A brightening future: the state of ME/CFS research

OPINION Although there are no treatments for ME/CFS on the horizon, things are looking up thanks to recent findings and a substantial increase in the amount of high-quality research. The field still needs much more funding. Do you remember the buzz around rituximab? Oncologists Dr Fluge and Professor Mella had noticed something interesting when they …

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Significant association of DNA variants with self-reported ME/CFS

Guest blog by Professor Chris Ponting and colleagues. SummaryA new analysis using data from UK Biobank indicates that one version of a particular gene increases the risk of ME/CFS in women. The gene codes for a transporter protein in the mitochondrial membrane and plays a critical role in the urea cycle, which is important for …

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The heart of ME/CFS? Lipkin’s Collaborative probes the impact of exertion

The hallmark symptom of ME/CFS is post-exertional malaise (PEM), a prolonged, grim and disproportionate response to exertion. While Dr W. Ian Lipkin's NIH-funded Collaborative - the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS – is focusing primarily on how problems in patients' gut microbiomes might drive the disease, his team is also probing deeply what happens when …

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The microbiome hypothesis: Lipkin’s collaborative, part 1

A gut reaction is the problem in ME/CFS – that’s the main idea being pursued by Dr W. Ian Lipkin of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. He believes that the body’s response to changes in the gut could be what’s driving ME/CFS for at least some patients. Lipkin’s collaborative group, the …

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Dr Ron Davis’s big immune study is looking at HLA genes. Here’s why.

Dr Ron Davis has won a large NIH (US National Institutes of Health) grant for an immunology project with a strong focus on HLA genes. Which may have led some to wonder, ‘What are they?’ HLA (human leukocyte antigen) molecules play a critical role in the immune system, particularly by activating T cells. There is …

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Analysis of data from 500,000 individuals in UK Biobank demonstrates an inherited component to ME/CFS

Guest blog by Professor Chris Ponting and colleagues. UK Biobank - a national biobank different from the ME/CFS biobank - has data from around 500,000 individuals, including both healthy people and those with one or more of the many different diseases in the UK population. About 2,000 people in the sample reported that they had …

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A plan to replicate Mark Davis’s remarkable findings of immune activation in ME/CFS

A team led by Edinburgh University’s Professor Chris Ponting has won funding for a PhD student who would follow up and expand on remarkable recent findings made at Stanford University, where Dr Mark Davis may have pinpointed a major issue in the immune system in ME/CFS. Last year, Davis produced strong evidence of T cell …

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There’s a yawning gap in ME/CFS research funding. Take action.

When I got ME more than 20 years ago, I thought that science would soon provide the answers to my illness. Instead, I saw little good research going on, and there’s been a spectacular lack of progress since then. We have no treatments and still don’t even know what causes the disease. Why not? The …

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A new research landscape emerges in America

Things are changing in the US for ME/CFS research as four new collaboratives set up and get to work. In September last year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced $35 million of funding to establish three new ME/CFS research collaboratives and a supporting data centre. Since then, the Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) has helped …

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The CMRC embraces the biomedical

The CFS/ME Research Collaborative has belatedly recognised the critical importance of focusing on biomedical research to uncover the biological mechanisms behind ME/CFS. Its controversial deputy chair, Prof Esther Crawley, is standing down and will be replaced by biomedical researcher Prof Chris Ponting. The Collaborative has started taking concrete action to engage with patients and has also announced ambitious plans to enable much more biomedical research in the UK. [read more]