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$5 million for Jason & Katz for 2 CFS studies in students & children

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Simon, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Simon


    Monmouth, UK
    Now this is very nice:

    Grant awarded to DePaul professor Leonard A. Jason for psych study

    Professor Lenny Jason, who himself had glandular fever and developed CFS, has finally got the funding his smart research deserves.
    • $2 million for a 20,000-household community-based prevalence studies of youths aged 5-17
    • $3 million for a prospective study of students who develop infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever) which will track their progress and measure how many develop CFS - crucially it will also collect data from most students before they get ill.
    Tito, biophile, Esther12 and 5 others like this.
  2. Firestormm


    Cornwall England
    More about the $2 million prevalence study here: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...etermine-prevalence-of-cfs-in-children.26953/

    I saw this article/blog earlier this morning about Lenny with some comments from the team at DePaul that might be of interest:

  3. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    South Australia
    Sounds like some great studies, Jason is pretty much the most qualified and experienced person right now to do these sorts of studies (in my opinion).
    barbc56 likes this.
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    A prospective study is exactly what we need.
    barbc56 likes this.
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Good news.

    I have some concern here that, due to the arbitrary cut-offs for CFS post-IM, they could pick up psychosocial risk factors for simply being less positive on questionnaires. This is something I've wondered about 'perfectionism' - if 'perfectionists' are just more likely to accurately identify losses of capacity and be unhappy about it than others.

    Obviously there are also things like depression, which might correlate with reporting symptoms less positively. Possibly people with less money/opportunities/social connections would be less able to adapt to a loss of capacity.

    Hopefully there will be some attempt to collect info for more objective external measures than just subjective self-report questionnaires (maybe academic performance?). For me, I'm interested in learning about the risk factors for the actual loss of capacity which can follow IM, and would like to see an attempt to distinguish that from the problems which a loss of capacity can lead to. I realise this is hard to do though. $3 million sounds hopeful though.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  6. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

    Sounds good, as long as the criteria for CFS caseness is adequate. I also share Esther12's concerns about questionnaires. Jason is the kind of researcher for this (compared to certain UK researchers), although in some of his previous papers I had some mild but lingering concerns about false-positives for psychological co-morbidities.

    We need a large well-conducted prospective study on those who end up being medically diagnosed patients, to help resolve the premorbid stress controversy, which is currently based on poor evidence and ideological speculation.
    Esther12, barbc56 and Firestormm like this.
  7. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Jason does seem aware of, and keen to overcome these sorts of problems.

    Having thought about it, I don't think that academic outcomes would, in isolation, be a good outcome measure. there are probably lots of psychosocial confounds that would affect this.

    Maybe actometers would be best, but probably not practical for a study like this... even with $3 million. Nothing would be perfect anyway.
  8. Simon


    Monmouth, UK
    Update from @Tom Kindlon, taken from Project Information - NIH RePORTER

    Five year study, already under way, $700k spend this year alone ($3m total), so this is one of the biggest CFS projects out there:


    About 12% of young adults will meet the criteria for chronic fatigue
    syndrome (CFS) 6 months following infectious mononucleosis (IM) (Katz
    et al., 2011).

    IM appears to be a predisposing factor for some individuals who develop CFS.

    Many candidate psychological and biological risk factors have been
    proposed to explain this phenomenon, but almost all lack prospective
    data from before the patients became ill with either IM or CFS.

    Some students develop IM while in college.

    Many student health services have students who use their services when
    they are medically well ( e.g., for sports- related injuries and birth

    Our study will enroll Northwestern University (NU) students who use
    the university based health services when medically well, as well as
    after they develop IM and CFS.

    We will gather biological and psychological data when students are
    well, when they develop IM, and when they develop CFS.

    At the end of the 3 year recruitment period, we will continue to
    follow those who have developed CFS for 12 months.

    We will collect data regarding candidate biological and psychological
    factors thought to be related to the development of CFS, such as
    previous stressful life events, "action proneness", coping skills,
    autonomic dysfunction, cytokine levels and the severity of the IM

    [comment: the Dubbo studies which looked at glandular fever, (as well as 2 other illnesses but found the same results across all 3 illnesses) found that the severity of initial illness, and the level of initial cytokine response, were highly predictive of subsequent CFS, while psychosocial factors were not. It's good to see a bigger and better study looking at the same factors]

    Our proposed study will compare these prospective pre-illness (IM)
    variables to post- illness (IM) data between students who do and do
    not go on to develop CFS.

    This study will be able to identify risk factors for the development
    of CFS following IM.

    We have the unique ability to implement this prospective study with a
    "captive" and high-risk population for the development of IM and CFS.


    The main purpose of this prospective study is to investigate
    biological and/or psychological factors present in young adults
    predict who will go on to develop CFS following IM.

    Identification of risk factors predisposing patients towards
    developing CFS may help to understand the underlying mechanisms of
    this illness.

    Contact PI / Project Leader Information: Name: KATZ, BEN Z.

    Project runs 5 years from 1 Dec 2013 - 30 Nov 2018

    Administering Institutes or Centers:
    Project Funding Information for 2014: $701,037
    barbc56, Dolphin, Bob and 1 other person like this.

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