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.