Charlotte Stephens, Research Correspondent, ME Association.
We show below brief summaries of the research studies about ME/CFS that have been published in the last week, followed by the abstracts from those studies.
All research relating to ME/CFS can be located in the ME Association: Index of ME/CFS Published Research.
This extensive library of research is updated at the end of every month, and is correct to the end of August 2020. It is a free resource available to anyone.
The Index provides an A-Z of published research studies and selected key documents and articles, listed by subject matter, on myalgic encephalomyelitis, myalgic encephalopathy, and/or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
You can use it to easily locate and read any research in a particular area that you might be interested in, e.g. epidemiology, infection, neurology, post-exertional malaise etc.
You can also find the Research Index in the Research section of the website together with a list of Research Summaries that provide lay explanations of the more important and interesting work that has been published to date.
ME/CFS Research Published 21 – 27 August 2020
This week, 1 new research study has been published from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
The researchers have proposed a framework for understanding and interpreting the pathophysiology of ME/CFS, which may support future research design and health care interventions.
ME/CFS Research References and Abstracts
1. Nacul L et al. (2020)
How Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Progresses: The Natural History of ME/CFS.
Frontiers in Neurology [Epub ahead of print]. Open Access.
We propose a framework for understanding and interpreting the pathophysiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) that considers wider determinants of health and long-term temporal variation in pathophysiological features and disease phenotype throughout the natural history of the disease.
As in other chronic diseases, ME/CFS evolves through different stages, from asymptomatic predisposition, progressing to a prodromal stage, and then to symptomatic disease. Disease incidence depends on genetic makeup and environment factors, the exposure to singular or repeated insults, and the nature of the host response.
In people who develop ME/CFS, normal homeostatic processes in response to adverse insults may be replaced by aberrant responses leading to dysfunctional states. Thus, the predominantly neuro-immune manifestations, underlined by a hyper-metabolic state, that characterize early disease, may be followed by various processes leading to multi-systemic abnormalities and related symptoms.
This abnormal state and the effects of a range of mediators such as products of oxidative and nitrosamine stress, may lead to progressive cell and metabolic dysfunction culminating in a hypometabolic state with low energy production.
These processes do not seem to happen uniformly; although a spiraling of progressive inter-related and self-sustaining abnormalities may ensue, reversion to states of milder abnormalities is possible if the host is able to restate responses to improve homeostatic equilibrium.
With time variation in disease presentation, no single ME/CFS case description, set of diagnostic criteria, or molecular feature is currently representative of all patients at different disease stages.
While acknowledging its limitations due to the incomplete research evidence, we suggest the proposed framework may support future research design and health care interventions for people with ME/CFS.
The ME Association
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