ME Association Research: Study investigating physiological changes at home – Now Recruiting!

May 5, 2021

A new research study examining the feasibility of measuring various physiological data during daily activity in people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Encephalopathy (M.E.) is now seeking applications from the patient community.

Recruitment for this study has been delayed by the Covid pandemic, but Dr Nicola Clague-Baker and her team are now ready to start recruitment. It represents the first research of its type to be conducted in the UK and has been funded by the ME Association Ramsay Research Fund.

How to apply:

Many thanks for the response to this request and more participants are not required.

The study details

“Feasibility of investigating oxygen consumption (VO2), Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, lactic acid levels and activity levels of people with ME during normal daily activities.”

The study will be carried out on 15-20 adults with ME/CFS of differing severities (mild to severe) over the course of 7 days. During this time, various physiological responses will be measured and recorded during everyday activities completed in their own homes.

The participants will wear a portable VO2 system during some activities, as well as a heart rate monitor and an accelerometer continuously throughout the day. In addition, lactic acid levels and blood pressure will be taken regularly throughout the study period.

Various questionnaires and scales will also be completed, to gauge symptom severity, activity levels and PEM (Post-exertional malaise) and correlate these with the physiological data. The participants will then give feedback at the end of the study as to whether they were able to wear and tolerate the equipment for this prolonged period.

The main aim of this study is to explore the acceptability and feasibility of the testing protocol (to see if patients can cope with the measuring devices and that it is an effective way of collecting data).

If it is successful, applications will be made for the funding of larger studies, which will indicate whether it may be possible to develop a diagnostic test using this protocol.

More information:

Who is leading this research?

The research will be led by Dr Nicola Clague-Baker, an Associate Professor of Physiotherapy and lecturer at the University of Leicester. Dr Clague-Baker is an active member of Physios for M.E. and in 2019 with fellow members, Natalie Hilliard, Dr Michelle Bull and Karen Leslie, set out to improve the knowledge of M.E. in physiotherapy practice.

This study has been created with help and support from Professor Sarah Tyson from the University of Manchester and Professor Helen Dawes from Oxford Brookes University.

Dr Betsy Keller from Ithaca College in New York who has worked on CPET studies in ME/CFS (and with The Workwell Foundation) which helped determine abnormalities relating to exercise, energy production and lactic acid, will also provide some help.

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