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ME/CFS: A disease at war with itself
We can all agree that ME/CFS is a nasty disease, particularly in its severe form, but there are abundant nasty diseases in the world. What is unique and particularly confounding about our disease is that so much controversy surrounds it, and not only surrounds it, but invades it too.
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Gene Expression Study Gets Results

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Cort, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Raleigh, NC
    1: BMC Med Genomics. 2009 Jun 25;2:38. Links
    A gene signature for post-infectious chronic fatigue syndrome.


    What genes did this study find that were either overactive or under active in ME/CFS? It's encouraging that the study highlighted some areas researchers are interested in:

    Oxidative Stress genes were acting abnormally. They suggested that an inflammatory process is occurring.

    We're probably going to hear more about NF-kB in the future. De DeMeileir was interested in it and Dr. Maes is focused on it.


    Increased Rates of Cell Suicide -
    Why are more cells than usual possibly killing themselves? No one knows but it could have connections to oxidative stress - since themselves get to a certain damage point they essentially commit suicide. The increased macrophage activation fits with high rates cell suicide since they clean up the pieces.

    Immune problems - there are several interesting things here. Note the emphasis on the innate immune system. - or the early warning system. This system is often overlooked but Dr. Peterson and Dr. Klimas think it is a key system in ME/CFS. Note though that these authors believe that ME/CFS patients at most have 'subtle' immune dysfunction. This is not a cut and dried subject. It's not like these huge immune deficiencies are staring researchers in the face. It was good to see natural killer cells show up and the Th1 to Th2 shift mentioned.

    Interestingly immune profile is very similar to one found in Post-Lyme disease.

    Their conclusions: a significant yet subtle perturbation of function regards to the immune issues. (Significant yet subtle....?). They found three genes in common with Dr. Kerr's study which is encouraging actually as few gene expression studies have found many genes in common - a real problem.

  2. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    "The overall picture emerging from these results point to a significant, albeit phenotypically subtle, perturbation of function in relation to microbial defence, viral immuno-surveillance and cell growth amongst patients with post-infectious chronic fatigue."

    That's actually beautifully put--absolutely the most succinct description of CFIDS/ME/Lyme I've ever seen.

    And phenotypically subtle it is, which is the whole damn problem. You can feel totally sick and look normal. And microbial defense, viral immuno-surveillance and cell growth (or perhaps cell death?)--that's it in a nutshell.

    What to do about it? Who knows.

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