Understanding NID

The new term neuro-immune disease (NID) refers to a group of illnesses that are the result of acquired dysregulation of both the immune system and the nervous system, often resulting in lifelong disease and disability. Symptoms may include mild to severe cognitive impairment; disordered sleep; severe headache; swollen lymph nodes; sore throat; malaise; postural orthostatic tachycardia; painful nerves, joints and or muscles; abdominal pain; nausea; and unusual fatigue. These diseases most often follow an infectious or flu-like illness that does not fully resolve after standard treatment or over a typical course of time. Challenges to the immune system, such as new or reactivated infections, major life stresses or exposure to toxins, can trigger a severe relapse or worsening of existing symptoms. Recent published evidence associates human gamma retroviral infections with those who suffer from ME and CFS.

Neuro-immune diseases such as myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, are acquired disorders that impact the body and the brain. They are on the rise and can last a lifetime. These diseases impact tens of millions of people around the world, yet those who suffer have no FDA-approved treatments for underlying causes of the diseases or methods to prevent others from becoming ill. Neuro-immune diseases such as those listed below deserve significantly higher research priority to identify and develop biomarkers of disease and more effective treatments for those who suffer.

  • 1 in 300 suffers from ME and CFS
  • 1 in 150 suffers from fibromyalgia
  • 1 in 110 children has autism spectrum disorder
  • Lyme disease is a fast growing epidemic in the U.S. (Many sufferers go on to develop a chronic illness identical to ME and CFS.)
  • 225,000 service men of the 600,000 from the 1991 gulf war have a multisymptom illness similar to ME and CFS called Gulf War illness (GWI).

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