I am a non-scientist, who surveys the field of CFS. I go to lectures and conferences and listen and try to get a feeling for what is happening. I am biased toward Dr. Cheney and any other physician/researcher who devotes themselves to this peculiar disorder.
Dr. Cheney gave a non-top three-hour lecture. He presents using power point but, unlike others who just mindlessly read information off the screen, Cheney talks mostly extemporaneously, with a clear direction and command. He has a lot of ground he wants to cover and knows how to traverse it. He takes one five- minute break. At the end he answers questions for twenty minutes or longer. He was clearly tired at the end.
For his lecture and ideas on diastolic dysfunction research and earlier treatment plans one can consult online information and previously released DVDs of his lectures. Dr. Cheney does not shy away from presenting his views. Information on this April 25th lecture will be published on two new Internet sites of Dr. Cheney – cheneyclinic.com, and cheneyresearch.com. You can leave you name at these websites and be notified when the sites are activated. A DVD is also being made of this lecture - so interested parties can investigate it themselves.
Recent information is available online on his ideas about Oxygen Toxicity and Treatment with cell-signaling factors. These can be found online under “Oxygen Toxicity as a Locus of Control for CFS” and “Cell Associated Therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Is this the Next Frontier?”
I include a few notes from the lecture, items that struck me. I share them in hopes they might help others to focus on certain aspects of this disease to their benefit - as I have from the many contributions of others. In general, I look to independent physicians and researchers as the best hope to provide answers. Dr. Cheney is one of the best.
The crux of this lecture was about Cheney’s ideas on Oxygen Toxicity and then on his current treatment plan. The talk presented a great deal of technical research information, with displays of IVRT and ECHO graphs and studies, which Cheney has applied to his patients.
Dr. Cheney initiated the talk by stating his concept of “CFS as a compensatory mechanism to contain the redox problem (at the heart of it)”, and that fatigue is a mechanism for keeping worse things from happening.” This theme reappears throughout the talk.
The talk was filled with familiar information about diastolic dysfunction. He feels that almost all CFS patients have diastolic dysfunction. “100 % of CFS patents have an energy related cardiac problem.” One of the primary symptoms of diastolic dysfunction is Orthostatic Intolerance (a problem with standing). He feels that CFS is a severe oxidative stress disorder, resulting from some provocation, or insult – viral or bacterial. He thinks that antiviral therapy is only effective in the beginning of the disease. He spent some time talking about the four phases of the disease.
CFS patients cannot get oxygen into their tissues. If you administer oxygen to the patient, they get worse. Cheney believes that “oxygen is kept out as a compensation for keeping something worse from happening and the system accepts the consequences as compensation for not getting something worse”. With his testing method, Cheney detects “a 21% loss in energy in 30 seconds” when oxygen is administered to patients. He says that the CFS condition is close to a fetal physiology in two ways - 40% have PFO (an opening in the heart), and all have oxygen toxicity.
Treatment of oxygen toxicity is in control of the outcome of this disease. Treat the oxygen toxicity correctly and the oxygen toxicity goes away – and the patient gets better.
CFS patients have a defect in oxygen handling systems. This includes damage to red blood cells. The body compensates by keeping oxygen out and the result is low energy. Cheney discussed the four adaptations to low oxygen - and most CFS patients have all four. One of them is the methylation block –“another important defense mechanism against oxygen toxicity”. The push crash phenomenon is basically is a failure of the HPA axis to control oxygen toxicity.
NAPDH is low, anabolically blocked which results in P450 becoming uncoupled, leading to all sorts of problems.
Dr. Cheney feels that the best treatment follows the best understanding of “leverage”. He calls this the “control point”, and he believes in CFS this control point is oxygen toxicity. He describes himself as having “gone beyond” just treating the symptoms, or searching for the etiology or for specific viral culprits. He is interested in finding and attacking the “control point”, and getting patients back to a more functional state. Everything that he knows points to CFS as an oxygen toxic state. He asks himself: what is it that makes the oxygen toxicity go away?
At this point Cheney spoke at length about two sticking points: mitochondria and P450, in relation to oxygen toxicity.
To correct things, Cheney uses cell-signaling factors (CSF), which are similar to “live cell” therapy as practiced in Europe for many years. This is not a new idea. For years Cheney has used a LMW peptide called Kutapressin. In recent years he has added other Cell-Signaling Factors (adrenal, thymus, heart, kidney, and bran). Cheney makes his own, presumably a gel. The one for the heart is from bison. Cheney explained how he felt that CSF worked in CFS and he demonstrated this with a study that he has done. This study was performed to investigate function, not symptom improvement. It was in two parts and the second part, using CSF, had a significant uptick in patient functionality. Improvement occurred within ninety days. 75% of the patients functionally improved and their oxygen toxicity improved. Non-responders oxygen toxicity did not improve. Improvement in responders was sustained.
He ran through a set of permutations of the various CSFs, measuring for energy responsiveness on “Echo terrain maps”. He finds that the adrenal and thymus and liver create the most “backflash”, i.e. loss of energy, and that the pancreas, brain and heart CSFs bring the most energy response. He has created hundred and hundreds of ECHO terrain maps to determine energy response to the use of these agents. He sees the same thing without exception. 100% of patients display oxygen toxicity, all of the patients’ energy response drops with adrenal and thymus. All patients’ energy response goes up on heart (most responsive) and brain and bison liver CSF. Cheney says this is nothing more than a series of interrogations and out of it you can create a map.
Cheney uses an ECHO “terrain map” to develop therapeutics.
Healthy controls do not respond to CSFs.
Also he is expanding his energy ECHO testing to various pharmaceuticals and supplements to see if they are helpful or hurtful.
According to Cheney, citing evidence from his Echo terrain maps, Methyl B12 and Folapro “is toxic to CFS patients”. The methylation block, which he believes exists, is helping to prevent oxidative stress
Magnesium always benefits these patients.
Almost every case of CFS is toxic to fructose, almost universally responsive to glucose.
“Glutathione in this disease is not a good idea in most instances.”
“T3 is the worst hormone that you can give to a CFS patient.”
“Vitamin d3 is toxic to this disease.”
Cheney attacks the “Oxygen toxicity” with CSFs.
Cheney characterizes people as part human and part something else – this something else being gut bacterium. “It links human illness to gut problems.” “You can’t have an illness without a gut problem.”
Cheney has a program for gut dysbiosis and dysfunction that is similar to the one of Dr. deMeirleir. This is the first time that I have heard Cheney talk about this with such emphasis. Cheney stated that none of the other therapies work if this one is not included.
Cheney attacks the gut dysbiosis with gut modification.
Cheney treats his patients with Artesunate
At normal human Redox environment, we are at our highest energy set point. At this normal redox set point, no virus cannot replicate. Viral replication is a function of redox.
Artesunate is a powerful redox inhibitor. It shifts redox state to normal. Artesunate is a great antiviral and redox shifter. Artesunate is one of the most powerful antivirals known, active against all herpes viruses.
Artesunate has great tolerance and safety and is a central feature of his treatment today.
Cheney attacks the redox state with Artesunate.
Cheney says, with this treatment, he has doubled the amount of cures, and that 75% of patients show improvement with this treatment modality:
Cheney gets a high percentage of responders from patients who are under 40 years of age. For non-responders, mostly over 40, he has been using stem cell infusions. The first three part of the treatment bring results in 90 days. The stem cell treatment takes six months to evaluate the effect. Cheney says that these stem cell treatments obliterate the oxygen toxicity, and that patients “has been transformed with stem cells infusions”.
2. Cell signaling factors
3. Gut dysbiosis – probiotics, digestive enzymes, diet
4. Stem cell infusion
-Cheney was asked what medicines he likes. He mentions Klonopin, then low dose Doxepin. He does not think much of Neurontin.
About Rich van Konynenberg, Cheney said this. He admires Rich and has had many lively discussions with him. He admires anyone who is attempting to organize a testable theory of this disease. Cheney agrees with some ideas of Rich’s. There is certainly evidence of a methylation blockage in CFS. Cheney believes that it is designed to help the CFS patient, and it is not the problem. Trying to unblock it with methyl b12 and Folapro makes the situation worse. In terms of glutathione Cheney thinks Rich is right in that there is lower reduced glutathione, but not total glutathione. Trying to supplement glutathione directly leads to increased oxidative glutathione. Taking glutathione in large doses is not the way to go. Cheney thinks that Rich is right in some ways, but is wrong in his conclusions.
-Essential Fatty Acids – he uses them as a “good health move”, but is somewhat suspicious that they too might worsen “oxygen toxicity”.
-His general message was to be careful what you take. If something is not bringing obvious benefit, it very well might be complicating the situation.
-Supplementing with glutathione is unproductive and only raises oxidative glutathione.
-CFS is a problem of energy - and d-Ribose won’t help. It just makes the problem worse. He says the same thing about co-Q-10.
-About stems cell therapy, he mentioned Dr. Reardon and his stem cell work in Autism, and remarked in Autism’s close relation to CFS.
-These stem cell treatments are done at clinics in Costa Rica and Panama. Cheney said that the clinics were located in these countries not because the process is illegal (which it isn’t) but because of costs.
-Cheney feels that almost all patients have environmental illness to some degree. He thinks environmental illness overlaps with CFS but that it definitely is a separate entity.