Saturday, 31 March 2012

2009 CFS Review (from conference organized by Whittemore Peterson Institute, review presented by Antony Komaroff)



A summary of the circa 170 presentations on M.E.:


The advance in technological developments for investigating genetics and diseases has improved considerably over the past decade. This has allowed identification of strong biomarkers in M.E. patients.


Dr. Fletcher - plasma neuropeptide Y levels found higher in M.E. patients.


Dr. Light - ion channel receptors that sense fatigue and pain; response of molecules to exercise


Broderick - Gulf War Syndrome study measured expression of cytokines at phases of exercise


Lloyd - Cytokines and chemokines as mediators of symptoms of M.E. - 5 particular molecules distinguished M.E. patients from control


Booth - Mitochondrial function vs. reported degree of symptoms/functional capacity


Dr. Duffy - electro???graphic studies


Post-infectious diseases, incl. parvovirus, retroviruses, HHV6 reactivation


Many studies look at blood, but if the disease is in e.g. the central nervous system, then studies are looking in the wrong place.


The role of stress. Kerr observed that stress index vs. parvovirus subsets made patients more vulnerable to immunological changes.


Sleep studies. A higher prevalence of sleep disturbance (incl. alpha-wave intrusion) in patients with M.E.


Dr. Barnder (?) used magnetic resonance in an in-depth study into different areas of brain signal intensity vs. M.E. symptoms.


Dr. Kleimus (?) - cytokines. A lot of pro-inflammatory cytokines were found at elevated levels in M.E. patients. It's unknown yet if high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines are certain to exert physiological changes. Possible call for further studies involving cytokine-blocking drugs in controlled trials.


Dr. Moreusca (?) looked at cytokines in serum samples. Those with a non-viral M.E. onset tended to have more TH2 cytokines, whereas those with viral onset tended to have more TH1.


Dr. Freemont (?) TH17 cytokine abnormalities are very new studies. They could be important in gut abnormalities, since under-representation in M.E. patients could explain some of the inflammatory responses.


Dr. Petty - micro RNAs. Our genome not only transcribes full length genes into messenger RNA, but also transcribes mircrosegments of DNA into micro RNAs, and these micro RNAs dramatically affect the expression of genes. Very important, since gene expression explains biology. The hope is that it will one day be possible to find a fingerprint of these micro RNAs in the same way as DNA, and to perhaps offer RNA therapy.


Preliminary study into micro RNA postulates they are important in T-cell and cytokine activation and chemokine pathways.


A sodium oxybate study increased slow-wave sleep time.

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