International ME/CFS and FM Awareness Day Is On May 12, 2018
Thomas Hennessy, Jr., selected May 12th to be our international awareness day back in 1992. He knew that May 12th had also been the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was the English army nurse who helped to found the Red Cross as well as the first school of nursing in the world.
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OMFSciendeWednesdays-OMF-funded research: diagnostic and drug-screening technology

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Ben H, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Ben H

    Ben H OMF Correspondent

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    Hi guys,


    On this #OMFScienceWednesday we continue our series on research projects that OMF is funding all over the world, with a look at efforts to develop diagnostic and drug-screening technology for ME/CFS.

    This project is ongoing at the ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Stanford under the direction of Dr. Ron Davis. We are hopeful that the technologies developed by his team will make the diagnosis of ME/CFS faster, easier, and cheaper – and will offer a new way to discover candidate drugs.

    Because there is no biological/lab diagnostic for ME/CFS, diagnosing the disease is a terribly lengthy and costly process for patients. This not only harms patient care, but also complicates research. Dr. Davis’ team has developed inexpensive technologies that can monitor cellular and molecular features of blood samples. (Read our previous piece on why a blood-based diagnostic would be particularly valuable for ME/CFS:

    https://www.omf.ngo/2017/12/07/coll...blood-based-diagnostic-technology-for-me-cfs/.) So far, two of their technologies – the nanoneedle biosensor and the magnetic levitation platform – have shown promise in distinguishing ME/CFS blood samples from healthy control blood samples, when they are subjected to salt (sodium chloride) stress.

    This project will build on these findings as follows:
    Validating diagnostic potential of technology in a larger patient population. So far, the team has tested ~10 patients and ~10 healthy controls – next, they will at least triple this number. This validation will also reveal whether it is possible to tell apart different subgroups / severities via blood samples.

    Adapting into drug screening technology. Once the technology is validated for diagnostic purposes, the team will test whether adding drugs to the patient samples can make them behave like healthy samples. By scaling up the technology to test many drugs at a time, including some that are already FDA-approved, they aim to identify new candidate treatments for ME/CFS that could be used in future clinical trials.

    Read more about Dr. Davis’ work on developing diagnostic technology for ME/CFS in this recent Nature News piece documenting many of the latest efforts in the field: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-017-08965-0


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  2. neweimear

    neweimear Senior Member

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    Isn't this news from a year ago?? I thought more than 10 healthy controls and 10 ME patients would have been tested by now. It seems pretty slow?
     
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  3. Ben H

    Ben H OMF Correspondent

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    Hi @neweimear

    No this isn’t news from a year ago. The team had tested far few patients then, I think either 4 or 6 if that-I know as I was one of them.

    The more patients tested (contrasted with controls etc) with the same result, the better for validation purposes and then we may have an actual testable biomarker.

    Severity via this test wasn’t even on the cards a year ago as it was so preliminary but if that plans out that will of course be huge.

    The talk about drug screening and existing drugs is a year old.

    It perhaps should be said this is only one facet to the teams work, Prof. Davis has many irons in the fire and lots of things going on-this is just a minor update to this particular course.


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  4. neweimear

    neweimear Senior Member

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    Thanks Ben....last year there was such excitement, all fda drugs to be tested etc....but it seems like its going to be a long slow road ahead. I realize science is slow etc....its just painfully slow for those that are severely affected.
     
  5. TreePerson

    TreePerson Senior Member

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    I’ve also wondered why so few patients have been tested. I can remember when the nano needle device was first mentioned last year someone asked Janet whether it would be months or years until they were using it to test and find useful drugs and Janet said hopefully months.

    I remember Ron said they were cheap and easy to produce. So for someone like me who has no clue about these things I imagined they might test a patient a day!

    I know there were setbacks I can’t remember exactly but something todo with having to clean and reuse the device.

    Anyway I really hope now there are more funds available it will be possible to overcome the setbacks and go much faster. It would be good to hear more definite news on this as they go along.
    Also have been wondering if they plan to test other groups of sick people? Or is this not necessary? Is
    the electrical impedance able to produce a signature unique to ME?
     

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