Review: 'Through the Shadowlands’ describes Julie Rehmeyer's ME/CFS Odyssey
I should note at the outset that this review is based on an audio version of the galleys and the epilogue from the finished work. Julie Rehmeyer sent me the final version as a PDF, but for some reason my text to voice software (Kurzweil) had issues with it. I understand that it is...
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Viral infections and the body clock

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by charles shepherd, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. charles shepherd

    charles shepherd Senior Member

    Hip and Skippa like this.
  2. charles shepherd

    charles shepherd Senior Member

    BBC report:

    Viruses are more dangerous when they infect their victims in the morning, a University of Cambridge study suggests.

    The findings, published in PNAS, showed viruses were 10 times more successful if the infection started in the morning.

    And the animal studies found that a disrupted body clock - caused by shift-work or jet lag - was always vulnerable to infection.

    The researchers say the findings could lead to new ways of stopping pandemics.

    Viruses - unlike bacteria or parasites - are completely dependent on hijacking the machinery inside cells in order to replicate.

    But those cells change dramatically as part of a 24-hour pattern known as the body clock.

    Find out what is happening in your body right now

    In the study, mice were infected with either influenza, which causes flu, or herpes virus, which can cause a range of diseases including cold sores.

    The mice infected in the morning had 10 times the viral levels of those infected in the evening.

    The late viruses were failing after essentially trying to hijack a factory after all the workers had gone home.

    Prof Akhilesh Reddy, one of the researchers, told the BBC News website: "It's a big difference.

    "The virus needs all the apparatus available at the right time, otherwise it might not ever get off the ground, but a tiny infection in the morning might perpetuate faster and take over the body."

    He believes the findings could help control outbreaks of disease.

    Prof Reddy said: "In a pandemic, staying in during the daytime could be quite important and save people's lives, it could have a big impact if trials bear it out."

    [​IMG]Image copyrightSPL
    Image captionWatch out for him in the mornings.
    Further tests showed that disrupting the animal's body clock meant they were "locked in" to a state that allowed the viruses to thrive.

    Dr Rachel Edgar, the first author, said: "This indicates that shift workers, who work some nights and rest some nights and so have a disrupted body clock, will be more susceptible to viral diseases.

    "If so, then they could be prime candidates for receiving the annual flu vaccines."

    The researchers used only two viruses in the study.

    However, the pair were very distinct (one was a DNA virus the other an RNA virus), which leads the research team to suspect the morning risk may be a broad principle that applies across a wide number of viruses.

    About 10% of genes, the instructions for running the human body, change activity throughout the day, and this is controlled by the internal clock.

    The research focused on one clock gene called Bmal1, which has its peak activity in the afternoon in both mice and people.

    Prof Reddy added: "It's the link with Bmal1 that's important, since when that's low (in the early morning), you're more susceptible to infection."

    Curiously, Bmal1 becomes less active in people during the winter months - suggesting it may have a role in the greater risk of infections at that time of the year.

    The body clock has been implicated in our susceptibility to infections before, flu jabs appear more effective in morning and jet lag affects the malaria parasite.
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    How would this affect ME patients if this research is right? Many of us have a disordered circadian rhythm, and right now mine is totally broken, again. Indeed, I think we need a stage beyond non-24 circadian disorder. I have no regular sleep at all right now, I just nap for half an hour to two hours, two to three times a day.

    Would this also cross over into bacterial infection?
    *GG* and Valentijn like this.
  4. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

    I'd come across studies (refs: 1, 2) indicating that the antiviral Th1 response is weaker in the morning and stronger in the afternoon/evening. I believe this relates to the effects of melatonin and cortisol on the Th1 and Th2 immune responses.

    I wonder whether ME/CFS patients taking immunomodulators that shift from Th2 to Th1 might be better off taking these in the afternoon/evening (but not in the morning, when Th2 is stronger), as the afternoon/evening naturally coincides with the time your circadian rhythm cycles into the Th1 mode.

    Of course, for ME/CFS patients like myself with disrupted circadian rhythms, "morning" would presumably be relative, meaning the time you get up (often 2 or 3 pm in the afternoon for me), rather than the actual morning.
  5. eljefe19


    Thanks Hip! I'll start taking my Equilibrant in the evening and report back.
    Hip likes this.

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