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.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Study casts doubt on childhood trauma in CFS

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by ballard, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. ballard

    ballard Senior Member

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and DNA Hypomethylation of the Glucocorticoid Receptor Gene Promoter 1F Region: Associations With Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Hypofunction and Childhood Trauma.

    Vangeel E, Van Den Eede F, Hompes T, Izzi B, Del Favero J, Moorkens G, Lambrechts D, Freson K, Claes S.

    Psychosom Med. 2015 Jul 30. [Epub ahead of print]
    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has been associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hypofunction and enhanced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) sensitivity. In addition, childhood trauma is considered a major risk factor for the syndrome. This study examines DNA methylation of the GR gene (NR3C1) in CFS and associations with childhood sexual and physical trauma.

    Quantification of DNA methylation within the 1F promoter region of NR3C1 was performed in 76 female patients (46 with no/mild and 30 with moderate/severe childhood trauma) and 19 healthy controls using Sequenom EpiTYPER. Further, we examined the association of NR3C1-1F promoter methylation the low-dose (0.5 mg) dexamethasone/corticotropin-releasing factor test outcomes in a subset of the study population. Mann-Whitney U tests and Spearman correlations were used for statistical analyses.

    Overall NR3C1-1F DNA methylation was lower in patients with CFS than in controls. After cytosine guanine dinucleotide (CpG)-specific analysis, CpG_1.5 remains significant after Bonferroni correction (adjusted p = .0014). Within the CFS group, overall methylation (? = 0.477, p = .016) and selective CpG units (CpG_1.5: ? = 0.538, p = .007; CpG_12.13: ? = 0.448, p = .025) were positively correlated with salivary cortisol after dexamethasone administration. There was no significant difference in NR3C1-1F methylation between traumatized and nontraumatized patients.

    We found evidence of NR3C1 promoter hypomethylation in female patients with CFS and the functional relevance of these differences was consistent with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenalaxis hypofunction hypothesis (GR hypersuppression). However, we found no evidence of an additional effect of childhood trauma on CFS via alterations in NR3C1 methylation.
    Sidereal, WillowJ, Hutan and 7 others like this.
  2. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

    Nice to find research that doesn't align with prevailing vested interests. I have no way of judging the quality of the research.

    This is a very big issue I think. Although I'm not talking directly about the research you have brought up a point that I have often thought about over the years I've been ill.

    I feel that in general the average person when confronted with something like ME will go looking to personal issues/events to try and make sense of why this is happening to them especially if there is no clear demarcation between the onset of illness and previous health. But also when there is a clear viral onset I have heard people talk about stressful life events as making them vulnerable. This would seem quite normal. It seems that it is not only medical professionals that want to find a quick answer that offers closure to the patient but the patients themselves, at least at first. We want a narrative that explains things.
    To my mind that is part of why these erroneous theories (childhood trauma/psychological underpinnings) continue to have such traction.

    And especially with young people who tend to experience things more strongly and are generally less able to take a detached view.

    But it can equally be looked at from quite the opposite perspective. And in my opinion more correctly that there are people who reside on a spectrum of vulnerability to life stress from very resilient to very vulnerable. But the vulnerability is physical even if it manifests as psychological it is underpinned by our unique physiology.

    After all if trauma was a factor on it's own we'd all have the same response. And how can vulnerability to illness be psychological? From where do psychological responses arise? Our psychological response is dictated by our bodies particular chemistry. In the end there is a back and forth between our physical vulnerability and how we respond/what our environment is like that will set the tone for strengthening or weakening our initial vulnerability.

    And of course, the reason this all matters at all is because it determines how we get treated by the medical community.
    WillowJ likes this.
  3. msf

    msf Senior Member

    What, you mean I can send my mum a Christmas card again?
    Simon likes this.
  4. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

    Where does this come from? What does "childhood trauma" mean in this context?

    Are we talking, as implied by the phrase, about something out of the ordinary and very serious, like child abuse or violent traumatic experience? Or something a bit more mundane - parents divorced, bullied at school, didn't get to eat the last sausage, etc?

    Is this actually based on anything at all? Or is it just another story that got told often enough that it suddenly became true?
    Sidereal likes this.
  5. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    "Accepted wisdom" of the psych *SCUM* (I won't be nice about them), is that it all comes down to childhood abuse/PTSD effects etc setting us up for this voodoo bullshit trip that leads to ME/CFS
    considering at least 1/3rd of the kids I knew were abused/suffered serious crap, that would mean ME/CFS would be prevalent as hell!

    good, this study proves those SCUM are full of EXCREMENT
    pulling their EXCREMENT out of thin air, that sounds good to the arrogant "uber/untermensch" view of the professional and Elite scum's culture, alas.
  6. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

    There were some shoddy CDC studies back in the day.

    Using "empiric" criteria, dodgy methodology, and I think even diagnosing people over the phone :confused:
    SilverbladeTE and worldbackwards like this.
  7. WillowJ

    WillowJ คภภเє ɠรค๓թєl

    WA, USA
    I think both of those main categories, depending on study. (Example)

    I read at least one study that suggests what @Snowdrop said: there is really no statistical difference those who had trauma and those who did not, but sick people who did have adverse experiences tend to blame their illness on those experiences [or their doctors and society coach them to and they answer questionnaires in that manner, or some of both]. This was an FM study. Here is one like that:

    There is a substantial group of FM patients who are into emotional-trauma causation. Including a very popular blogger who blogs both FM and CFS (though I think she has only FM herself, not sure). But I can't find any science for this.
    Snowdrop, Valentijn, lycaena and 2 others like this.
  8. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

    Leonard Jason published a paper in 2001 which showed that CFS patients actually reported less childhood abuse than healthy controls. He had separated CFS from other types of fatigue, such as idiopathic chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue explained by a psychiatric or other medical condition. Those chronic fatigue patients (but not the CFS patients) showed some association with childhood sexual abuse, but not with physical or "death threat" abuse.
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

    I can't say for all studies, but the highly publicized 2009 Reeves CDC study* used the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ).

    The CTQ does not look like it's measuring "I never got a pony" type of trauma.

    There are CTQ sample questions posted here:

    2009 Reeves CDC study
    *Childhood trauma and risk for chronic fatigue syndrome: association with neuroendocrine dysfunction.
    ahmo and worldbackwards like this.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page