Recently some very BIG news was released by the new Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno (along with the Cleveland Clinic and the National Cancer Institute). This group has found a relatively new retrovirus (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV) in a group of CFS/ME patients. Whether this retrovirus is a causative agent or simply an opportunistic virus is not yet clear. There will be answers to that important question in the future but what is clear, considering the very impressive media response to the announcement, is that CFS/ME is now both more visible and more believably a biologically caused illness. There is a lot of new interest on the part of scientists and clinicians. Hopefully, new funding will be forthcoming as more researchers get involved in clarifying the nature of the XMRV virus. There is much work to be done but a major step has just occurred.

We have some important Association news of our own! We have been hard at work organizing our membership drive. Membership solicitation will occur in several phases beginning in early November but this announcement enables you to join now! We have described the process below.

Of course a key question is: Why become a member? There are many reasons but we will touch on those we think are key.

Now that we have updated our computer systems, including the website, applying for membership is easy. Just click on the link below and fill out the simple form. The requested membership donation ($25) can be paid online. Your donation is tax deductible. We don't want to exclude anyone because of financial hardship, so, if necessary, request the fee waiver which will provide criteria and instructions.

Please join us today! Becoming a member is a positive action that can benefit you.

Alan Gurwitt, M.D.