Saturday, April 6, 2013

Dr. Derek Enlander, NYC

Dr. Derek Enlander has treated ME/CFS patients in New York City for many years. He is a terrific hands-on clinician, who is highly respected and beloved by many of his patients. Dr. Enlander is known for his empathy, and for a willingness to try different treatments on this illness.

Today we are fortunate to be able to read an interview with Dr. Enlander on Phoenix Rising, an interview which gives the reader a good look into Dr. Enlander's treatment and research concerns. The interview, conducted by an editor named Joel, does a thorough job of asking the right questions of this sympathetic and gifted physician. Phoenix Rising has profiled various clinicians or clinician/researchers in the past, but never, to my knowledge, have they interviewed or profiled Dr. Enlander. This interview is especially welcome and perhaps reflects a change in direction.

As a ME/CFS physician, Dr. Enlander is unique.  He is one of a few ME/CFS physicians in America, perhaps the only one, who is associated with a major medical school and hospital - Mt. Sinai in NYC. (The only other such case of which I am aware was Dr. Philip Peterson's clinical and research center at Hennepin County Hospital in Minneapolis years ago). About a year ago, Dr. Enlander formed the Mt. Sinai ME/CFS Center, which fuses the work of various researchers - Eric Schadt, Miriam Merad and Ila Singh. This Center was funded by a generous gift of a patient of Dr. Enlander's, a patient who, I believe, wants to remain anonymous. This generous gift could not have been better placed, and upcoming, tangible results will encourage further gifts, both from this donor and others. The ME/CFS Center at Mt. Sinai is currently conducting a Post Exertional Malaise trial, due to be completed this year. The ME/CFS Center at Mt. Sinai has made it clear that they are interested in collaborating with other institutions in the pursuit of concrete research into this illness.

Dr. Enlander's belief in the seriousness of this illness and its devastation on patients is grounded in an understanding of Dr. Melvyn Ramsey's definition of ME, formulated so many years ago. Being of Irish descent, Dr. Enlander has embraced patients and advocates in Ireland and the UK. He has worked with conferences and patients in Ireland and the UK, trying to extend his treatment and research ideas and to help a thoroughly abandoned patient population.

The Chronic Fatigue Initiative (CFI) is currently conducting important work into the role of pathogens in Neuroimmune illnesses. Five patient cohorts from selected physicians in America are supplying the samples. An article by Cort Johnson, highlighting the positive activity of one of the CFI collaborators, Simmaron Research, can be found here.

Interestingly enough, however,  Dr Enlander was not among those clinicians selected for the Lipkin CFI study. This seems "an unfortunate oversight" as Dr. Enlander has ME patients from all over the world - and his office is a few miles from Dr. Ian Lipkin's Columbia lab. Not utilizing Dr. Enlander's clinical experience and not using the assets that he has assembled at Mt. Sinai seems like "a bit of a mistake".

Meanwhile, we have this interview to consider, and we applaud the efforts of this fine physician.


  1. At least there is ONE thing that virtually all ME and CFS researchers are in full agreement on.

    That the unusual circumstances of the phenomenon that caused Dr Peterson to call the CDC for help back in 1985 shall NEVER be investigated.

    Even Dr Cheney and Dr Peterson agree that this evidence should not be looked into.

    It's kind of bizarre way to research something. By making certain to avoid doing so... but then, is there anything about this entire CFS debacle that has been anything less than pure insanity?

  2. As Royal Free survivor Rosemary Hewett says, it wasn't a matter of any great stress or anything like that.

    "It was a virus that hit us"

    But it must have been a particularly powerful one, for she was certainly exposed to many viruses before.

    So it is a bit curious, if it was such a powerful virus, that it was the medical staff who were so badly afflicted.
    While the patients in the hospital who were presumably the ones at highest risk, seemed almost immune.

  3. I have proof that all the "CFS pioneers" have a growing awareness that the phenomenon I described at the inception of the 1988 "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" is supported by an ever increasing body of overwhelming evidence.

    It serves no useful purpose to ignore this aspect of the creation of the syndrome.

    Their efforts to do so grow increasingly obvious.

  4. I, too, am glad to see both Dr. Enlander (who is not what we call of Irish descent, but himself born in Belfast) and the Mt. Sinai initiative get some public attention. thank you for writing about it.

    Not sure where Erik gets his information, but Dr. Peterson has samples going back to the epidemic and uses them in his work, most recently a publication with Don Staines of Australia on natural killer cell dysfunction as a useful biomarker of both the presence and severity of the illness. He just recently presented a paper on Vistide (IV cidofovir) as a useful treatment for the herpesvirus infections he has found in many of his sickest patients - EBV, HHB-6, and/or CMV.

  5. Mary. Are you kidding?
    You know who I am.

    I have hundreds of emails saved from our correspondence.
    You very well know that I am part of the original CFS cohort, and my samples are in
    Dr Peterson's freezer.

    What About ME Documentary Trailer.

    I also have your query about how much it might mean to be reactive to that strange "dust" from mold colonies, how you react in moldy buildings, and how much this "mold" problem might be relevant to your condition.

    As a prototype for CFS, I had the right, even the DUTY to ask for research into the evidence.

    "CFS researchers" had no right to refuse.