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Dr. Paul Cheney, June ’05 Seminar Highlights:

“CFS & Diastolic Cardiomyopathy

(current as of 06/27/05)

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Dr. Paul Cheney spoke to a spellbound audience from 2:15 until 5:40 p.m. and then took questions for ten minutes. The seminar could have gone on much longer, but the building had to be empty and locked at 6 pm. Dr. Cheney elaborated on the concepts presented in the April article, “CFS & Cardiac Issues” (see full article on website). He stressed that although CFIDS patients do have cardiomyopathy, they do not have the typcial form of it. They do not have systolic cardiomyopathy.

They do not, typically, have any structural change to the left ventricle, one of the lower chambers of the heart. Instead, they have diastolic dysfunction, a type of cardiomyopathy that only began to be described nine years ago. Equipment to detect it has only existed for four years.

CFIDS patients do not typically progress like typical cardiomyopathy patients, die from this, or need transplants because of it. Dr. Cheney also stressed that this is a microcirculatory problem as much as it is a cardiac problem, though of course the two are inextricably linked. Those with this CFS-related Diastolic Dyfunction (not Cheney’s phrase) comprise a whole spectrum—very mildly affectly to severely affected. Just like cardiomyopathy patients, actually.

He covered a great many fascinating topics including: the results of impedance cardiograph testing on his own patients; how this problem can downregulate the thyroid to protect us; and, his MRS research study. Dr. Cheney discussed a German study on infusion of one’s own bone marrow resulting in significant healing of the heart. He also went over a new porcine- derived heart cell-signaling factor available in August that may be even more potent than the bone marrow treatment.

Dr. Cheney also talked about how pain interferes with a patient’s ability to compensate for the diastolic dysfunction and resulting problems. He spoke of the lack of response of cardiogists to this new information on CFS and Diastolic Dysfunction and how he expects it to evolve over time.

Dr. Cheney also covered how adrenaline compensates for this problem and can mask the cardiomyopathy; that the push/crash is a defining symptom of cardiomyopahy; that some patients develop remodeling, or dilation, of the left atrium, one of the upper chambers of the heart; and, that a few can develop ischemic reperfusion. He talked about the effectiveness of the Vivid 7 doppler echo and how all patients should buy the physiology text by Guyton and read the chapter on cardiology.

Dr. Cheney also presented, as in the past, his “big picture” take on CFS, incorporating changes due to this new information. Overall, it was really a great presentation and very informative.

From the DFW Lighthouse, July 05 (Vol. 7, No. 3).

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