Gordon Broderick, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Alberta, as well as part of Dr. Nancy Klimas’ Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). He regularly serves on National Institutes of Health study sections for chronic fatigue syndrome research.
International Consensus Criteria
Open Letter to The Lancet
Two open letters to the editor of The Lancet urged the editor to commission a fully independent review of the PACE trial, which the journal had published in 2011. In 2016, Dr. Broderick, along with 41 colleagues in the ME/CFS field, signed the second letter.
- 10 February 2016, An open letter to The Lancet, again - Virology blog
- 2017, Neural Consequences of Post-Exertion Malaise in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Abstract: Post exertion malaise is one of the most debilitating aspects of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, yet the neurobiological consequences are largely unexplored. The objective of the study was to determine the neural consequences of acute exercise using functional brain imaging. Fifteen female Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients and 15 healthy female controls completed 30 minutes of submaximal exercise (70% of peak heart rate) on a cycle ergometer. Symptom assessments (e.g. fatigue, pain, mood) and brain imaging data were collected one week prior to and 24 hours following exercise. Functional brain images were obtained during performance of: 1) a fatiguing cognitive task – the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task, 2) a non-fatiguing cognitive task – simple number recognition, and 3) a non-fatiguing motor task – finger tapping. Symptom and exercise data were analyzed using independent samples t-tests. Cognitive performance data were analyzed using mixed-model analysis of variance with repeated measures. Brain responses to fatiguing and non-fatiguing tasks were analyzed using linear mixed effects with cluster-wise (101-voxels) alpha of 0.05. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients reported large symptom changes compared to controls (effect size ≥0.8, p<0.05). Patients and controls had similar physiological responses to exercise (p>0.05). However, patients exercised at significantly lower Watts and reported greater exertion and leg muscle pain (p<0.05). For cognitive performance, a significant Group by Time interaction (p<0.05), demonstrated pre- to post-exercise improvements for controls and worsening for patients. Brain responses to finger tapping did not differ between groups at either time point. During number recognition, controls exhibited greater brain activity (p<0.05) in the posterior cingulate cortex, but only for the pre-exercise scan. For the Paced Serial Auditory Addition Task, there was a significant Group by Time interaction (p<0.05) with patients exhibiting increased brain activity from pre- to post-exercise compared to controls bilaterally for inferior and superior parietal and cingulate cortices. Changes in brain activity were significantly related to symptoms for patients (p<0.05). Acute exercise exacerbated symptoms, impaired cognitive performance and affected brain function in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients. These converging results, linking symptom exacerbation with brain function, provide objective evidence of the detrimental neurophysiological effects of post-exertion malaise.
- 2016, Tracking post-infectious fatigue in clinic using routine Lab tests.
Abstract: Background: While biomarkers for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are beginning to emerge they typically require a highly specialized clinical laboratory. We hypothesized that subsets of commonly measured laboratory markers used in combination could support the diagnosis of post-infectious CFS (PI-CFS) in adolescents following infectious mononucleosis (IM) and help determine who might develop persistence of symptoms. Methods: Routine clinical laboratory markers were collected prospectively in 301 mono-spot positive adolescents, 4 % of whom developed CFS (n = 13). At 6, 12, and 24 months post-diagnosis with IM, 59 standard tests were performed including metabolic profiling, liver enzyme panel, hormone profiles, complete blood count (CBC), differential white blood count (WBC), salivary cortisol, and urinalysis....Results: Lower ACTH levels at 6 months post-IM diagnosis were highly predictive of CFS (AUC p = 0.02). ACTH levels in CFS overlapped with healthy controls at 12 months, but again showed a trend towards a deficiency at 24 months. Conversely, estradiol levels depart significantly from normal at 12 months only to recover at 24 months (AUC p = 0.02). Finally, relative neutrophil count showed a significant departure from normal at 24 months in CFS (AUC p = 0.01). Expression of these markers evolved differently over time between groups. Conclusions: Preliminary results suggest that serial assessment of stress and sex hormones as well as the relative proportion of innate immune cells measured using standard clinical laboratory tests may support the diagnosis of PI-CFS in adolescents with IM.
- 2016, Illness progression in chronic fatigue syndrome: a shifting immune baseline
Abstract: Background - Validation of biomarkers for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) across data sets has proven disappointing. As immune signature may be affected by many factors, our objective was to explore the shift in discriminatory cytokines across ME/CFS subjects separated by duration of illness. Methods - Cytokine expression collected at rest across multiple studies for female ME/CFS subjects (i) 18 years or younger, ill for 2 years or less (n = 18), (ii) 18–50 years of age, ill for 7 years (n = 22), and (iii) age 50 years or older (n = 28), ill for 11 years on average. Control subjects were matched for age and body mass index (BMI). Data describing the levels of 16 cytokines using a chemiluminescent assay was used to support the identification of separate linear classification models for each subgroup. In order to isolate the effects of duration of illness alone, cytokines that changed significantly with age in the healthy control subjects were excluded a priori. Results - Optimal selection of cytokines in each group resulted in subsets of IL-1α, 6, 8, 15 and TNFα. Common to any 2 of 3 groups were IL-1α, 6 and 8. Setting these 3 markers as a triple screen and adjusting their contribution according to illness duration sub-groups produced ME/CFS classification accuracies of 75–88 %. The contribution of IL-1α, higher in recently ill adolescent ME/CFS subjects was progressively less important with duration. While high levels of IL-8 screened positive for ME/CFS in the recently afflicted, the opposite was true for subjects ill for more than 2 years. Similarly, while low levels of IL-6 suggested early ME/CFS, the reverse was true in subjects over 18 years of age ill for more than 2 years. Conclusions - These preliminary results suggest that IL-1α, 6 and 8 adjusted for illness duration may serve as robust biomarkers, independent of age, in screening for ME/CFS.
- 2012, Biomarkers for chronic fatigue.
- 2012, Cytokine expression profiles of immune imbalance in post-mononucleosis chronic fatigue
- 2011, Myalgic encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria
- 2010, A Formal Analysis of Cytokine Networks in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- 2010, Plasma neuropeptide Y: a biomarker for symptom severity in chronic fatigue syndrome
- 2008, Neuroendocrine and immune network remodeling in chronic fatigue syndrome: an exploratory analysis
- 2008, Evidence of inflammatory immune signaling in chronic fatigue syndrome: A pilot study of gene expression in peripheral blood.
Talks & interviews
- 2015, Modelling Exercise Dynamics to Restore Immune Signaling in ME/CFS (Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine)
- 2014, Models Suggesting Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is “Amenable to Intervention” Provide Hope: Dr. Broderick Talks (Health Rising)
- 2009, Gordon Broderick on ME/CFS: the PANDORA Interview (Phoenix Rising)
- Profile page for the Institute for Neuro Immune Medicine]
- Gordon Broderick, Ph.D. - University of Alberta
- Gordon Broderick, Ph.D. - University of Alberta
- Carruthers, BM; van de Sande, MI; De Meirleir, KL; Klimas, NG; Broderick, G; Mitchell, T; Staines, D; Powles, A C P; Speight, N; Vallings, R; Bateman, L; Baumgarten-Austrheim, B; Bell, DS; Carlo-Stella, N; Chia, J; Darragh, A; Jo, D; Lewis, D; Light, A; Marshall-Gradisnik, S; Mena, I; Mikovits, JA; Miwa, K; Murovska, M; Pall, ML; Stevens, S (2011), "Myalgic encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria.", Journal of Internal Medicine, 270 (4): 327-38, PMID 21777306, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02428.x
- Cook, Dane B.; Light, Alan R.; Light, Kathleen C.; Broderick, Gordon; Shields, Morgan R.; Dougherty, Ryan J.; Meyer, Jacob D.; VanRiper, Stephanie; Stegner, Aaron J.; Ellingson, Laura D.; Vernon, Suzanne D. (2017), "Neural Consequences of Post-Exertion Malaise in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2017.02.009
- Harvey, Jeanna M; Broderick, Gordon; Bowie, Alanna; Barnes, Zachary M; Katz, Ben Z; O'Gorman, Maurice R; Vernon, Suzanne D; Fletcher, Mary Ann; Klimas, Nancy; Taylor, Renee (2016), "Tracking post-infectious fatigue in clinic using routine Lab tests.", BMC Pediatrics, 16 (54), doi:10.1186/s12887-016-0596-8
- Russell, Lindsey; Broderick, Gordon; Taylor, Renee; Fernandes, Henrique; Harvey, Jeanna; Barnes, Zachary; Smylie, AnneLiese; Collado, Fanny; Balbin, Elizabeth G.; Katz, Ben Z.; Klimas, Nancy; Fletcher, Mary Ann (2016), "Illness progression in chronic fatigue syndrome: a shifting immune baseline", BMC Immunology, 17 (3), doi:10.1186/s12865-016-0142-3
- Klimas, NG; Broderick, G; Fletcher, MA (2012), "Biomarkers for chronic fatigue.", Brain Behav Immun, 26 (8): 1202-10, PMID 22732129, doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2012.06.006
- Broderick, Gordon; Katz, Ben Z; Fernandes, Henrique; Fletcher, Mary Ann; Klimas, Nancy; Smith, Frederick A; O'Gorman, Maurice RG; Vernon, Suzanne D; Taylor, Renee (2012), "Cytokine expression profiles of immune imbalance in post-mononucleosis chronic fatigue", Journal of Translational Medicine, 10 (191), doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-191
- Broderick, Gordon; Fuite, Jim; Kreitz, Andrea; Vernon, Suzanne; Klimas, Nancy; Fletcher, Mary Ann (2010), "A Formal Analysis of Cytokine Networks in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 24 (7): 1209–1217, doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2010.04.012
- Fletcher, Mary Ann; Rosenthal, Martin; Antoni, Michael; Ironson, Gail; Zeng, Xiao R; Barnes, Zachary; Harvey, Jeanna M; Hurwitz, Barry; Levis, Silvina; Broderick, Gordon; Klimas, Nancy G (2010), "Plasma neuropeptide Y: a biomarker for symptom severity in chronic fatigue syndrome", Behavioral and Brain Functions, 6 (76), doi:10.1186/1744-9081-6-76
- Fuite, Jim; Vernon, Suzanne; Broderick, Gordon (2008), "Neuroendocrine and immune network re-modeling in chronic fatigue syndrome: an exploratory analysis.", Genomics, 92 (6): 393-9, doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2008.08.008
- Aspler, AL; Bolshin, C; Vernon, SD; Broderick, G (2008), "Evidence of inflammatory immune signaling in chronic fatigue syndrome: A pilot study of gene expression in peripheral blood", Behavioral and Brain Functions, 4 (44), doi:10.1186/1744-9081-4-44