This is a short video of Dr. Jose Montoya of the Stanford Hospital Infectious Disease Clinic, speaking about CFS/ME. Dr. Montoya has completed clinical trials of valganciclovir (Valcyte), an antiviral, on patients with Viral Induced CNS Dysfunction, a subset of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The data Dr. Montoya presented at the 2008 International Conference on HHV-6&7 indicated that after taking Valcyte, patients experienced significant cognitive improvement. He is currently collaborating with Ian Lipkin, Professor of Neurology and Pathology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. Professor Lipkin is also Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, an academic laboratory for microbe hunting in acute and chronic diseases.
In this interview, Dr. Montoya addresses the onset and treatment of CFS/ME. He states that perhaps 11% of those who have acute infections of any kind may develop CFS/ME. Dr. Montoya believes that CFS/ME is an immune response to an infection. While the initiating infection may vary from patient to patient, he believes that CFS/ME is most likely caused by some common pathway in the immune system, which he characterizes as a “two-edged sword.” On the one hand, the immune system combats the infection, but on the other it may perpetuate an ongoing cycle of symptoms.
Dr. Montoya's primary clinical approach is through the use of antivirals. He has personally seen patients who have been ill for decades make recoveries after antiviral treatment. His main interest is in “brain fog,” the set of cognitive disturbances that inhibits a patient's ability to focus or to perform mental tasks.
Dr. Montoya's goal is to have a CFS/ME center where patients can recover, away from the stresses of life. “Our dream is to eradicate CFS from the surface of the earth,” he states. He believes that dream is within our reach.
Stanford Chronic Fatigue Initiative