Launch of Canadian research network makes a big statement about M.E.

Launch of Canadian research network makes a big statement about M.E.

The Canadian government has announced a modest $1.4 million investment in a new research network and delivered a big message: ME is a serious illness, deserves respect (“Let’s remove the insult from this injury”) and needs more biomedical research. The network, led by Professor Alain Moreau, will set up a national patient cohort that will include objective data on patients’ posts-exertional malaise. It will initially run three studies, including a virus hunt. And it will boost Canadian research capacity, e.g….

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Researchers propose deep trawl of DNA to help uncover the causes of ME/CFS

Researchers propose deep trawl of DNA to help uncover the causes of ME/CFS

Analysing the DNA of thousands of patients can help to uncover the genetic roots of diseases and shed light on the underlying biological mechanisms. This can reveal targets for drug development. A new and very different type of genetic research has emerged this millennium – the genome-wide association study (GWAS, pronounced “gee-was”). By probing small genetic differences between people, such studies can help to uncover the biological roots of disease and have already helped to guide drug development. Researchers including…

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Nanoelectric device could lead to a diagnostic blood test for ME/CFS

Nanoelectric device could lead to a diagnostic blood test for ME/CFS

Last week, Dr Ron Davis’s team published a pilot study showing remarkable results for their nanoneedle device. Strikingly, there was no overlap between the results for 20 ME/CFS patients and those for 20 healthy controls, something that is almost never seen with this illness. A nanoelectronics-blood-based diagnostic biomarker for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) R Esfandyarpour, A Kashi, M Nemat-Gorgani, J Wilhelmy and RW Davis. 2019 The nanoelectric blood test The research used nanomanufacturing techniques to embed large numbers of…

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Something in the blood

Something in the blood

Remarkaably, four independent groups have now found that a factor in the blood can affect cell metabolism/mitochondria in ME/CFS and transfer the effect to healthy cells.

The first to find the effect were Dr Oystein Fluge and Professor Olav Mella in 2016. They were studying energy production in the cell, a logical thing to do when trying to understand an illness where energy is in such short supply.

A brightening future: the state of ME/CFS research

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 treated their cancer patients who also had ME/CFS with the cancer drug rituximab: the patients’ ME/CFS symptoms improved dramatically. In 2011, Fluge and Mella’s small…

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