TGI Friday! Our weekly roundup of research abstracts and announcements | 26 October 2012

From the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2012 Oct 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Prevalence of DSM-IV Personality Disorders in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Controlled Study.

Kempke S, Van Den Eede F, Schotte C, Claes S, Van Wambeke P, Van Houdenhove B, Luyten P.
Department of Psychology, University of Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, 3000, Leuven, Belgium, Stefan.Kempke@ppw.kuleuven.be

Abstract

BACKGROUND It is not yet clear whether chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is associated with elevated levels of personality disorders.

PURPOSE This study aims to determine the prevalence of DSM-IV axis II personality disorders among patients with CFS.

METHODS

We examined the prevalence of personality disorders in a sample of 92 female CFS patients and in two well-matched control groups, i.e., normal community individuals (N = 92) and psychiatric patients (N = 92). Participants completed the assessment of DSM-IV personality disorders questionnaire (ADP-IV), which yields a categorical and dimensional evaluation of personality disorder features.

RESULTS

The prevalence of personality disorders in CFS patients (16.3 %) was significantly lower than in psychiatric patients (58.7 %) and was similar to that in the community sample (16.3 %). Similar results were found for dimensional and pseudodimensional scores, except for the Depressive (DE) and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (O-C) subscales. Patients with CFS had significantly higher levels of DE features compared to normal controls and similar dimensional scores on the O-C scale compared to psychiatric controls.

CONCLUSIONS

Although the CFS sample was characterized by depressive and obsessive-compulsive personality features, this study provides no evidence for the assumption that these patients generally show a higher prevalence of axis II pathology. Given the conflicting findings in this area, future studies using multiple measures to assess personality disorders in CFS are needed to substantiate these findings.


From the ProHealth website, 19 October 2012

Study of carnitine activity as marker for ME/CFS mitochondrial dysfunction, recruiting in Australia

The ME/CFS Society of South Australia (http://SACFS.asn.au) has announced a clinical research study being conducted with its assistance by the University of South Australia’s School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences.

Study title: “Assessment of Fatty Acid/Carnitine Homeostasis in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)” Protocol # LC/12.8

The researchers are “in urgent need of volunteers” – both ME/CFS patients and controls – for this investigation to follow up on their previous research “suggesting that ME/CFS is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and an impairment in the way that specific types of fats are processed for energy.”

The team will investigate “possible disturbances in the levels of fatty acids and carnitines” in ME/CFS patients. Fatty acids and carnitines are naturally occurring compounds that are found in all mammals and have an important role in energy production. Previous research has suggested that the levels of omega-3 fatty acids and carnitines in the blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are different from those in healthy people.” (For background, see ‘Administration of Omega-3 fatty acids plus L-carnitine would improve ME/CFS symptomology’ by supporting efficient mitochondrial function, groundbreaking study suggests.)

The objective of this follow-up study – which involves taking a blood sample and breath testing – is to identify simple measures that might be used “as a diagnostic criterion for chronic fatigue syndrome.”

Volunteers can choose to take part in the blood test (Part A) only, or in both the blood test and the breath testing (Part B).

Part A of the study (a single blood sample) “is being conducted to investigate if the blood levels of fatty acids and carnitines are different in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome compared to healthy subjects.” Blood samples for Part A can be collected at any local IMVS collection centre (located throughout South Australia) at any time that is convenient for the volunteer.

And part B of the study (breath testing) “will investigate how fats are processed by patients with chronic fatigue syndrome compared to healthy subjects.” This testing will be conducted at the University of South Australia, City East Campus after all of the blood samples in Part A have been collected. (They will try to arrange assessment days for the convenience of participants).

Study participants will be reimbursed ($20 for Part A and $100 for Part B) for out-of-pocket expenses, inconvenience and time involved.

Participants must be at least 18 years of age and not be taking any medications or have any medical conditions that would affect the levels that will be measured (“note that most conditions and medications are fine”).

For more information, please contact Dr. Stephanie Reuter Lange via email (stephanie.reuterlange@unisa.edu.au) or call +61 8 8302 1872.


From Reviews in Health Care, Vol 3, No 4 (2012) – open access

Pediatric Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Leonard A. Jason, Kristen Barker, Abigail Brown

Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA
Corresponding author: Leonard A. Jason, Ph.D. Director, Center for Community Research, DePaul University, 990 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, IL 60614

Abstract

Research on pediatric Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is reviewed in this article. Many recent articles in this area highlight the existence of key differences between the adult and pediatric forms of the illness. This review article provides an overview of pediatric ME/CFS, including epidemiology, diagnostic criteria, treatment, and prognosis. Challenges to the field are identified with the hope that in the future pediatric cases of ME/CFS can be more accurately diagnosed and successfully managed.


From the Journal of Psychiatric Research. 9 October, 2012. pii: S0165-1781(12)00503-3. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2012.09.007. [Epub ahead of print]

Use of lixdexamfetamine dimesylate in treatment of executive functioning deficits and chronic fatigue syndrome: A double blind, placebo-controlled study.

Young JL.
Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA; William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI, USA; Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine, Rochester Hills, MI, USA. Electronic address: jyoung@rcbm.net.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX) for the treatment of executive functioning deficits in adults (ages 18-60) with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The study’s primary outcome measure was the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult (BRIEF-A). Secondary outcome measures were standardized assessments of fatigue, pain and global functioning.

Twenty-six adults who met criteria for CFS and had clinically significant executive functioning deficits were randomly assigned to a flexible morning dose (30, 50, 70mg/day) of either placebo or LDX for a six-week trial. The data were analyzed with standard analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures.

Participants in the LDX group showed significantly more positive change in BRIEF-A scores (M(change)=21.38, SD=15.85) than those in the placebo group (M(change)=3.36, SD=7.26), p=0.005, d=1.46. Participants in the active group also reported significantly less fatigue and generalized pain relative to the placebo group.

Although future studies with LDX should examine whether these benefits generalize to larger, more diverse samples of patients, these results suggest that LDX could be a safe and efficacious treatment for the executive functioning deficits often associated with CFS. The possibility that dopaminergic medications could play an important role addressing the symptoms of CFS is also discussed.


To download Whittemore Peterson InstituTe flyer, please click HERE

Research Study: New Strategies to Decipher the Pathophysiology of CFS

The purpose of this study is to identify pathogens (infectious agents) and their associated immune responses in myalgic
encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). In order to do that, researchers will explore possible sources such as immune cells,
viruses, and genetic or environmental factors.

Who is eligible?
• Control subjects: no symptoms
• ME/CFS subjects: verified diagnosis of ME/CFS
• Male or female
• Adults age 18 to 65
• Literate in English
• Pregnant subjects will be excluded from study participation.

Subjects who have used the following drugs within the last 2 weeks will be excluded from study participation: oral, intravenous, intramuscular, nasal or inhaled corticosteroids; cytokines; methotrexate; or immunosuppressive or cytotoxic agents.

What will you be asked to do?
• Phone screening interview (5-10 minutes)
If you are eligible, you will be invited to the Institute where you
will be required to:*
• Complete an informed consent (5-10 minutes)
• Complete a brief questionnaire (5-10 minutes)
• Provide 50 ml (about 5 tablespoons) of blood (20-30 minutes)

Costs and Compensation
• There is no compensation to participate in the study.
• You will not receive any benefit from participation in this study, other than contributing to scientific research.
• *If you are unable to come to the Institute for your blood draw, we will send you a kit for sample collection. We will pay for shipping, but you will be responsible for the cost of your draw.

This study will be performed at Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease, 1664 North Virginia St., MS 0552/BLDG 160, Reno,
NV 89557.

For more information or to volunteer for this study, please contact: Study Coordinator, Kellen Jones-Monick (775) 682-8250.


From the website of the Fibromyalgia Association UK.

Could your DNA provide a clue to the reason for fibromyalgia?

Could your DNA provide a clue to the reason for fibromyalgia? Be part of the largest genetic study ever conducted into fibromyalgia…

Are you fed up with poor treatment of chronic pain? We will be able to devise better therapies only with improved understanding of the biology of pain.

We are exploring the genetics of chronic pain by collecting 2000 samples of DNA from people with fibromyalgia/chronic widespread pain.

Volunteers urgently needed! We will ask you simply to fill in a pain questionnaire about you and your symptoms donate a blood sample at your surgery (we will send the blood taking kit).

We aim to publish the results and will post a summary of the research in the FMA UK newsletter. If you provide an email we can provide feedback from your questionnaire.

Get in touch (0207 188 1928) and we will send you the details or click on the following link http://www.dtrsurvey.co.uk/fibrogene

Thank you very much for your help.

Dr Frances Williams
Senior Lecturer and Hon Consultant Rheumatologist
Dept Twin Research
King’s College London
St Thomas’ Hospital
London SE1 7EH


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