For your reading delight I’ve highlighted blogs I wrote before setting up this site that I think are still worth a read.
Most important recent research? Mark Davis’s T-cell finding (2017)
Mark Davis finds strong signal of ME/CFS immune activation and hunts for the trigger. This study, from a world-leading immunologist at Stanford University, has yet to be published. But I’ve never before seen such a striking difference in data between patients and controls. To learn more about how the immune system’s T-cells work, and why they matter, try this series of short posts.
The 2-day exercise test
The two-day maximal exercise tests, which consistently show abnormalities for ME/CFS patients on the second day compared with healthy controls, are some of the most interesting findings of recent years. However, different studies find different differences on day two, so the findings have yet to be nailed down. There is also a lack of data for comparable fatiguing illnesses – to demonstrate which effects are unique to ME/CFS, and there is no safety data at all.
I covered all of these issues in a blog focusing on Dr Betsy Keller’s work. As far as I’m aware, the fundamentals haven’t changed since I blogged a few years ago, but I intend to blog again on this subject later in the year. Keller is now part of the NIH-funded ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Cornell University, where she oversees the Clinical Core, including running the two-day testing that underpins the Collaborative’s work looking at changes in biological markers.
An earlier blog looked at findings by Dr Snell at Workwell, who pioneered the use of the 2-day maximal exercise test in ME/CFS.
Launch of the UK biobank (2016)
The NIH (US National Institutes of Health) has since backed the biobank with another $1.5 million grant.
The $3 million NIH in-house study
A couple of blogs from 2016 on the launch of this ongoing, in-depth intramural study looking at every conceivable aspect of patients’ biology.
Immune activation in the brain could cause many aspects of ME/CFS
Miscellaneous blog posts
The PACE trial: Where “recovery” doesn’t mean getting your health back (my blog about a paper I helped write, along with Dr Carolyn Wilshire and several researcher-patients. 2016).
Also, the BMJ invited me to write a blog after the PACE trial authors were ordered by a Freedom of Information tribunal to release trial data in 2016. The PACE trial shows why medicine needs patients to scrutinise studies about their health. It was published alongside one from PACE trial lead author Professor Peter White, who saw things rather differently. On a similar theme: Time for a Patient Revolution.
A leader in the field of “‘Omics” talks about the strengths and weaknessses of ‘big data’ approaches that can help unravel illnesses, including genomics, metabolomics and proteomics. The Power and Pitfalls of Omics: George Davey Smith’s storming talk at ME/CFS conference, Part 2.
Greatest hit? (It’s all relative! This one garnered over 1,000 likes). It profiles Ian Lipkin’s remarkable work. The blog benefited hugely from editing by a very talented science writer and I’m very grateful for their input. Hunting down the cause of ME/CFS & other challenging disorders – Lipkin in London (Nov 2014).
Finally, my first blog: Once Is Not Enough (June 2012). It’s about why replication is essential in ME/CFS research and is still relevant now.
Here’s a full list of my blogs, in date order