Effective treatments are, of course, the ultimate goal. Studies suggest that some antibiotics and antivirals as well as LDN and herbal preparations may all have microglial inhibiting properties. But what about new drugs? Are new drugs being specifically developed yet to rein in over-active microglia?
Absolutely. Many groups are working on new microglia modulating compounds. There are dozens being tested right now. Some of those promising agents push the microglia back into their resting state, while other agents push the microglia into an alternative, neuroprotective state (called the M2 state).
Any one of those agents may be very successful in treating ME/CFS or FMS. Unfortunately, the process of developing a new pharmaceutical, testing it for safety and efficacy in animals, and progressing cautiously in humans takes many years. Also, there is no true FMS or ME/CFS animal model.
So, there is a big risk that we will miss an important drug only because animals did not respond well to it. For those reasons, it is critical that we test currently-available compounds that can be used in humans much more quickly.
I asked Younger how he was testing possible microglial inhibitors?
Our technique for testing microglia inhibitors is fairly basic. We read the scientific literature to create a prioritized list of compounds to try. The compounds with the most convincing basic science support (typically in cell cultures or in animals) will be placed at the top of our list.
Then, we give those compounds to individuals with ME/CFS or FMS in a closely-monitored clinical trial. We are going to be testing several such compounds this year.
Participating in a clinical trial is sometimes the only way to try new medications before they are available to the public (usually a few years in advance). But they are also typically more risky because we haven’t collected as much safety data. We do our best to pick only those compounds that seem to be safe.
Ron Davis has been proposing that advances in ME/CFS are going to open up understanding of other diseases. Do you feel that’s true for ME/CFS and fibromyalgia and, if so, how?
I believe that many disorders are at least partially driven by brain inflammation, so I definitely agree with Dr. Davis. Any treatment found to be effective for ME/CFS or FMS should be immediately tried in the other disorder.
The same goes for: Gulf War Illness, irritable bowel syndrome, major depressive disorder, cognitive problems after traumatic brain injury, fatigue from rheumatoid arthritis, fatigue due to cancer treatments, and dozens of other conditions.
I also believe neuroinflammation drives many symptoms of normal aging, such as increased fatigue and decrease cognitive functioning. An effective and safe anti-neuroinflammation agent may become something that almost anyone could take, similar to how aspirin is used by so many people to help control peripheral inflammation.
Read more: The Neuroinflammation Man: Jarred Younger on Inflammation, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/201...on-fibromyalgia-and-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/