The hypothesis proposed is that functional disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome and anorexia nervosa are caused by auto-antibodies to neuronal proteins induced by molecular mimicry with microbial antigens. The age incidence of these conditions, the marked female excess, increase with economic and technological advance, precipitation by infection, and the paucity of histological changes are all consistent with the hypothesis. It can be tested directly using human sera to search for cross reaction with brain proteins in model systems such as Drosophila melanogaster. The conditions might be amenable to treatment using pooled immunoglobulin. Identification and elimination from the microbial flora of the bacteria that express the cross reacting antigens should be possible.
Functional disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) [, , , ], chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) [, , ], and anorexia nervosa (AN) [, , ] are a major cause of morbidity. They constitute a considerable proportion of the workload of the average general practitioner but the pathogenesis remains a mystery. Unlike most diseases that inflict mankind there are no consistent microscopic changes in body tissues to give a clue to their cause. These functional disorders, however, do have a number of features in common:
They are much more common in women than in men.
The onset of the disorder is most likely to occur in the middle years. The age incidence rises to a peak in the second, third or fourth decades, depending on the specific condition. The incidence then declines and onset in old age is uncommon.
There is some evidence that they are becoming more common with technological, social and economic progress in society.
There are suggestions that infection can precipitate and exacerbate the conditions but the links remain somewhat tenuous.
Diagnostic histological changes in tissues are absent.
Psychological factors might be important, but are unconvincing as the primary or major cause.
The hypothesis explored in this article is that these features can be explained by molecular mimicry between our microbial flora and neuronal proteins of the hypothalamus and gut; leading to auto-antibodies which affect mood and motivation.
To read the full text follow the link: http://www.medical-h...0465-X/fulltext
Attached the full text.