Fred Friedberg, PhD, was quoted in a recent article in the New York Times about a controversy surrounding a 2009 article in Science suggesting that a mouse retrovirus may cause chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Dr. Friedberg, who is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, is the president of the International Association for CFS/ME.
The controversy erupted after the article was retracted by the publisher when the results could not be replicated. The lead scientist, Dr. Judy Mikovits, was later charged with stealing materials related to the research. “I’m stunned that it’s come to this point,” Dr. Friedberg was quoted as saying, “This is a really sad unraveling of something that was perhaps going to generate a whole new direction in this illness.”
People with CFS experience an abnormal type of fatigue that impairs their ability to work or carry out routine activities. While medications may help with some symptoms, they do not get at the root causes of the syndrome. Dr. Friedberg recently received a two-year grant of $645,000 from the National Institute of Nursing Research to study the efficacy of a home-based self-management program for the treatment of CFS.