Gene Responsible for CFS Identified...?

dannybex

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A friend sent me this from the co-cure board -- maybe it's already been posted, but it didn't turn up in a search...

"In recent news, Alan Light, a research professor in the anesthesiology
department, dispels the myth that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is
mere laziness.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by disabling fatigue,
unrefreshing sleep, headaches, depression, cognitive dysfunction, and
body pain.

More than 4 million Americans suffer from CFS. While more frequent in
women aged 40-59 years, people of all ages, ethnicities, economic
statuses, and both sexes may develop CFS.

Light explains that there is a gene that produces a protein which
tells the muscles when they are too tired to keep working. When this
gene signals, people feel fatigued and are encouraged to rest.

However, in persons with chronic fatigue syndrome, this gene signals
the muscles too early. This leads to fatigue and exhaustion at much
lower levels of activity than most of us experience.

Exercise acts to increase proteins which signal muscles fatigue. In
normal people, these proteins are limited; however, in people with
CFS these proteins increase rapidly and induce a feeling of exhaustion.
Though graded exercise therapy is often recommended for people with
CFS, this finding shows that exercise is extremely counter-productive
for people with CFS.

Lights research does not identify what causes this gene to suddenly
malfunction in previously healthy people
, though he hopes that CFS
will now be viewed as an actual disease.

Even more importantly, a simple genetic test could identify chronic
fatigue syndrome for diagnostic purposes.

Other research has linked vaccinations, toxic environmental exposures,
and various infections as triggers of CFS. Toxic exposures may act to
alter genetic constitution. Vaccines may act to sensitize the immune
system.

There is now sufficient evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome is real
and disabling. Lights research may lead to potential treatments for
CFS.

This article originally appeared in the MCS America News, October 2009
Issue:

http://mcs-america.org/october2009.pdf
 

MEKoan

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Thanks much, Dan, for posting this most interesting article!

I'm not one of those who has a good grasp of the science, alas, but some things resonate with my experience while others do not. This does.

My "fatigue" is accompanied by loss of ability to use a muscle which is indistinguishable from the fatigue that anyone would feel when a muscle, or groups of muscles, are pushed to the max - the muscle fails.

Along with the usual findings - reactivated HH viruses, etc. - I have consistently had protein in my urine. I am curious if the excess protein described in the article would spill into the urine.

Again, many thanks!

Keeping everything crossed!

Koan

ETA More on the above:
http://www.cfids.org/cfidslink/2009/080503.asp
http://williamnesse.wordpress.com/2009/01/16/muscle-fatigue-science-a-physiologic-marker-for-cfsfms/
http://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(09)00574-4/abstract

It's nice to see that these findings have been reported in a wide variety of venues from those devoted to CFS/FM to more mainstream outlets like the peer reviewed Journal of Pain.
 

cgstar4

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"Thanks much, Dan, for posting this most interesting article!

I'm not one of those who has a good grasp of the science, alas, but some things resonate with my experience while others do not. This does."

yeah , that!
 

Andrew

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Thanks for posting this.

It shouldn't be that difficult to just run this test on a bunch of blood samples. And it might turn out to be the answer. The thing that concerns me is her theory is based on a misunderstanding of what Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is. She is looking at one symptom (fatigue) and using it to define the illness. For example, how do faulty muscle signals cause sore throats, orthostatic intolerance, etc.

Still, the proof would be there if the gene pans out, regardless of whether her understanding is faulty.
 

MEKoan

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Hey Andrew

From the article:

Lights research does not identify what causes this gene to suddenly
malfunction in previously healthy people, though he hopes that CFS
will now be viewed as an actual disease.


I think they acknowledge that this gene behaviour is a downstream effect and not causative.

It would be a huge leap forward simply to have a diagnostic test. For instance, it would be so much easier to get funding for research and for patients to get a little respect. It is particularly important for people in places where the psychiatric lobby is powerful.
 

dannybex

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I agree...

From the article:

Lights research does not identify what causes this gene to suddenly
malfunction in previously healthy people, though he hopes that CFS
will now be viewed as an actual disease.


I think they acknowledge that this gene behaviour is a downstream effect and not causative.

It would be a huge leap forward simply to have a diagnostic test. For instance, it would be so much easier to get funding for research and for patients to get a little respect. It is particularly important for people in places where the psychiatric lobby is powerful.
I agree Koan...this would be great to have as a potential test to show that the disease or "syndrome" is real!

I also read it the same way you did...that some thing or things cause the gene to malfunction, rather than a genetic defect being a cause or 'the cause' of CFS.

And then once those things are addressed (which is the hard part, as there are so many different individual factors, plus most of the tests or treatments aren't covered by insurance), then one can slowly recover.

Thanks for your kind words,

Dan
 

Cort

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My understanding is that Dr. Light believes that the receptors that sense lactic acid, sympathetic nervous system functioning, IL-10 and others are way over expressed on white blood cells. I guess the big question is why and if the study can be replicated. If it can then we're into something really exciting.

There's a lot more on Dr. Light's ideas on this thread: http://forums.aboutmecfs.org/showthread.php?t=486