Australian Neuro-immune center - Possible 'extremely significant' theory' for CFS?

Cort

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This is good; look at this she established a Center to examine CFS and similar diseases. She's looking at auto-immunity which is getting some play. The CAA tried to get 2 grants funded on autoimmunity and CFS and now there is the Rituximab stuff.

I wonder which markers she is looking at.

They sound excited about their theory.......

This is extremely significant at an international level and, if the theory proves to be true, it will greatly assist CFS sufferers and the physicians who treat them.”

I've emailed her...

They must have preliminary data and they talk of 4 other labs looking at the same area....getting interesting.....



Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) remains a perplexing condition with no specific diagnostic tests or known cure.
Dr Sonya Marshall, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Bond University’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine is collaborating with the Gold Coast Public Health Unit and other partners in establishing a centre for Public Health and Neuroimmunology Centre, which examines how auto immunity may play a role in certain diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Dr Don Staines, Public Health Medical Officer at the Gold Coast Population Health Unit - Public Health and Neuropeptide Unit (PHANU), and Dr Sonya Marshall have spent the past few years developing ideas on testing CFS.

“Certain severe fatigue-related conditions have been documented for quite some time but no cause has been identified despite significant abnormalities in blood profiles and other investigations,” said Dr Don Staines.

“Because a test has never been available for this and no one has thought of it before, the problem physicians face is that if there is no test, then philosophically there is no disease.

“As tests are only abstract representations of something that has already been broken down and identified, this would be of enormous benefit to physicians as well as patients.”

This is extremely significant at an international level and, if the theory proves to be true, it will greatly assist CFS sufferers and the physicians who treat them.”

As one of possibly only four laboratories worldwide to be engaging in this niche area of research, the response to their work so far has been very positive. A grant was received for the purchase of a flow cytometer to enable the team to examine inflammatory markers and receptors on cells at a molecular level.

Other grants received:

  • Dr Marshall received a Ramaciotti Award in October 2008, valued at $30,000, to fund a project in relation to the flow cytometer to help sustain this research.
  • In 2009 Dr Marshall received $533,000 from the Queensland Smart State Grants and $90,000 from the Mason Foundation to investigate immunological changes with CFS.
Key Project Team Members
 

heapsreal

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hi cort,
i am in one of their studies now, they are measuring nk function in cfs people and finding dysfunction in nk bright cells(i think this will be the 'test' for cfs), this is over an 18 month period with 6 months to go, testing is done every 6 months. Theres also another young lady Eku(think thats her name) is also studying our cytokine profiles but we arent getting any results/feedback on this yet, only nk bright cells. There seems to be alot of money/grants these guys are getting. Dr staines has mentioned Rituximab a few times but not to any great degree. When xmrv is brought up they dont seem interested, but all of us in the study are hoping the will test us for xmrv/mlv while they have a big group of cfs patients to test.

cheers!!!
 
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Thanks heapsreal. Here is a quote from a paper they published. I could be wrong but it seems the NK bright subset is playing a significant role in innate immune regulation whereas the NK dim is more cytotoxic.

"Significant decreases in neutrophil respiratory burst, NK cytotoxic activity and CD56(bright)CD16(-) NK phenotypes in comparison to healthy controls"

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20064266
 

Cort

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hi cort,
i am in one of their studies now, they are measuring nk function in cfs people and finding dysfunction in nk bright cells(i think this will be the 'test' for cfs), this is over an 18 month period with 6 months to go, testing is done every 6 months. Theres also another young lady Eku(think thats her name) is also studying our cytokine profiles but we arent getting any results/feedback on this yet, only nk bright cells. There seems to be alot of money/grants these guys are getting. Dr staines has mentioned Rituximab a few times but not to any great degree. When xmrv is brought up they dont seem interested, but all of us in the study are hoping the will test us for xmrv/mlv while they have a big group of cfs patients to test.

cheers!!!

That is quite a long study - which I would think is a good thing. Little labs can do great things - we know that from the WPI....