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New CFS and inflammation paper

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Esther12, May 18, 2012.

  1. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    I noticed that this author was also responsible (in part) for the following paper of aetiology also from 2011:

    I don't know how or why the (bolded) female factor should be inherently possible in this model; but if so then it is the first time I have seen this important aspect taken into account in such an hypothesis.

    Will have to dig deeper unless someone can help me out? Thanks.
    ukxmrv and merylg like this.
  2. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    I've seen it reported many times that there are more cases of CFS in females than males. Are you questioning this or something else?
  3. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    No Roxie. And yes - something else :)

    What has always been lacking in any 'model' for our condition has been an explanation for the predominance of ME in females. Why do more females get ME than males? And how can a biological process or failing, possibly explain that - beyond or perhaps including something genetic?

    It was something that didn't 'fit' with the XMRV hypothesis. There may be no explanation - but I think that's a bit weak. For some reason more females (like 3 times as many I believe) get ME than males. Can this all be explained through misdiagnosis - more females being diagnosed than males? No. I don't think it can.

    I also think we need to place greater faith in the diagnostic capability of the various criteria but this can be a moot point. Maybe we will never get an answer - or better explanation - until such time as a biomarker is developed into a test and we can really get to work on these criteria.

    Anyway, that's why I focused on that part of the paper. How can they explain away this dichotomy? I need to read more (as per usual) :)
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Im not really sure if there is that great a difference in males vs females who get cfs/me, its just always been mentioned in common info on this subject but never really seen any figures, they cant even really figure out who has it and who hasnt. Theres too many grey areas that cant be worked out until there is some descent diagnostic markers.

    What would be interesting would be a count of males and females from this site, i wonder if a moderate could find those figures for us?
  5. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    Yeah it's not clear-cut Heaps by any stretch of the imagination. Trouble with any survey on here is of course the assumption we all have a similarly valid diagnosis :) Still, you could always set one up.

    This lack of clarity is why the claim drew my attention.
  6. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    i wasnt thinking of a survey as such but someone with access to the data on all the members here and just doing a gender count. A survey is reliant on people doing it, which myself being a boy would probably be to lazy to do, lol??
  7. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    Would you know who was a patient though Heaps if the mods (assuming they could) trolled through the details? Probably not. There have been studies published that contain this ratio data. We can never be 100% sure of course but they have evaluated the prevalence of female dominance.

    Lol. Now THAT phrase should come with a caution :)
  8. DaiWelsh

    DaiWelsh

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    Plus other factors, such as any possible gender imbalance in tendency to use internet, use forums etc. Don't want to be mr negative but I don't think that figure would have enough validity to improve our understanding. I can't provide any citations but I did get the impression that the imbalance (if not exact proportion) was quite widely documented. I think that included tighter definitions, not just broad ones that may bring in an excess of other diagnoses with their own gender imbalance. I really want to try to find the answer but I'm afraid in my current slump I probably won't.
    Firestormm likes this.
  9. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    Alright Dai? I noticed you posting here again recently. Good to hear from you :)
  10. DaiWelsh

    DaiWelsh

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    Thanks Firestormm, I have been lurking and reading with interest in between I promise :) I think I am less inclined to post when I am feeling better as I am focused more on "Real life", whereas in a slump I tend to become more laptop focused . Not sure that is a good thing, just an observation, maybe I need the therapy of sharing, not sure.
    Firestormm likes this.
  11. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    Nope. I think it is a fair reflection of how we cope when we can of course :) Achieving that balance is the hardest thing in my life sometimes. I'm in need of an internet break. :)
  12. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    I believe that females generally have stronger immune systems and hence are more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases. Hence it fits quite well with the Rituximab story.
  13. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    There is a higher prevalence of women among patients that suffer from known autoimmune diseases:

    Lupus - 90%
    MS - 70% - 80%
    Rheumatoid arthritis - 70%
    Sjogren's - 90%
    Hashimoto's thyroiditis - 80-95%

    and so on. This is just what I get from a quick Google from reputable medical sites. Among ME/CFS patients, the percentage is thought to be about 70% female (per Leonard Jason) - it's doubtful we can get very exact owing to the problems with case definition and underdiagnosis, but the percentage seems in line with other autoimmune diseases.

    "Stronger immune systems" is a meaningless statement. And wouldn't necessarily be a benefit anyway, since the pathology in autommune diseases has to do with immune over-reaction/inappropriate reaction to a threat that isn't really there (i.e. attacking the body's own cells and tissues.) Nobody really knows exactly why women get autoimmune diseases way more often than men, but it could be genetic (disease-linked genes passing down in the female line) or a result of women's more complex immune situation - i.e., women's bodies have to be able to carry a fetus without the immune system attacking it, even though it's definitely non-self. (A high percentage of miscarriages are caused by various immune attacks on the fetus that normally are not supposed to happen.)

    In ME/CFS it appears that some components of the immune system are upregulated and others are downregulated, so go figure. There is never any simple answer when it comes to the immune system, it's got more moving parts than a space shuttle.

    As for whether it seems like there are a lot of men on this forum, it *does* seem like there are more than 30% men on this forum. But my view of the forum may be biased because I don't hang out on "emotional support" type topics. Those who like wrangling about the mechanisms of the disease may be disproportionately male; who can say? This forum is not a representative sample of all people with ME/CFS.
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  14. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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  15. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

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    :lol: :lol::rofl:
    Firestormm likes this.
  16. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Some of us have user names that seem masculine (mine is a male name in Dutch), and a lot of our avatars don't offer any clues. There are at least a few people I assumed were male without even thinking about it, then realized were female :p
  17. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    Yeah, my username and avatar don't really offer lots of gender hints either. I do get mistaken for male on message boards where my real name isn't visible. I don't think this happens on Twitter since my real name is present too.

    (My avatar is a sculpture from one of the sculpture gardens at the Getty Center. To my own embarassment, I can't remember the title and artist. It's not one of the really famous artists. Not knowing the title and artist, I can't retrieve the information from the Internet, even though I remember its exact location. Would it KILL the Getty to post a complete list of outdoor works indexed by location? grumble grumble)
  18. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    Urban, is that then the theory behind this Thread's author's contention? That their model is essentially one of ME being an autoimmune disease? Thanks.

    I've yet to read the damn paper in full. Will get there though...!
  19. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    I don't believe so. This paper is discussing inflammation and not directly hypothesizing about the causes of said inflammation. The conversation here kind of worked its way around to autoimmune diseases because you asked why more women having CFS supports the idea that there is inflammation involved.

    To be clear, more women than men get (most) autoimmune diseases.

    Women are ALSO more prone than men to have inflammation, whether from an autoimmune disease or not.

    Inflammation, by definition, is the result of an immune reaction.

    It appears to be that something about female immune systems makes them more prone to go out of whack. The immune systems, I mean, not the women. SHUT UP

    The immune system is NOT exactly the same in both genders. The basic "design" is the same but there are a lot of subtle differences, most of which aren't well understood. The interactions between the immune system and gender differences in genetics, hormones, etc make an already fantastically complex system even more difficult to understand.

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