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Unger: Telomere Length Analysis in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Bob, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Bob

    Bob

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    I think this might be old research (?), and it's only a conference poster abstract, but it's a new publication, so here it is...


    Telomere Length Analysis in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    ER Unger, J Murray, LP Oakley, JM Lin, MS Rajeevan.
    April 2016
    The FASEB Journal vol. 30. no. 1. Supplement lb459
    http://www.fasebj.org/content/30/1_...ted-by=yes&legid=fasebj;30/1_Supplement/lb459
     
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  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    This makes sense, sadly. Some extreme event, probably getting ME but we cannot be certain as this event might be what creates a risk for ME, massively shortens telomere length. Then we have lower metabolic rate, so continual shortening proceeds slowly.

    This research is still in the early phase. The finding might be adjusted with more data.

    We also do not know if that patient group is properly characterized, and I do not have the cognitive energy to go back through the research.
     
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  3. Marky90

    Marky90 Science breeds knowledge, opinion breeds ignorance

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    Well, that sounds shitty :p

    I`m just gonna go ahead and presume that they get long again with treatment.
     
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  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    One of the downsides, if this proves right, is that life expectancy, which is not that good anyway, is likely to go down if we get better. Quality, not quantity. However I doubt it will go down much. For example: 2000 days of quality life versus 2010 days of poor life experience ... its a no-brainer.

    (For those who are younger than me, its probably more like 10,000 days of good life, versus 10,050 of illness.)
     
  5. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    I think they are undercounting ISF, I'm sure a lot of us have seen that diagnosis on bank statements. :rolleyes:
     
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  6. Marky90

    Marky90 Science breeds knowledge, opinion breeds ignorance

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    Ah, so telomere shortening is irreversible? This an area I know nothing about, so pardon my norwegian.
    Why do you think it would be days less, not years less, with regards to life expectancy?
     
  7. M Paine

    M Paine Senior Member

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    Telomere shortening is a failsafe mechanism to prevent cells from dividing too many times. Each time a cell creates a copy of it's DNA, a part of the Telomere sequense at the end of the genome is lost. Certain cells express Telomerase, which allows them to regenerate Telomeres. These are cell lines which can potentially reproduce ad infinitum.

    If a cell is of a lineage that does not express telomerase, and has a shortened telomere, it tells you that the cell has replicated a fair amount. One mutation cancer cells can use to become malignant is to express telomerase.

    You would increase the risk of introducing mutations leading to cancer if you artificially lengthened telomeres, allowing cells to continue dividing. In a healthy person, short telomeres are a sort of way to know what cells are not good candidates for replication.

    I hope this makes sense
     
  8. M Paine

    M Paine Senior Member

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  9. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    Not necessarily. When telomerase is active, as it is in stem cells, the telomere shortening that occurs with each cell division is reversed and the cell stays young.

    Activating telomerase in other cells is a holy grail of anti-ageing and/or reversal of degenerative disease.

    There is an interesting book by Michael Fossel "The Telomerase Revolution" which gives good background and summary of current knowledge and research. He also has a blog.

    There is one telomerase activator available commercially. It is quite expensive and Fossel says it is weak. Potentially better ones are in the pipeline - or so it is claimed.
     
  10. M Paine

    M Paine Senior Member

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    > Activating telomerase in other cells is a holy grail of anti-ageing and/or reversal of degenerative disease.

    Probably a quicker path towards activating oncogenes too
     
  11. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    Well Fossel would disagree with that.

    I honestly haven't had the energy or sufficient interest to go into the detail but Fossel maintains that if we can reset telomeres (ie considerably lengthen them), then this is protective against cancer.

    He does say that attempting to reset telomeres when cancer is already present is much more problematic. One would like to inhibit telomerase in the cancer cell and so ensure that the cell dies.

    I find his ideas interesting and certainly a source of optimism. What might come out of it is another question.
     
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  12. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I have no specific reason, its just that a shortage of telomere length that was very great would result in a lot more cell death. Its also relative to our current situation ... once we are cured the telomere shortening would, if the data is right, accelerate back to normal.

    There is a lot of research into fixing telomeres. Its likely they will find way to do it in time.

    Telomeres, iirc, are like twist ties at the end of chromosomes so they do not unravel. If you run out of twist ties then the chromosomes can degrade. This happens more and more in advanced age. However this is a bit misleading as it involves limitations of the DNA repair mechanism, and in this analogy the telomeres would be scaffolding the repair crew can hang onto, but only for repairs at the end of the chromosomes ... I think. Its been 14 years since I studied this stuff, and a lot would have been learned in that time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
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  13. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

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    Oh effing great.

    Guess I'll just go and spend my pension now then, won't be needing it...
     
  14. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    The study says that the non-fatigued group´s telomeres started off longer but shortened quicker than the CFS group. So they sort of catch us up in old age? Ah, good old schadenfreude...

    I´ve said sometimes that having mild ME is like being old before your time.
     
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  15. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    I am unclear about exactly how to interpret this. However, if these re blood cells derived from stem cells with telomerase then it would seem all that is being measured is the number of divisions between stem cell and mature blood cell. That might change if bone marrow haemopoietic environment changed - maybe altering the number of divisions to get to a mature blood cell. It might also reflect how many old B and T lymphocytes were knocking around in the blood that perhaps should have been apoptosed a while back. I am not sure that this tells us anything about telomere exhaustion in any tissues that might matter, like endothelium, which may die off in scleroderma because of telomere exhaustion.

    One of the problems I see with all these studies on blood cells is that the cells in blood are just the ones that happen to be trucking through at that time. Exercise and rest and coffee and all sorts of other things can alter the rate at which cells go in or out. It may be a bit like rummaging through your garbage bins - it may depend on the season or the day of the week what you find.
     
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  16. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    I'm only 40 something, but have retirement money set aside, but thinking the same thing! Have no income, about 2.5 years now waiting upon my Lawyer!

    GG
     
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  17. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    I don't have a clear understanding about telomeres but found this article. If I'm reading this right, this area of study has the potential to be used in mind body research before it's proven that telemere length can be used as a marker to determine the validity of these type of studies.
    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.or...e-scientific-and-pseudoscientific-literature/

    I'm curious what others take on this and/or if it's even related to the above study.
     
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  18. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I think the article is rather demonstrating that telomeres have the potential to be abused by quacks in their research or claims they're making. It's fairly well accepted that short telomeres are a bad thing (they protect the actual genetic code further down the line), but suggesting that stress-relief slows the shortening of telomeres is just a new form of psychobabble.

    As the article points out, the study used to support that claim was not controlled, and other more directly physiological interventions were also included, such as diet and exercise.

    I think the basic message is that telomeres are as vulnerable to psychobabble as any other biological concept. It doesn't make telomeres meaningless, it just means we need to continue to scrutinize BS mind-over-body research even when impressive terminology and otherwise valid concepts are mentioned.

    It's not really relevant to the Unger study discussed above. Basically that one is just looking at telomere length, not impact of an intervention upon telomere length. Though it may lead to that - but it can still be done responsibly and intelligently.
     
  19. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    Telomere shortening is reversible! We live in wonderful times, don't we :) Lizz Parrish did exactly what I have been proposing over and over again. The current drug approval process is completely flawed, it destroys innovation and creates monopolies because it requires too much money and time to get a drug approved. Hence, be a free human being and decide yourself if you want to take a risk or not. She went abroad and together with a partner started a new company that uses gene therapy to translate latest research findings into actual treatments. George Church is in their advisory board. Lizz used gene therapy on herself to prolong her telomeres and according to latest tests it is working. Her telomeres lengthened by about 20 years, from 6.71 kb to 7.33 kb. BioViva could be the first company to radically change healthcare. Here is an article from four days ago.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ly-carried-anti-ageing-treatment-herself.html
     
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  20. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    Yeah, that is what I read, multiple sources (Life Extension and Reason magazine). Maybe it is time for major reforms? Not saying no Regulation! But most people are to timid from the scare- mongering, they are fine with the status quo. Until they get sick and there quality of life suffers, or death is knocking on the door!

    GG
     
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