Norwegian breakthrough in ME-Research [TV2 Nyhetene with English sub]

Uploaded by Norefall on 22.10.2011

Translated by: Beate Larsen Eiklid Timecoded by: Norefall
Two Norwegian medical doctors have made a discovery bedbound ME-patients awakes to a new life.
It was just fantastic, it was like life came back for full.
Good evening and welcome to the 9 o’clock news.
Two oncologists in Haukeland Hospital might have solved the enigma about the mystical illness ME.
A brand new study shows that ME probably is caused by a defect in the immune system, and is not a psychological illness.
2 of 3 patients became better after a new treatment that in time might help millions of patients around the world.
For three days, from Thursday to Saturday I was cross-country skiing. And then skiing again Sunday, and yesterday.
26 year old Elene thought she would be bedridden and ill the rest of her life. But now she has got a new chance.
(Background: I don’t need a spade for canoeing.)
Strength has suddenly come back after nine years diagnosed with ME. She was only 15 when her body stopped functioning.
I had a lot of pain in my muscles. I became weary from sounds.
I was sweating a lot. I felt dizzy. I felt sick and tired. The worst was not to have any energy.
She lay in bed or at the sofa most of the day. But she forced herself to get up for school.
She had her own bed to get through the day and it took her 9 years to finish the 3 years of secondary school.
Here you can see all the dates from different years. I started with one school reform and ended with another … (laughing)
My participation in life was to get into the bus, drive down to school and get back home.
There was not much hope for the future. But in 2008 everything changed.
She became one of the first 3 in the world who got the opportunity to try a new drug against ME in Haukeland University Hospital.
Attending MD Øystein Fluge is visiting patients.
(Background: Everything ok? - Yes.)
The small experiment Elene was a part of has grown vastly.
(Background: No discomfort? No.)
It all started with a cancer patient who also had ME.
After treatments with the chemotherapy, she did not only become better from her cancer, but also improved dramatically from ME.
Øystein Fluge and his colleague Olav Mella became very curious about what was happening.
Completely surprising, to both us and the patient, the CFS-symptoms started to disappear.
The fatigue, light and sound sensitivity, the pain; all the symptoms decreased.
It was the cancer drug Rituximab that gave the dramatic result.
All in all 33 ME-patients were tested during several years. 2 of 3 had large improvements, or totally healed.
The fog disappeared from my head, I was able to concentrate, to read, I was able to walk long walks,
I could have run up a mountain without problems, it was simply fantastic, just having life coming back for full.
The doctors’ research indicates that ME is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking the body’s own cells.
This is called an autoimmune decease.
The drug Rituximab is injected. It sticks to the cells, rendering them harmless.
In this way the patients can be cured.
We believe it is an autoimmune decease that targets the sensory nervous system … how the brain receives signals from the rest of the body.
About 1/3 of the patients have not experienced any improvement, and there is a possibility for relapse and a weakening of the immune system while being treated.
But the doctors are in no doubts that the right thing to do is to proceed.
I think there are many who are not aware of how inhibited the life is for people with ME, many patients have very poor quality of life.
What has been most encouraging is to observe how we have managed to improve the life of the patients.
Unbelievable! To feel the body functioning once more that was unbelievable. To feel the energy..
to use the energy, and then restitute afterwards.
Elene was fatigued and ill for nine years, but today she is totally recovered.
This spring she completed a year with Sports and outdoor life in Sogndal Folk High School.
(Background: Should we bring a saw? For making a fire, right?)
When people ask how old I am, I like to answer that my official age is around 19-20, because that’s where I am in life.
My life has just been paused for a while.
Doctors and scientists now must try out the treatment on more patients;
many years might pass before it is offered everybody.
In time this medicine might help 15 000 Norwegian patients, and many millions worldwide.
Would you have believed some years ago that you would be standing here today?
No! No, this is wild. When I had finished the first trip here, I was very moved when I came back, it felt unreal.
(Background: Ah, this is going to be good!)
(Background: I feel great now!!)
Professor David Bell is one of the world’s leading ME experts.
TV2 has asked Bell and four other professors in medicine to evaluate this new research.
They all agree that this is a big breakthrough from the two MDs from Haukeland.
Also the director of the Haukeland hospital thinks we might be witnessing a great achievement.
It has the flavour of a great discovery.
I have a strong feeling that this is a breakthrough and that it is soon to be a help for these patients.
This is important.