-term memory, attention span, operative thinking, and dreaming, are deteriorating. These conditions are associated with deep cerebral hemispheric damage: diencephalic areas, deep frontal, and temporal lobes, and occipitoparietal parts of the cerebral hemisphere. Low-dose radiation damages the vegetative (autonomic) nervous system. The fact that intellectual retardation is found in 45% of children born to mothers who went through the Hiroshima and Nagasakai nuclear bombardment is a very troubling concern (Bulanova, 1996).

ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) is not chronic fatigue syndrome or SEID.

This table indicates the rate of symptoms of 420 UK patients who were classified as having myalgic encephalomyelitis. This is from ‘Myalgic encephalomyelitis–a persistent enteroviral infection?’, a report published in 1990, shortly after Dr. Ramsay’s death. It was the last thing he did.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2429637/

CFS and ME/CFS were introduced in 1988, after an outbreak of a fatiguing illness in the Lake Tahoe area. ME was already an established name for a particular disease. The new disease did not fit, so ME and the new disease were thrown together and conflated.

The Institute of Medicine has recently renamed ME/CFS to SEID, systemic exertion intolerance disease. The committee noted that ME/CFS did not feature myalgia (muscle pain), or symptoms of encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord).

Out of the 420 patients in the table, 383 had evidence of enteroviral infection. Only 3 had evidence of Epstein-Barr virus. ME is overwhelmingly an enteroviral disease.

Note that chronic fatigue is not even on the list. Muscle fatigue or weakness occurs in 100% of patients. Myalgia or muscle pain occurs in 80% of them. According to the IOM, all SEID patients have chronic fatigue, myalgia is not an important symptom, and muscle weakness is not mentioned.

Auditory phenomena occur in 69% of the patients. Tinnitus is very frequent, and deafness is mentioned. This is due to an infection of the central nervous system. Tinnitus is infrequent in SEID. Auditory phenomena occur at a rate three times that of orthostatic tachycardia in ME. POTS is much more infrequent than tinnitus.

Visual disturbances occur at a much higher rate than with SEID. Hyperaethesia, or sensory hypersensitivity, occurs at a very high rate.

It is clear that ME is an infection of the brain and spinal cord, which affects the muscles, and is an immune deficiency disease that allows the infection to persist. Enteroviruses spread by infecting neurons. High rates of neurotransmitter activity, primarily serotonin and glutamate, are brought on by the immune condition. The receptors that these neurotransmitters bind to are infected by the virus.

ME is a very serious disease. SEID was never ME, and the conflation of the two completely different diseases has brought harm to ME patients, and is continuing to do so.

The IOM’s renaming of ME/CFS to SEID is welcome for ME patients. And it is timely because there is currently an epidemic of enterovirus 68 that is infecting children in the US and Canada. Many of them may develop ME, not SEID.

I demand that all Facebook groups, ME associations, websites, blogs, and other entities that use the name ‘ME’ or ‘ME/CFS’ immediately change their names, unless they are devoted specifically and only to myalgic encephalomyelitis.