Current Research Provides Insight into the Biological Basis and Diagnostic Potential for ME/CFS (Sweetman, Tate et al 2019)

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Diagnostics (Basel). 2019 Jul 10;9(3). pii: E73. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics9030073.
Current Research Provides Insight into the Biological Basis and Diagnostic Potential for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).
Sweetman E1, Noble A1, Edgar C1, Mackay A1, Helliwell A1, Vallings R2, Ryan M3, Tate W4.
Author information
1 Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand.
2 Howick Health and Medical Centre, Auckland 2014, New Zealand.
3 Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand.
4 Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand. warren.tate@otago.ac.nz.

Abstract
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a severe fatigue illness that occurs most commonly following a viral infection, but other physiological triggers are also implicated. It has a profound long-term impact on the life of the affected person. ME/CFS is diagnosed primarily by the exclusion of other fatigue illnesses, but the availability of multiple case definitions for ME/CFS has complicated diagnosis for clinicians.

There has been ongoing controversy over the nature of ME/CFS, but a recent detailed report from the Institute of Medicine (Academy of Sciences, USA) concluded that ME/CFS is a medical, not psychiatric illness. Importantly, aspects of the biological basis of the ongoing disease have been revealed over the last 2-3 years that promise new leads towards an effective clinical diagnostic test that may have a general application.

Our detailed molecular studies with a preclinical study of ME/CFS patients, along with the complementary research of others, have reported an elevation of inflammatory and immune processes, ongoing neuro-inflammation, and decreases in general metabolism and mitochondrial function for energy production in ME/CFS, which contribute to the ongoing remitting/relapsing etiology of the illness. These biological changes have generated potential molecular biomarkers for use in diagnostic ME/CFS testing.

PMID: 31295930 DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics9030073