Science at the UK CMRC Conference, 1-2 Sept 2014

Sasha

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I'm sure we're all very interested in what's going to be presented at the conference and we've got at least a couple of forum members - @Leopardtail and @Jonathan Edwards - going along.

I thought it would be a good idea to have a thread to discuss the presentations (or even tell us what they are, given that the online programme is fairly sketchy, though we do know that the vast majority is biomedical research).

No pressure on anybody there to report - and of course, don't report anything that's embargoed - but if you'd like to pass any info on, here's somewhere to do it.

This thread is ONLY FOR DISCUSSING THE SCIENTIFIC CONTENT. It's not about the politics of the CMRC or the charities involved or to take swipes at the involvement of psychiatrists in the field or any of that kind of stuff. If you want to discuss those topics, you're completely free to do so by starting a thread of your own about them.

Just the science here, folks. :)
 

Sasha

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I am not very good at taking notes but will try!
Thank you! Apart from the IiME conference this is the only major UK ME scientific conference that I'm aware of and it will be interesting to see if it's bringing in new scientists and new approaches. I imagine the chance to meet and talk with researchers between presentations will be as valuable as the presentations themselves.
 

Sasha

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A little bump for this.

Registration will be underway now and presentations begin at 10:30 am.

I don't know if anyone will be tweeting from the conference about the science - if so, please post the link here.
 
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Interesting that some speakers are discussing fatigue, some discussing chronic fatigue and some are discussing CFS/M.E., three different medical conditions.

Prof White's speech on 'PACE - Trials and Tribulations' will surely add new scientific insight into myalgic encephalomyelitis.
 
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Sasha

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You mean for people without a Google account? Here you go
Thanks!

There's a whole bunch of biomed researchers I've never heard of on that programme, which is great - I've no clue who's who in non-ME research so presumably they're new to the field, which is what we want. I don't know if all these speakers on inflammation in the current session have applied their knowledge to us before. Will be good to hear what they say.

Sonya tweeted that Alice Russell is looking at persistent fatigue in Hep C and wants to see what's going on in ME, Hep C and healthy controls.
 

Sasha

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Interesting that some speakers are discussing fatigue, some discussing chronic fatigue and some are discussing CFS/M.E., three different medical conditions.
This isn't necessarily the same as confusing the condition of ME with simply having "chronic fatigue" and certainly doesn't seem to be so in these papers on inflammation. Quite a few researchers have been trying to identify mechanisms that might be driving some of our key symptoms and looking at whether there might be commonalities with other diseases in which severe, persistent, disabling fatigue are symptoms. Prof Julia Newton has been doing some of this in looking at PBC (primary biliary cirrhosis) and ME:

http://phoenixrising.me/archives/17009

In this interview, she says (my bolding):

“I firmly believe that studies like this have a direct implication for patients with other fatigue associated diseases. We have previously shown, using data from questionnaires, that the experience of fatigue in one fatigue-associated disease is the same as that in another, i.e., the fatigue experienced by patients with ME/CFS is similar to that in character to PBC, which is similar to that in Sjogren’s syndrome, etc. The severity may change and the relative contribution of various biological factors but overall the perception and the symptom itself is the same. This means that if the experience of fatigue is the same in different diseases then the underlying mechanisms may well be the same, which highlights the fact that by performing studies in one fatigue associated disease we could potentially understand more about fatigue overall, which can then be applied to other diseases.”​

This is important. If we can relate immune activity to one of our key symptoms, that's a crucial piece of the biomedical picture.