Criminal Charges Dropped Against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Researcher Judy Mikovits

15 Jun

Science Insider has been reporting on the research and, well, drama surrounding the idea that XMRV (Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) and its proposed link to chronic fatigue syndrome.

XMRV has also been proposed as being linked to autism.

This research came out of the Whitemore Peterson Institute (WPI) and former WPI research Judy Mikovits.

There has been a lot of controversy over the research (for example, Science retracting one paper) as well as Ms. Mikovits. Judy Mikovits was let go from WPI and later charged with having materials removed from the institute. Charges around that have been dropped , but a civil case is still active.

Last November, the district attorney in Washoe County, Nevada, filed a criminal complaint against Mikovits that charged the virologist with illegally taking computer data and related property from her former employer, the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI) in Reno, Nevada. In a separate civil court that month, WPI filed suit against Mikovits over her alleged possession of similar material, which included the laboratory notebooks she compiled while doing the CFS research.

On 11 June, the district attorney’s office for Washoe County filed a petition to dismiss the criminal charges against Mikovits without prejudice (which means they can file a related complaint in the future), a clerk to the Justice Court of Reno told ScienceInsider.

Ms. Mikovits joined the team of Ian Lipkin who is part of the multi-site team investigating the proposed XMRV/CFS link:

Mikovits told ScienceInsider that the only work she has been able to find has been collaborating on a large study funded by the National Institutes of Health that should be the final word on the otherwise dismissed theory that CFS is linked to a mouse retrovirus, XMRV, or its relatives. “Everyone who wanted to work with me was deterred by the threat of litigation,” Mikovits wrote in an e-mail.

The results of the large study, led by Ian Lipkin of Columbia University, are expected to be revealed in the next few weeks.

The proposed XMRV/autism link was made public before any scientific results were made available. However, two papers have been published since that news broke pointing away from an XMRV/autism link

Lack of infection with XMRV or other MLV-related viruses in blood, post-mortem brains and paternal gametes of autistic individuals.


PCR and serology find no association between xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) and autism.

11 Responses to “Criminal Charges Dropped Against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Researcher Judy Mikovits”

  1. Neuroskeptic June 15, 2012 at 09:40 #

    The plot thickens. Hope the Lipkin study comes out soon so we can all put this unfortunate episode behind us.

    • Kij June 17, 2012 at 01:55 #

      LOL you are funny. I can actually hear you shouting STOP THE RESEARCH PLEASE!!!!!

      Well no patient is going to believe a Government study after the non-replication attempt by all negative studies and 3 positive studies, plus the 2 from 1989. None of which found XMRV, but did find gamma retroviruses.

      The blood study has already been shown to be compromised by failing to use properly screened controls. Having not 1 PCR assay clinically validated and clearly finding positives with the serology assay.

      • Sullivan June 19, 2012 at 01:33 #

        “LOL you are funny. I can actually hear you shouting STOP THE RESEARCH PLEASE!!!!!”

        Funny, I didn’t even think that, much less say or shout it. It is much easier to fight a straw man than to engage in a real discussion.

      • Gedrene June 19, 2012 at 19:39 #

        Excellent work Sully

    • Kij June 17, 2012 at 01:57 #

      “The proposed XMRV/autism link was made public before any scientific results were made available.”

      It was made a conference. Nothing wrong with that. Almost every other researcher so far published was there and did the same with their results.

    • Kij June 17, 2012 at 01:58 #

      Government study. Come on get real. 25 years too late and they haven’t tried to replicate the proven methods in the last 3 years! Including 3 positive studies that found MRVs, not XMRV, and 2 positive studies from 1989.

      • Sullivan June 17, 2012 at 04:43 #

        Ah. I see we are already preparing to dismiss the results if they don’t go your way.

        Gotta say, we saw this with another Lipkin headed multi site study. The Hornig MMR/autism study.

        There are people who are so incapable of accepting the results of that study that they try to twist the results to say it somehow supports Andrew Wakefield (whose results and hypothesis the Hornig study definitively disproved).

  2. RAJ June 18, 2012 at 21:49 #


    What happened to the links to other blogs? It’s the main reason I visit your site. Will you be correcting this or should I just delete your site from from my favorite places?.

    • Sullivan June 19, 2012 at 01:35 #


      do whatever suits you.

      • Lawrence June 19, 2012 at 10:51 #

        @Raj – bookmarks are a good thing……learn to use them.


  1. XMRV研究者、告訴取り下げ | 5 STRINGS - 慢性疲労症候群(ME/CFS) - June 16, 2012

    […] Left Brain Right Brain ‘Criminal Charges Dropped Against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Researcher Judy Mikovits‘ […]

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