Research Highlights

Updated: Nov 19, 2018



ME Research Highlights

Stanford Community Symposium

The Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) sponsored a Community Symposium on the Molecular Basis of ME/CFS at Stanford on Saturday, 12 August. Along with those who attended in person, 1500 people from around the world watched the Livestream. World-renowned geneticist Ron Davis, PhD, has brought together some of the world’s top researchers, including the Nobel laureate Mario Capecchi, to take a look at ME from as many angles as possible, in order to crack the code of the disease and find a cure. It’s incredible how much quality research has been done on a shoestring. How lucky we are to have Ron Davis on our team.

Speakers included: Robert Naviaux: The metabolism of the cell danger response, healing, and ME/CFS; Chris Armstrong: ME, metabolism and I; Jonas Bergquist: In search of biomarkers revealing pathophysiology in a Swedish ME/CFS patient cohort; Maureen Hanson: Probing metabolism in ME/CFS; Neil McGregor: Genome-wide analysis & metabolome changes in ME/CFS; Alan Light: Gene variants, mitochondria & autoimmunity in ME/CFS; Baldomero Olivera: A novel source of drugs: the biodiversity of oceans; Mario Capecchi: The role of microglia in neuropsychiatric disorders; Mark Davis: Is CFS/ME an autoimmune disease?; Alain Moreau: New research strategies for decoding ME/CFS to improve diagnosis and treatment; Wenzhong Xiao: Big data analysis of patient studies of ME/CFS; and Ron Davis: Establishing new mechanistic and diagnostic paradigms for ME/CFS.

Links to the event handouts, recorded livestream and DVD ordering can be found here.

Here is a post on Phoenix Rising which gives clickable links to each talk in the YouTube video so that you can go directly to the part that interests you: Clickable links to each part of the OMF Community Symposium stream.

Researchers identify biomarkers associated with chronic fatigue syndrome severity

From Stanford Medicine News Centre, 31 July 2017: Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have linked chronic fatigue syndrome to variations in 17 immune-system signaling proteins, or cytokines, whose concentrations in the blood correlate with the disease’s severity.

The findings provide evidence that inflammation is a powerful driver of this mysterious condition, whose underpinnings have eluded researchers for 35 years. Full story here.

The story has been widely picked up by the media: Science, NPR, Globe and Mail

Mark Davis finds the strongest evidence yet for ME/CFS immune activation and hunts for the trigger

"This is one of the most significant findings since the results from the first rituximab trial. Using a completely new, cutting-edge approach Stanford’s Professor Mark M Davis has produced the most dramatic evidence yet of immune activation in ME/CFS. At the recent OMF Stanford Symposium, he showed unpublished evidence that the immune activation in ME/CFS, in the form of activated T cells, is on a par with that seen in cancer, MS and infection. That's a much bigger effect than has been seen in ME/CFS cytokine studies where the changes are altogether more subtle." Read more.

Exercise Tests Suggest Autoimmunity Causes the Exertion Problems in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and POTS

Thanks to Cort Johnson for his article on Dr. David Systrom's encouraging study, which points to possible treatment.

"The Gist: Systrom has built an extensive database of exercise results in ME/CFS/FM and POTS using invasive cardiopulmonary exercise tests Systrom’s studies indicate two main problems are present. Autonomic nerve problems are impeding blood flows in the veins and probably the arteries and reduced oxygen uptake at the mitochondria is present.

The autonomic nerve problems in the endothelial cells lining the veins is probably responsible for the reduced preload and small hearts found in several ME/CFS studies.

The autonomic nerve problems are likely related to and a continuation of the small fiber neuropathy found in FM. Systrom has found evidence of extensive SFN in ME/CFS and POTS patients as well. Systrom is working with Anne Oaklander to investigate the SFN in these diseases." Read full article here.

FM Research Highlights

Antiviral Treatment IMC-1 Shows Promise in Phase 2 Fibromyalgia Trial

From Fibromyalgia News Today, March 15, 2017: IMC-1, a combination treatment of two drugs targeting the herpes virus, may be a safe and effective treatment for patients with fibromyalgia, according to the results of a Phase 2 trial developed by Innovative Med Concepts. Results were published in an article titled “A Famciclovir + Celecoxib Combination Treatment Is Safe And Efficacious In The Treatment Of Fibromyalgia” in the Journal of Pain Research…. Results showed that, after 16 weeks of treatment, patients receiving IMC-1 had a decrease in fibromyalgia-associated pain compared to patients1 on a placebo. Half of the patients assigned to receive IMC-1 presented at least a 30% decline in pain, and 38% presented at least a 50% decrease in pain…. Taken together, the results showed that suppressing latent herpes viruses may significantly improve fibromyalgia-related symptoms, and that the treatment is a safe and effective approach to reduce pain in this patient population. Full article here.

A diagnostic biomarker profile for fibromyalgia syndrome based on an NMR metabolomics study of selected patients and controls

Published in BMC Neurology, 11 May 2017:

Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic pain syndrome. A plausible pathogenesis of the disease is uncertain and the pursuit of measurable biomarkers for objective identification of affected individuals is a continuing endeavour in FMS research. Our objective was to perform an explorative metabolomics study (1) to elucidate the global urinary metabolite profile of patients suffering from FMS, and (2) to explore the potential of this metabolite information to augment existing medical practice in diagnosing the disease.

Conclusion: Our data and comparative analyses indicated an altered metabolic profile of patients with FMS, analytically detectable within their urine. Validation studies may substantiate urinary metabolites to supplement information from medical assessment, tender-point measurements and FIQR questionnaires for an improved objective diagnosis of FMS. Full article here.

Potential Fibromyalgia Vaccine is Being Tested in Boston

From Fibromyalgia Treating, 1 August 2017: A team at Massachusetts General Hospital led by Dr. Denise Faustman have is working on a vaccine for fibromyalgia. The cool thing is that it’s not even a new vaccine. The vaccine, called BcG, is 100 years old and it’s used around the world to prevent tuberculosis. Funded by a grant from Dr. Bruce Gilis, CEO of California biotech firm EpicGenetics, who believes that fibromyalgia is caused by protein abnormalities in white blood cells. They have a test called Fm/A that checks for these abnormalities. Dr. Faustman’s research shows that the BcG corrects these white blood cell abnormalities. If these protein abnormalities are indeed the cause of fibro, then it follows that the vaccine could provide relief. Dr. Faustman is currently applying for FDA approval to start trials on the vaccine, and hopes begin recruiting patients to test the theory next year. Stay tuned.

ME & FM: NOTABLE, BUT NOT RESEARCH

Building the Ranks of Skilled & Informed Medical Providers, published 9 August 2017

You will want to share this important video by Dr. Lucinda Bateman with interested health care practitioners and students, and health care bureaucrats.

Improving the way medical providers understand, diagnose, and treat ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia is critical to progress and a primary focus of the Bateman Horne Center. At the August 2nd BHC Education Meeting, Dr. Bateman shared her vision and BHC strategies for empowering doctors to make the right diagnoses and provide first-class care, which will dramatically accelerate research progress.

Watch the video here (just over an hour long)

The Doctor Visit - Watch Yulia Greyman's hilarious video "Going To the Doctor: CFS Edition"

#Fibromyalgia #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #ME #MECFS #FM #ChronicFatigueSyndrome #FMResearch #MEResearch #research #OpenMedicineFoundation #DrRobertNaviaux #metabolomics #RonDavis #PhoenixRising #StanfordUniversity #pain #chronicpain

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