A New Decade of ME Research: The 11th Invest in ME International ME Conference 2016
Mark Berry presents the first in a series of articles on the 11th Invest in ME International ME Conference in London ...
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ME and other major illnesses?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Graham, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Graham

    Graham Senior Moment

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    I have just been watching a BBC programme about the saxophonist Barbara Thompson and her battle with Parkinsons, and it struck me that I haven't come across anyone with ME who has developed Parkinsons. Now that isn't too much of a surprise, because the odds would be small, I guess. But it made me think, is anyone looking at whether having ME changes the odds of having other illnesses?

    It is my personal belief that there will be some form of link between ME and the broad autistic spectrum, because I find a surprising proportion of people with ME have someone in their family on the autistic spectrum. Whether this is true or not, surely an investigation like this could bring up some interesting pointers if links were found between the incidence of ME and of other illnesses.

    I suppose there are two areas of study. One is whether having ME confers any advantage over developing other illnesses, in the way that sickle cell anaemia helps ease malaria (or so I understand). The other is whether there are family links with other conditions like autism (which still could be genetic, infective or environmental).

    It could be (fantasy here!) that ME protects us against the Spanish flu - which hit the young and healthy the hardest. Perhaps we are the backstop. Who knows, if there is a bird flu pandemic, perhaps we will be the ones left to repopulate the world. Not much chance of that then, with our lack of energies.

    Seriously though, has there been any investigations along these lines?
     
  2. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    Here's a comment on CFS morbidity from another forum:

     
  3. Graham

    Graham Senior Moment

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    That was quick Ember! Thanks for that. I can see that ME can increase our chances of getting other illnesses, and why suicide is likely to be more common. What I was wondering specifically was whether ME conferred any actual advantages on us.
     
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Graham, there was a very old survey, I think linked to Wichita (CDC) that showed a very low number of lung cancer patients in the ME group. I also know of a doctor who thinks that regular heart attacks in ME patient who do not smoke or have elevated homocysteine, are actually rare. The first is a survey I dont trust though, and the second is only anecdotal (though I htink he has aobut 800 patients with ME). Bye, Alex
     
  5. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    It can also work the other way, those with autoimmune conditions, childhood cancer etc are much more likely to develop chronic fatigue syndromes.

    eg
    "Increased prevalence of chronic fatigue among survivors of childhood cancers: A population-based study"
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pbc.23111/full
     
  6. Marg

    Marg Senior Member

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    I read some studies that were done a few years ago, Parkinson's was found in families of people with ME/CFS. I have asked people and some have it in the family and some do not. I seem to remember posting about it before. I think the studies were found in Pub Med. I will have to check.
     
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hmmmm, there is that Marg. My uncle (mother's side) is suspected to have died, I think, of Parkinson's or complications from it. I don't know for sure if he had it, I was out of the loop, but I was told he had. Nobody checked on him for months and eventually it was discovered he had died. On the other hand there is no fibro nor autism in my family, although I know of a few (father's side) who seem to have different chemical intolerances, including sulphite intolerance. The same side of the family with food intolerances also has a history of inherted haemochromatosis genes. Is it possible there are different inherited susceptibility groups? The autism/fibro group is one, haemochromatosis/intolerance another, and possibly Parkinson's a third? This requires good large scale epidemiological investigation and we have never been able to get the funding for that. Bye, Alex
     
  8. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    ive read that ME/CFS patients have higher rates of comorbid autoimmune disease or first degree relatives with autoimmune conditions or migraine than the general population.

    I personally developed POTS and Ankylosing Spondylitis at the same time.
     
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  9. WillowJ

    WillowJ คภภเє ɠรค๓թєl

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    Dr Lenny Jason is said to be doing a mortality study with a proper statistically valid sample, though.
     
  10. new here

    new here

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    There is a relationship between CFS/ME and Endometriosis.
    Personally, I became sick with CFS/ME soon after I began showing symptoms for Endo.
     
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  11. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    Exactly what ME does to your life expectancy is still poorly researched and thus debatable, but I've read a figure that it knocks 25 years off your life expectancy. That's enough to rule out various conditions which do not generally hit until you're older than we expect to live to. I think that with those conditions, either the condition hits you earlier than expected (as in cancer) or else you're much less likely to live long enough to be affected by it. I haven't heard of anyone with ME and dementia, for instance, or of much in the way of strokes.
     
  12. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    I think this might be true in some cases.

    As a side note, I suspect my sister has some sort of autoimmune related endometriosis (positive ANA, high NK cell activity, infertility issues)...
     
  13. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Calathea, we have the biochemistry to be vulnerable to strokes (many of us have elevated elastase) but I also have not heard of many cases personally. Heart failure seems to be the most common cardiovascular problem that I hear of, though heart valve failure is not uncommon. OI is normally not included as a cardiovascular factor as its neurological, but there may be a number of vascular factors feeding into OI. Bye, Alex
     
  14. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    Increases sympathetic drive to the heart is implicated as a risk factor for heart disease in other conditions.
     

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