UK charities the ME Association and Action for M.E. announced this week that they will co-fund a biomedical research project to investigate immune responses in people Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.), sometimes diagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
The 16-month study, led by Prof Stephen Todryk, Professor of Immunology, Department of Applied Sciences, Northumbria University, will look at the way immune responses act, particularly against infections, in people with ME/CFS.
“Because many different known diseases also have fatigue as one of their symptoms, this suggests that several processes may come into play to cause it,” explained Prof Todryk.
“Uncontrolled immune responses appear to be important in fatigue, and infections – that’s viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites – are major initiators of immune responses, some of which are associated with ME/CFS.”
Currently there is no single diagnostic test for ME/CFS, or specific targeted pharmaceutical treatment.
“We want work out if those immune responses can be used to diagnose M.E./CFS, and if they can be targeted for treatment,” says Prof Todryk, who plans to recruit patients from the Newcastle NHS M.E./CFS services to take part in the study. Action for ME and the ME Association will split the £19,500 cost of this project.
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