Neurotoxin discovered in cfs

Needham, MA November 17, 2002 -- Research sponsored by the National CFIDS Foundation was formally announced at the International Symposium on Toxins and Natural Products in Okinawa, Japan on November 17-19, 2002 by Dr. Yoshitsugi Hokama. The research, for the first time, discovered ciguatoxin, a potent neurotoxin, in the blood of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients.

"Chronic ciguatera poisoning has already been suggested as a scientific model for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)," stated Dr. Hokama. Ciguatoxins are potent, heat stabile, non-protein, lipophilic sodium channel activator toxins and are recognized as some of the most potent biological toxins known. They produce dramatic neurological manifestations, such as peripheral sensory or motor symptoms (including paresthesias, pain, burning, tingling, numbness), central symptoms such as headache, autonomic dysfunction and also affect multiple body systems (gastrointestinal, immune, hepatic, cardiovascular) and the muscles.

Many CFS patients in the study had higher levels of the toxin than the patients with cancer, hepatitis or acute ciguatera poisoning.

Quantitative assay results range from 1:5, the lowest toxin level, to 1:160, the highest toxin level. All CFS samples gave titres of at least 1:20, with the majority of titres from 1:40 to 1:160.

Dr. Hokama presented his preliminary findings in a lecture titled "Acute phase lipids in sera of various diseases: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ciguatera, hepatitis, and various cancer with antigentic Epitope resembling ciguatoxin as determined with Mab-CTX."

Dr. Hokama is a Professor in the Department of Pathology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a world expert in the area of fish toxins with hundreds of peer reviewed publications to his credit. Hokama developed the Membrane Immunobead Assay test for patient sera, using a specific monoclonal antibody for ciguatera toxin (Mab-CTX). His current research into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a ciguatera toxin connection was funded by the National CFIDS Foundation's research grant program.

Gail Kansky, President of the National CFIDS Foundation, said, "We believe this to be a significant breakthrough. CFS, which has come to include myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a very severe illness that has not received adequate funding or appropriate medical attention. Although there are still many unanswered questions and much work to be done, research efforts will ultimately turn the tide in the understanding of this disease and allow patients to receive appropriate medical therapies. We are indebted to Dr. Hokama and his colleagues

For more information on this study or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, please contact: The National CFIDS Foundation 103 Aletha Road Needham, MA 02492; phone: 781-449-3535; fax: 781-449-8606



Foundation was formally announced at the International  Symposium on Toxins and Natural Products in Okinawa, Japan  on November 17-19, 2002 by Dr. Yoshitsugi Hokama. The
research, for the first time, discovered ciguatoxin, a potent neurotoxin, in the blood of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients.

 For all articles about this neurotoxin, see the following addresses:

 Updated protocol for ciguatera testing
The following is an updated protocol from the researchers due to  several sample submissions that were not usable:

 Notice: As of January 15, 2003, there will be a charge of  $100.00 USD for each CFS sample.

 Blood sample:

 1) Draw 5 ml. in a Tiger Top or Plain Red tube.
 2) Spin blood, remove serum from tubes and place in a new,
 clean tube. (At least 2 ml. of serum is required for testing
 3) Fully seal tube and label with the patient's name, contact
 information and date. Keep serum cold (do not freeze). See
 shipping requirements below.


 1) Tube should be placed in a sturdy container (Styrofoam,
 sturdy box) and packaged to PREVENT BREAKAGE. Pack
 with packing foam, bubble wrap, or any type of packing
 material. Seal package, place in shipping box.

 2) Label package including physician's name, address,
 phone/fax numbers, e-mail address (if available), along with the
 patient's name, age, sex, and mailing address.

3) Ship overnight priority via Fed Ex to:


 Dr. Yoshitsugi Hokama
 Department of Pathology
 University of Hawaii at Manoa
 Biomedical Science
 Room D-105
 1960 East-West Road
 Honolulu, HI 96822

 4) Shipping and packing charges to be paid for by patient.

 5) Your physician will be contacted regarding the test results.

 For better health,

 Gail Kansky
> 103 Aletha Rd.
Needham, MA 02402-3931