The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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VanElzakker/Komaroff pilot study ? Any news?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by beaverfury, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. beaverfury

    beaverfury beaverfury

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    I'm liking VanElzakkers vagus nerve infection theory. (Except for the repercussions of lack of effective treatment). It could encompass a number of infectious agents. HH-V, HS-V, enterovirus, borrelia.

    The Rituximab trials coming up, hoping to show autoimmune involvement, and the vagus nerve theory seem to be the strongest leads to primary causation that we have at the moment. (Someone with a better memory for upcoming research might like to correct me here).

    In any case, in August 2013 Michael VanElzakkers tweeted - 'Last Wednesday, met with a fantastic team including Anthony Komaroff; we're putting together a pilot study'. https://twitter.com/MBVanElzakker

    Does anyone know if this pilot study is going ahead ? If so, any dates or further information ?
     
    Bob likes this.
  2. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Cort published an article on VanElzakker a few weeks ago. An extract:
     
  3. beaverfury

    beaverfury beaverfury

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    Cheers Hip. Yeah, this a great page. Cort's right onto it.

    I just can't see anywhere that there is any definite vagus nerve studies coming up, except for Michael VanElzakkers tweet above, and i haven't heard anymore about that.

    This seems like such an important theory to look into, either to disprove or affirm. Tommorow wouldn't be too soon.

    I've just enquired on Healthrising if Cort has any more information about it.
     
    vli likes this.
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    If they can use modern MRI to look for vagus nerve lesions, then they can surely scan the spine as well. Finding such lesions would be a big step forward.
     
    heapsreal likes this.
  5. beaverfury

    beaverfury beaverfury

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    I didn't know they could do that. Apparently they can.

    Neuroimaging of infections
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1064994/
     
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  6. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Oh for goodness' sake. Animal studies/models are RUBBISH at representing human conditions.

    I do not want any more animals tormented and killed to research my illness. I want researchers to look at US.
     
  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Animals studies are of fundamental importance in uncovering the mysteries of metabolism. Imagine if you were not able to do gene knock out studies: you'd never be able to work out what various receptors do.
     
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  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Seeing what a gene does in another species tells us very little about how it works in humans. As we know especially well here, genes do not act in isolation. They interact with other genes and with other aspects of their environment, including other aspects of the biochemistry of a particular species.

    As we also know here, there are significant genetic differences even between different people, and even between different people with the same illnesses, and these differences take many forms.

    Having spent years studying interspecific (between-species) differences, and producing work on the subject, the more I have learned the more I have realised what a waste of time, money and lives animal 'models' are. They are crude, unrepresentative, unscientific and cruel.

    To develop this rat 'model' VanElzakker will have to spend significant time, probably years, infecting the vagus nerves of rats, probably carrying out cruel and invasive procedures while they are alive, then killing the rats and dissecting them.

    Then when he has decided that he has a good model, he will spend further years, perhaps decades, doing further such research on rats. He may well patent his 'model'.

    Then eventually, from past experience, it will probably be found from human studies that the rat models produced misleading results all along. That's what usually happens. It's happening currently, and notably, with research into Alzheimer's disease, and has been for decades. Animal findings keep failing to be reproduced in humans, yet researchers carry on making the same fundamental, erroneous assumptions.

    Still, it's a living...
     
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  9. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Researchers who perform animal studies say the work is invaluable. I often find murine models of coxsackievirus B heart infection very informative. Given that ME/CFS may well result from a coxsackievirus B infection of the body and nervous system, if you follow Dr Chia's views, it is very informative to look at mouse coxsackievirus B studies that examined what factors altered the virulence of coxsackievirus B in murine hearts. In fact I recently cited a whole bunch of murine coxsackievirus B studies in this post here, which showed that lack of selenium makes this virus more virulent. I think this may explain why I have found selenium to bring noticeable improvements to my ME/CFS symptoms.

    Though in general, I don't think you would be fully human if you were not to be sensitive to the suffering of other living creatures. However, in terms of the rights and wrongs of animal experiments, what amazes me is how cruel nature is itself. Only a few weeks ago I was watching a documentary on dolphins, which as we know, are one of the most intelligent, creative and curious creatures in the ocean. And they have that lovely smile. Yet in this documentary, the dolphins were quite happy to hunt for and eat octopuses — which are also intelligent, sensitive creatures. It does not seem so bad when a dolphin eats a shoal of herring, but I found it sad that a dolphin could eat an octopus, which is another intelligent creature. Then again, I have eaten octopus myself, so I guess I should not be pointing fingers!
     
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  10. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    I have read many studies or summaries of studies over many years that have used mice.
    That is an awful lot of lab mice. I imagine them mutating ~ and getting even. :alien:
    I have no way of discerning their ultimate utility but it does seem cruel.
     
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  11. beaverfury

    beaverfury beaverfury

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    In any case, VElzakker still seems keen to do something in this area.

    That's exciting!:thumbsup:

    I can't find any previous research on neuroimaging of viral nerve infection in me/cfs. (Maybe my google skills are not up to it).

    Not saying that is VElzkkers intention to use MRI. I don't know what his mode of operation would be.
    But we are very lucky he is getting involved in ME/CFS research. Apparently his field is usually PTSD.
     
  12. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    Of course people claim that their chosen research is valuable. It's their living.

    It is possible that the selenium work on mice produced results that were applicable to humans. But there is on average an approx 50% chance that animal findings will not translate to humans.

    So you would get equally good results by testing a hypothesis by tossing a coin. Which would be cheaper than hurting and killing animals.

    There are much better ways to do research which produce better results. One of the best is to analyse clinical records, although that would first require doctors to do appropriate tests and keep records properly...

    As a medical scientist, I never bother citing animal studies when discussing possible mechanisms for human conditions, because I know how poorly they translate to humans, so they are best simply ignored. It saves time and energy.
     
    beaker likes this.

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