Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Allies in the Fight: GWI and CFS - New Research Opportunities Arise

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Cort, May 26, 2011.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    [​IMG]Gulf War Illness (GWI) and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) have both struggled for recognition. Recent findings implicating similar findings in both disorders suggest each disorder could soon be helping the other gain more recognition and study.

    Throw in a recent rare advocacy win for ME/CFS supporting collaboration between the two fields and hope rises that not only will we be seeing more GWI/CFS studies in the future but that the two fields will piggyback off the other helping each to gain momentum and acceptance.

    Indeed, it looks like the first XMRV grant that the WPI gets from the federal government may very well be on none other than Gulf War Illness

    WPI Gets its Grant? A Gulf War news site ( reported back in March that the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) recommended funding for 12 new studies, two of which were on XMRV and one of which (gasp) was produced by the Whittemore Peterson Institute.

    If the recommendation goes through the WPI study (Detection of XMRV in Gulf War Illness: Role in Pathogenesis or Biomarker?) will look for XMRV in Gulf War Illness (GWI) and determine if it plays a role in that illness or is a biomarker. The other study by Yale University will determine if theres an association between XMRV and GWI.

    (Note that these were recommendations and do not necessarily confer funding.)

    Overlaps..A look at the other recommended CDMRP studies suggests that research interests in the disorders overlap significantly. Two of the Consortium Development Projects, each of which should recieve substantial funding in the future, are on topics (Brain-Immune Functioning/ Autonomic Nervous System Functioning, Central Neural Processing and Sleep) that would have fit perfectly in the ME/CFS State of the Knowledge Workshop last March.

    Yet another study focuses on the effects of the anti-nerve gas agent, pyridostigmine (a key a culprit in GWI) on none other than the muscle and vascular nociceptors; ie the same type of sensory receptors that the Lights have explored in CFS to such dramatic effect! Finally a Proteomic Immune Profiling study provides a possible tie-in given the successful Schutzer/Natelson proteomic study this year and the upcoming Baraniuk study.

    CFS Researchers Already Engaged - A database search of the Gulf War Illness site, not surprisingly, brings up one of our best DOD connected researchers Dr. Nancy Klimas. In 2008 Dr. Klimas scored a $715,000 grant on Molecular Profiling in GWS that she used to lay a foundation for at the CDMRP for her main research interest, chronic fatigue syndrome. It took her all the way to the second sentence of her abstract on her GWS project to get chronic fatigue syndrome in there.

    Her GWI (notice that the S in GWS is gone) study read like an ME/CFS study; it used an exercise challenge, focused on natural killer cells, and featured a systems biology expert from the University of Alberta who likes to play on supercomputers (ie; Gordon Broderick)

    Dr. Klimas Startling Goal in these studies is nothing less than identifying the imbalances in the neuroendocrineimmune system in ME/CFS and GWI and then pushing it back to normal thus returning patients to health.

    But thats not all. With two funded studies totalling $1,750,000 since 2006, Dr. Baraniuk of Georgetown University is actually more connected to the Gulf War Illness CDMRP than Dr. Klimas is. His GWI studies also almost eerily mirror his CFS work with his GWI brain proteome study following exactly the same protocol as his CFS brain proteome study.

    In fact the results of the two brain proteome studies matched. In his Carnosine study abstract he reported that:

    [​IMG]A Timely Win Dr. Klimas and Dr. Baraniuks focus on CFS their abstracts turned out to be prescient. Two years later the CFIDS Association got chronic fatigue syndrome as a priority topic in the the same Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) that funded their work.

    Now Dr. Klimas, Dr. Baraniuk (and other researchers) will have more of a green light to not just talk about ME/CFS but to actually include patients in their GWI studies. As the CFS association with GWI grows it would not be surprising to see people with ME/CFS start showing up in the Brain/Immune and Autonomic Nervous Sytem Consortium studies as well. Getting people with ME/CFS into other studies is one way to increase real research funding into ME/CFS is one way to bypass the current limits on federal funding.

    Given the other substantial overlaps in the two fields the inclusion of ME/CFS into the CDMRP may turn out to be a very good move. Hopefully findings in the two disorders will piggyback on each other -accelerating research breakthroughs in both areas.

    Thanks to Pat Fero for providing the link to the GWI site
  2. In Vitro Infidelium

    In Vitro Infidelium Guest

    So if the two payments totalling $1million that WPI has already had in grants were not Federal, what was their source ?

  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

    The WPI did recieve an immune grant that was not on XMRV a year or so ago - that may be where that is coming from. Few grants on XMRV had been rewarded as of a couple of months ago. The WPI has also received money to enable them participate in the Lipkin and BWG studies.

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