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A Critical Assessment of a
New Regimen for Treatment
Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Based on 162 patients

Discussion of overseas patients

A new set of 41 patients who had been treated long-distance by Dr Petrovic in four different overseas countries were analysed.

In order to be completely objective, only those patients were taken into reckoning who completed the treatment. These were compared with the results obtained from South African patients. This restriction excluded a number of patients who interrupted the treatment after a short time. The restriction did not adversely affect the outcome of the statistical analysis since some of these patients had recovered before finishing the regimen and their exclusion could only decrease the numbers of recovered patients which would have made the probabilities less conclusive.

This emphasizes the need for proper supervision of the patients to ensure that the treatment is followed to the letter.. If results are not seen in a few days many patients become discouraged and discontinue the treatment especially if the results are not what were expected. A patient is then inclined to overlook the considerable progress that has already taken place and only concentrate on the negative aspects. If there is an interleukin crisis, as often happens, he/she may be inclined to drop out. An outside observer who does not see the patient every day will be able better to see the improvements and could encourage the patient to continue.

In the three groups of overseas patients, there were 9 patients from USA and Canada, 18 patients from the United Kingdom, and 14 patients from Australia, who were compared with the 121 patients treated in South Africa.

These 41 patients had been diagnosed for CFIDS and treated for periods from one to thirty seven years by conventional methods without a single one being cured. This means that these patients were all the hard cases which conventional treatments had failed to improve. This reflects very favourably on the new treatment.

In the overseas groups of patients the gender distribution was about even except in the USA/Canada group : However in the South African group there were many more women -

Group Composition

USA./ Canada 3 men 6 women
United Kingdom 10 men, 8 women
Australia 6 men 8 women
South African 43 men and 77 women

The overall ages for all groups ranged from 5 years to 63 years. With an average of 35.6 years

There was no significant difference in the age distribution of the three groups from overseas, nor did they differ from the South African group.

Regarding the length of time which the patients had suffered from CFIDS there was also no significant difference in the four overseas countries, (average : 6.4 years with a range of one to 37 years) , nor in their rate of recovery (average recovery time : 23.4 days) . The details are shown in the tables.

Results for overseas patients

Combining the results from all these overseas countries showed that 72% of patients recovered before 30 days on the programme, and 87% recovered before 40 days. Overall there were several patients (10.25%) who claimed they were not happy although the symptoms of CFIDS had disappeared.. This emphasizes the fact that if the diagnosis of the disease is based solely on symptoms described by the patient, it becomes rather subjective. An outside observer could see signs that indicate an improvement in the condition while the patient has forgotten how he/she previously felt. Especially with patients with intercurrent conditions which are not directly connected with the CFIDS, there is a tendency to ascribe the feelings of unease to CFIDS even though the symptoms of the disease have gone.. This seems to apply especially to patients with chronic sinusitis where the discomfort caused by this condition is confused with fatigue. Three of the group from the UK were not happy although they no longer had the required symptoms of CFIDS but were still tired. The lack of energy in one case was probably due to the imbalance of the thyroxin supplementation, which was being administered since the removal of his thyroid gland some years before. It is therefore felt that an objective test for the condition would give more accurate statistical information than has been obtained so far and that the recovery on the regimen could approach close to 100%. The residual discomfort could then be treated by experts in the particular field . It must be stressed however, that many unusual conditions such as liver disease, depression, Krohn’s disease (ulcerative colitis) and hypertension have responded to the regimen, albeit at a much slower rate (up to 12 months)

In the diagnosis of patients by Dr Petrovic 44 symptoms are included. After the treatment certain of these are still claimed by some patients. This leaves some doubt. However, the South African medical and Dental Council has only 9 required symptoms for a positive diagnosis of CFS. In the absence of an objective laboratory test (see below) it is felt that much uncertainty could be eliminated if only these 9 symptoms were taken into account after the treatment in order to determine whether the patient was still suffering from CFS. If all 9 symptoms are not present the feelings of unease in the patient would need to be ascribed to another cause and the patient treated accordingly.

A supervising doctor in Canada who has used this treatment on his patients recommends that all patients who are in a condition of 20-30 on the Cheney Scale should continue the treatment for at least a year.

Results of comparison of Overseas groups with South African groups

Comparison of these overseas groups of patients with those from South Africa, gave a surprising result. Although there was no difference in the recovery rate of the three groups amongst themselves, they did differ from South African patients.

Since there was no significant difference between the three groups from overseas, they were combined., giving a total of 41 and these were compared with the 121 South African patients.

There was a decided difference between length of time elapsed since the patients developed CFIDS ;- Overseas - 13.1 years and South Africa - 5 years (P< 0.00005)

The recovery rate also differed :- Overseas - 24.6 days and South Africa - 16 days P< 0.00005 {USA - 18.1days (not sig.) UK - 29.5 days P<0.00005) Australia - 23.4 days (P < 0.00005)}

This meant that overseas patients had been ill for longer and the UK and Australian patients took slightly longer to recover. The reasons for this are not obvious, however the results are highly significant. A possible explanation could be the better supervision of compliance of the patients in South Africa and Canada compared to the UK and Australia since comparing recovery times in the USA./Canada group with South Africa the recovery rates were not significantly different, while the other two groups were very significantly different from South Africa.

An unpaired t-test on the data showed that the difference in recovery rate on conventional treatments on these patients compared to the new Petrovic treatment was highly significant. Giving a probability of the following statement being wrong of P<4 X10 -12., in other words 4 chances in a million- million. On aggregate from the results so far, it can be said with certainty , that a cure for CFIDS is available, and has already been used to cure over 150 patients from all over the world.

An objective test, before and after treatment, such as the urinary markers found by the Australian group at Newcastle would greatly enhance the value and credibility of the results. It could also help to refine the treatment( if this is possible) in order to obtain a cheaper solution and to differentiate the treatments for different types of CFIDS.

The value of the urinary markers is enhanced by the observation that, of the Australian patients, 4 were tested after the treatment and found to have no CFIDS markers. This requires further study, since one of these patients had shown positive markers before the treatment indicating that the markers are probably of value to diagnose CFIDS, and could be of great help in the treatment of the disorder, to determine whether the patient had actually recovered, even if he/she still complained of feeling unwell but showed only one or two CFIDS symptoms.

Report on patients from Overseas

Ref number & Age yr. at start of treatment Other medical conditions How long had CFS Time for marked Improvement Time since end of treatment Present status
USA & CANADA
1 - 54   4 yrs 1 mo 2yrs healthy
2 - 48 mercury poisoning 5 yrs 15 days 3 mo very healthy
3 - 56 anxiety insomnia 17 yrs 15 days 6 mo healthy
4 - 41   4 yrs 7 days 18 mo very happy
5 - 16 asthma 2 yrs 13 days 10 mo. very happy
6 - 29 dust allergy 3 yrs     not recovered
7 - 60 hormonal defic. 37 yrs 21 days 18 mo very happy
8 - 38 allergies 3 yrs 30 days 13 mo very satisfied
9 - 40 hormonal problems 7 yrs 14 days 4 mo happy
UNITED KINGDOM
10 45   5yrs 15days   not happy
11 24   10yrs 21days   not happy, healthy
12 28   2 yrs 18 days 19 mo healthy
13 23   6 yrs 14 days 8 mo excellent
14 35 irritable bowel syndrome 4 yrs 14 days 18 mo cautiously happy
15 20   4 yrs 90 days 11 mo excellent
16 74 vascular, kidneys 5 yrs 60 days 5 mo happy
17 35   8 yrs 14 days 12 mo excellent
18 26 chronic sinusitis 2.5 yrs 30 days 5 mo partly recov.
19 33 depression 3 yrs 17 days 2 mo excellent
20 27 Thyroid deficiency 5 yrs     partial
21 32 malaria, hepatitis 1yr 17 days 2 mo slowly improving
22 37 Brucellosis 7 yrs 60 days 16 mo happy
23 20   8.5 yrs 21 days 15 mo very happy
24 52   6 yrs 30 days 24 mo happy
25 24   3 yrs 14 days 19 mo very happy
26 51   29 yrs 14 days 7 mo fully recovered
27 34 can't tolerate gluten, allergies 17 yrs     not recov .improvements not sustained
AUSTRALIA
28 42 chron. midear infect. 4 yrs   12 mo happy
29 21   5 yrs   17 days still tired not happy
30 48 very negative 10 yrs     not a single improvement not happy
31 47 4yrs 18 days   22 mo happy
32 41 glandular fever 1989 3 yrs 14 days 12 mo very happy
33 43 hormonal problems depression 1 yr 30 days 11 mo partially cured
34 39 urinary infections 4 yrs 14 days 2 mo happy
35 41 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 7 yrs 14 days 15 mo partly happy IBS
36 57 intestinal disturbances 28 yrs 13 days 14 mo satisfied oscillates
37 52 IBS, vag. irritation glandular fever 4 yrs 30 days 13 mo still IBS, itchy vulva
38 9 Ross River Virus 2 yrs 60 days 13 mo parents very happy
39 26 Tick bite fev. dental cavitation 3 yrs 4 days 13 mo healthy, happy
40 41 atypic. skin burning sensations 7 yrs 17 days 15 mo happy, still improving
41 29 anxiety depression 7 yrs 48 days 8 mo fully recovered

Dr. T.A.Kilroe-Smith
Registered Medical Scientist
Registration Number 0006688
August 14, 1998

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