Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by melihtas, May 12, 2015.
Wow this is massive, thanks melihtas!
I posted here a year or two ago about this I think, and always thought this seemed likely to be crucial given the confusing picture of the research and non reproducability of results...and some researchers finding the opposite of what others found. This seems especially true in me/CFS work on this subject. Perhaps from a UK perspective, the Aussies have always had it exactly wrong!
Lipkin was careful to control for this factor, taking control samples at the same time as patients I think, so that study is secure, and now surely the task is on to re-appraise the entire evidence base. Conceivably that exercise could provide the killer evidence and scientific clue that we need, maybe? And future studies can be expected to give us multiple data points through the year, as well as latitude of subjects - latitude will be key because clearly (surely) the process going on here is triggered by light, no?
I think this is incredibly exciting - now that we understand what's going on with the variability, this area can hopefully yield consistent results at last.
...just had a conversation elsewhere about always being more ill in summer!
Huh, we've been trying to figure out why my fiance's blood glucose levels and apparent reaction to insulin jump all over the place for no apparent reason. Maybe there is a seasonal link - he's generally needing a lot less insulin (sometimes none at all) during vacations, which are during the summer ...
@Valentijn - could be that he needs less because of seasonal variation. Insulin needs are also directly related to stress response. Perhaps he's more relaxed on vacation.
Life is full of variables!
I'm currently in the UK on holiday from NZ, and am experiencing the most significant improvement in symptoms that I've ever had. I feel incredibly much better, and the improvement has been ongoing over the past three weeks.... Could the rapid switch of seasons be the reason??
So summer/warm climate is better for us than winter/cold climate?
Its one of the reasons why it would be good to have a shared database of individual results with data about how they are obtained (time, location, patient profile, activity profile for a few days/weeks prior to sample etc) then researchers could go back through data and look for patterns that might confirm different readings.
Absolutely: it's a very strong argument for Open Data and for keeping archived details of all research. Also it highlights that collection of location information re: sample collection could become important in the future for reasons that aren't now clear. Any studies of these matters from the past that have failed to preserve the key data about location and date/time of sample collection will now effectively have to be thrown away, because their findings have become uninterpretable given what we now know. This must be a massive quantity of research; not just ME/CFS studies, we may be in the position of throwing away billions of dollars worth of past research now because the key data is not available...
I know this article is talking about seasons (and I assume that means weather driven) but I wonder if with ME one of the reasons for differing results is the state of exertion at the time blood was taken. Stuff like how far parking is from the clinic or whether someone had to get public transport. Any measures that could vary in the short term based on exertion would be suspect without care. Such values would also need to be kept for proper interpretation. Which comes to the point that until we understand what may affect variation then we run the risk of misinterpreting results or finding inconsistencies. So storing as much contextual data would seem to make sense.
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