Daniel L. Peterson, MD, is a physician in Incline Village, Nevada specializing in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). He was at the epicenter of the 1984 Incline Village chronic fatigue syndrome outbreak and continues to be a leader in treatment and research about ME/CFS, serving on Simmaron Research’s Scientific Advisory Board and the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.
He helped establish the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI) which was renamed in 2016 to the Nevada Center for Biomedical Research. He left in 2010 to return to private practice at Sierra Internal Medicine, Incline Village, Nevada.
In 2003, he co-authored the Canadian Consensus Criteria for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, published as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols. Other authors include: Bruce Carruthers, Anil Kumar Jain, Kenny de Meirleir, Nancy Klimas, A Martin Lerner, Alison Bested, Pierre Flor-Henry, Pradip Joshi, A C Peter Powles, Jeffrey Sherkey, Marjorie van de Sande
Dr. Peterson was the first physician to use Ampligen, an immunomodulator made by Hemispherx Biopharma, in the treatment for ME/CFS, using it on Nancy Kaiser, a very severe patient. He has participated in every Ampligen trial since, up to the AMP-511, open label, cost-recovery trial available today.
Several documentaries about myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) have featured Dr. Peterson, including, I Remember Me and Forgotten Plague, and the news feature, Sick and Tired.
- 2003, Rudy Perpich Senior Lectureship Award, presented to a distinguished CFS/FM scientist, physician or healthcare worker awarded by IACFS/ME
- 2007, Nelson Gantz Outstanding Clinician Award awarded to a physician who emulates Nelson Gantz's clinical acumen, his passion for medicine, and his empathy for persons with CFS/FM awarded by IACFS/ME
- 2017, Fecal metagenomic profiles in subgroups of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (FULL TEXT)
Abstract - Background: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is characterized by unexplained persistent fatigue, commonly accompanied by cognitive dysfunction, sleeping disturbances, orthostatic intolerance, fever, lymphadenopathy, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The extent to which the gastrointestinal microbiome and peripheral inflammation are associated with ME/CFS remains unclear. We pursued rigorous clinical characterization, fecal bacterial metagenomics, and plasma immune molecule analyses in 50 ME/CFS patients and 50 healthy controls frequency-matched for age, sex, race/ethnicity, geographic site, and season of sampling. Results: Topological analysis revealed associations between IBS co-morbidity, body mass index, fecal bacterial composition, and bacterial metabolic pathways but not plasma immune molecules. IBS co-morbidity was the strongest driving factor in the separation of topological networks based on bacterial profiles and metabolic pathways. Predictive selection models based on bacterial profiles supported findings from topological analyses indicating that ME/CFS subgroups, defined by IBS status, could be distinguished from control subjects with high predictive accuracy. Bacterial taxa predictive of ME/CFS patients with IBS were distinct from taxa associated with ME/CFS patients without IBS. Increased abundance of unclassified Alistipes and decreased Faecalibacterium emerged as the top biomarkers of ME/CFS with IBS; while increased unclassified Bacteroides abundance and decreased Bacteroides vulgatus were the top biomarkers of ME/CFS without IBS. Despite findings of differences in bacterial taxa and metabolic pathways defining ME/CFS subgroups, decreased metabolic pathways associated with unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis and increased atrazine degradation pathways were independent of IBS co-morbidity. Increased vitamin B6 biosynthesis/salvage and pyrimidine ribonucleoside degradation were the top metabolic pathways in ME/CFS without IBS as well as in the total ME/CFS cohort. In ME/CFS subgroups, symptom severity measures including pain, fatigue, and reduced motivation were correlated with the abundance of distinct bacterial taxa and metabolic pathways. Conclusions: Independent of IBS, ME/CFS is associated with dysbiosis and distinct bacterial metabolic disturbances that may influence disease severity. However, our findings indicate that dysbiotic features that are uniquely ME/CFS-associated may be masked by disturbances arising from the high prevalence of IBS co-morbidity in ME/CFS. These insights may enable more accurate diagnosis and lead to insights that inform the development of specific therapeutic strategies in ME/CFS subgroups.
- 2017, Multi-Site Clinical Assessment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (MCAM): Design and Implementation of a Prospective/Retrospective Rolling Cohort Study
"Abstract - In the Multi-Site Clinical Assessment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (MCAM), we relied on expert clinician diagnoses to enroll patients from 7 specialty clinics in the United States in order to perform a systematic collection of data on measures of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Healthy persons and those with other illnesses that share some features with ME/CFS were enrolled in comparison groups. The major objectives were to: 1) use standardized questionnaires to measure illness domains of ME/CFS and to evaluate patient heterogeneity overall and between clinics; 2) describe the course of illness, identify the measures that best correlate with meaningful clinical differences, and assess the performances of questionnaires as patient/person-reported outcome measures; 3) describe prescribed medications, orders for laboratory and other tests, and management tools used by expert clinicians to care for persons with ME/CFS; 4) collect biospecimens for future hypothesis testing and for evaluation of morning cortisol profiles; and 5) identify measures that best distinguish persons with ME/CFS from those in the comparison groups and detect subgroups of persons with ME/CFS who may have different underlying causes. Enrollment began in 2012 and is planned to continue in multiple stages through 2017. We present the MCAM methods in detail, along with an initial description of the 471 patients with ME/CFS who were enrolled in stage 1."
- 2016, Cytokine network analysis of cerebrospinal fluid in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.
Abstract: "Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is an unexplained debilitating disorder that is frequently associated with cognitive and motor dysfunction. We analyzed cerebrospinal fluid from 32 cases, 40 subjects with multiple sclerosis and 19 normal subjects frequency-matched for age and sex using a 51-plex cytokine assay. Group-specific differences were found for the majority of analytes with an increase in cases of CCL11 (eotaxin), a chemokine involved in eosinophil recruitment. Network analysis revealed an inverse relationship between interleukin 1 receptor antagonist and colony-stimulating factor 1, colony-stimulating factor 2 and interleukin 17F, without effects on interleukin 1α or interleukin 1β, suggesting a disturbance in interleukin 1 signaling. Our results indicate a markedly disturbed immune signature in the cerebrospinal fluid of cases that is consistent with immune activation in the central nervous system, and a shift toward an allergic or T helper type-2 pattern associated with autoimmunity."
- 2015, Cytokines in the Cerebrospinal Fluids of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
- 2015, Findings from a clinical and laboratory database developed for discovery of pathogenic mechanisms in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Abstract
- 2015, Chronic fatigue syndrome and co-morbid and consequent conditions: evidence from a multi-site clinical epidemiology study. Abstract
- 2015, Distinct plasma immune signatures in ME/CFS are present early in the course of illness FULL TEXT
"Abstract: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is an unexplained incapacitating illness that may affect up to 4 million people in the United States alone. There are no validated laboratory tests for diagnosis or management despite global efforts to find biomarkers of disease. We considered the possibility that inability to identify such biomarkers reflected variations in diagnostic criteria and laboratory methods as well as the timing of sample collection during the course of the illness. Accordingly, we leveraged two large, multicenter cohort studies of ME/CFS to assess the relationship of immune signatures with diagnosis, illness duration, and other clinical variables. Controls were frequency-matched on key variables known to affect immune status, including season of sampling and geographic site, in addition to age and sex. We report here distinct alterations in plasma immune signatures early in the course of ME/CFS (n = 52) relative to healthy controls (n = 348) that are not present in subjects with longer duration of illness (n = 246). Analyses based on disease duration revealed that early ME/CFS cases had a prominent activation of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines as well as dissociation of intercytokine regulatory networks. We found a stronger correlation of cytokine alterations with illness duration than with measures of illness severity, suggesting that the immunopathology of ME/CFS is not static. These findings have critical implications for discovery of interventional strategies and early diagnosis of ME/CFS."
- 2012, A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, clinical trial of the TLR-3 agonist rintatolimod in severe cases of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Abstract: "A Phase III prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial comparing twice weekly IV rintatolimod versus placebo was conducted in 234 subjects with long-standing, debilitating CFS/ME at 12 sites. The primary endpoint was the intra-patient change from baseline at Week 40 in exercise tolerance (ET). Secondary endpoints included concomitant drug usage, the Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS), Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and Vitality Score (SF-36). Subjects receiving rintatolimod for 40 weeks improved intra-patient placebo-adjusted ET 21.3% (p = 0.047) from baseline in an intention-to-treat analysis. Correction for subjects with reduced dosing compliance increased placebo-adjusted ET improvement to 28% (p = 0.022). The improvement observed represents approximately twice the minimum considered medically significant by regulatory agencies. The rintatolimod cohort vs. placebo also reduced dependence on drugs commonly used by patients in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of CFS/ME (p = 0.048). Placebo subjects crossed-over to receive rintatolimod demonstrated an intra-patient improvement in ET performance at 24 weeks of 39% (p = 0.04). Rintatolimod at 400 mg twice weekly was generally well-tolerated.
- 2003, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols
"Abstract - Recent years have brought growing recognition of the need for clinical criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), which is also called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). An Expert Subcommittee of Health Canada established the Terms of Reference, and selected an Expert Medical Consensus Panel representing treating physicians, teaching faculty and researchers. A Consensus Workshop was held on March 30 to April 1, 2001 to culminate the review process and establish consensus for a clinical working case definition, diagnostic protocols and treatment protocols. We present a systematic clinical working case definition that encourages a diagnosis based on characteristic patterns of symptom clusters, which reflect specific areas of pathogenesis. Diagnostic and treatment protocols, and a short overview of research are given to facilitate a comprehensive and integrated approach to this illness. Throughout this paper, “myalgic encephalomyelitis” and “chronic fatigue syndrome” are used interchangeably and this illness is referred to as “ME/CFS.”
- 2001, Neuromyasthenia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in Northern Nevada/California: A Ten-Year Follow-Up of an [[1984 Incline Village chronic fatigue syndrome outbreak|Outbreak
"Abstract - In 1984-87, an outbreak of debilitating fatigue was reported by two physicians in the private practice of internal medicine in Incline Village, Nevada. Follow-up questionnaires were sent in 1995 to the 259 patients in this outbreak. The results were analyzed to determine how many patients met the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Idiopathic Chronic Fatigue (ICF), or Prolonged Fatigue (PF). Data were analyzed separately for those living in the Lake Tahoe area and those referred from other locales. Of those returning questionnaires (123/259), 41% met the CDC case definition for CFS, 56% met the criteria for inclusion in the subgroup ICF, and 3% experienced PF. In the population-based Lake Tahoe group, symptomatic women were more likely to have CFS than ICF whereas symptomatic men were likely to fit ICF criteria. Also in this group, full recovery was reported more often among Lake Tahoe participants classified as having ICF (43%) than participants classified as having CFS (15%)."
- 1997, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Disability
- 1995, Long Term Improvements in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated with Ampligen
ABSTRACT: "Fifteen patients who fit the CDC definition of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and had evidence of severe reduction in performance levels by low Karnofsky performance scores (KPS) of 20-60 were treated with Ampligen. At baseline most patients showed evidence of cerebral dysfunction by neuropsychological testing, were antigen positive by cell culture assay for human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6), and displayed reduced performance during exercise tolerance testing, as measured by oxygen consumption. These patients represented a subset of CFS patients with especially severe and sustained symptomatology. Following 1248 weeks of Ampligen therapy, sustained improvements were noted in KPS (p < 0.01). Cognitive function improved including IQ and memory. Oxygen uptake and treadmill duration during exercise tolerance testing was also improved after 24 weeks of treatment (p < 0.01). Reduction in HHV-6 expression as measured by the giant cell assay was significant (p < 0.001). Patients continued to show significant improvement late in therapy, taking 8 to 12 weeks as baseline. It was concluded that while receiving Ampligen, the severely afflicted patients studied here derived long-lasting clinical benefit from the Ampligen therapy."
- 1992, A chronic illness characterized by fatigue, neurologic and immunologic disorders, and active human herpesvirus type 6 infection
Talks & interviews
Invest in ME International ME Conference
- 2013, Speaker at the 8th Invest in ME International ME Conference on Key Note Speech: The Mainstreaming of ME Research DVD available
- 2012, Speaker at the 7th Invest in ME International ME Conference on Clinical Research Update 2012 DVD available
- 2009, Speaker at the 4th Invest in ME International ME Conference on Treatment Regimes for the Most Severe Cases DVD available
- 2007, Speaker at the 2nd Invest in ME International ME Conference on Biomedical Research DVD available
- 2015, 2015 De osynliga -Seminarium om ME/CFS, Sweden 19 October
- 2012, Phoenix Rising - Dr Daniel Peterson (July 12)
- 2011, Dr. med. Dan Peterson (Simmaron Research) - Diagnose und Behandlung von ME/CFS, Teil 2
- 2011, Dr. med. Dan Peterson (Simmaron Research) - Diagnose und Behandlung von ME/CFS, Teil 1
- 2000 Documentary, I Remember Me, directed by Kim A. Snyder
- 1996, Primetime Live TV Show - Sick and Tired
- Dr. Dan Peterson (Sierra Internal Medicine, Incline Village, Nevada) - Health Rising
- Daniel Peterson - WIKI
- Carruthers, Bruce M.; Jain, Anil Kumar; De Meirleir, Kenny L.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Klimas, Nancy G.; Lerner, A. Martin; Bested, Alison C.; Flor-Henry, Pierre; Joshi, Pradip; Powles, A C Peter; Sherkey, Jeffrey A.; van de Sande, Marjorie I. (2003), "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols", Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 11 (2): 7-115, doi:10.1300/J092v11n01_02
- Nagy-Szakal, Dorottya; Williams, Brent L.; Mishra, Nischay; Che, Xiaoyu; Lee, Bohyun; Bateman, Lucinda; Klimas, Nancy G.; Komaroff, Anthony L.; Levine, Susan; Montoya, Jose G.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Ramanan, Devi; Jain, Komal; Eddy, Meredith L.; Hornig, Mady; Lipkin, W. Ian (2017), "Fecal metagenomic profiles in subgroups of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome", Microbiome, 5 (44), doi:10.1186/s40168-017-0261-y
- Unger, Elizabeth R.; Lin, Jin-Mann S.; Tian, Hao; Natelson, Benjamin H; Lange, Gudrun; Vu, Diana; Blate, Michelle; Klimas, Nancy G.; Balbin, Elizabeth G.; Bateman, Lucinda; Allen, Ali; Lapp, Charles W.; Springs, Wendy; Kogelnik, Andreas M.; Phan, Catrina C.; Danver, Joan; Podell, Richard N.; Fitzpatrick, Trisha; Peterson, Daniel L.; Gottschalk, C. Gunnar; Rajeevan, Mangalathu S.; MCAM Study Group (2017), "Multi-Site Clinical Assessment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (MCAM): Design and Implementation of a Prospective/Retrospective Rolling Cohort Study.", American Journal of Epidemiology, 1–10, doi:10.1093/aje/kwx029
- Hornig, M; Gottschalk, G; Peterson, D; Knox, KK; Schultz, AF; Eddy, ML; Che, X; Lipkin, WI (2016), "Cytokine network analysis of cerebrospinal fluid in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.", Molecular Psychiatry, 21 (2): 261-9, doi:10.1038/mp.2015.29
- Peterson, D; Brenu, EW; Gottschalk, G; Ramos, Sandra B; Nguyen, T; Staines, D; Marshall-Gradisnik, S (2015), "Cytokines in the Cerebrospinal Fluids of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis", Mediators of Inflammation, 2015, doi:10.1155/2015/929720
- Klimas, N.G.; Ironson, G.; Carter, A.; Balbin, E.; Bateman, L.; Felsenstein, D.; Levine, S.; Peterson, D.; Chiu, K.; Allen, A.; Cunningham, K.; Gottschalk, C.G.; Fletcher, M; Hornig, M.; Canning, C.; Komaroff, A.L. (2015), "Findings from a clinical and laboratory database developed for discovery of pathogenic mechanisms in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome", Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior, 3 (2): 75-96, doi:10.1080/21641846.2015.1023652
- Bateman, L.; Darakjy, S.; Klimas, N.; Peterson, D.; Levine, S.M.; Allen, A.; Carlson, S.A.; Balbin, E.G.; Gottschalk, G.; March, D. (2015), "Chronic fatigue syndrome and co-morbid and consequent conditions: evidence from a multi-site clinical epidemiology study", Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior, 3 (1): 1-15, doi:10.1080/21641846.2014.978109
- Hornig, M; Montoya, JG; Klimas, NG; Levine, SM; Felsenstein, D; Bateman, L; Peterson, DL; Gottschalk, CG; Schultz, AF; Che, X; Eddy, ML; Komaroff, AL; Lipkin, WI (2015), "Distinct plasma immune signatures in ME/CFS are present early in the course of illness", Science Advances, 1 (1), doi:10.1126/sciadv.1400121
- Strayer, DR; Carter, WA; Stouch, BC; Stevens, SR; Bateman, L; Cimoch, PJ; Lapp, CW; Peterson, DL; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome AMP-516 Study Group; Mitchell, WM (2012), "A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, clinical trial of the TLR-3 agonist rintatolimod in severe cases of chronic fatigue syndrome.", PLoS One, 7 (3): e31334, PMID 22431963, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031334
- Paula S. Strickland, Paul H. Levine, Daniel L. Peterson, Karen O'Brien & Thomas Fears. (2001). Neuromyasthenia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in Northern Nevada/California: A Ten-Year Follow-Up of an Outbreak. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Vol. 9, Iss. 1-2, pp. 3-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J092v09n03_02
- Daniel L. Peterson. (1997). Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Disability. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Vol. 3, Iss. 4, pp 5-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J092v03n04_02
- Strayer, DR; Carter, W; Strauss, KI; Brodsky, I; Suhadolnik, R; Ablashi, D; Henry, B; Mitchell, WM; Bastien, S; Peterson, D (1995), "Long Term Improvements in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated with Ampligen", Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 1 (1): 35-53, doi:10.1300/J092v01n01_04
- Buchwald, Dedra; Cheney, Paul R.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Henry, Berch; Wormsley, Susan B.; Geiger, Ann; Ablashi, Dharam V.; Salahuddin, S. Zaki; Saxinger, Carl; Biddle, Royce; Kikinis, Ron; Jolesz, Ferenc A.; Folks, Thomas; Balachandran, N.; Peter, James B.; Gallo, Robert C.; Komaroff, Anthony L. (1992), "A chronic illness characterized by fatigue, neurologic and immunologic disorders, and active human herpesvirus type 6 infection", Annals of Internal Medicine, 116 (2): 103-113, PMID 1309285