Harvard ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center

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In May 2018, the Open Medicine Foundation announced the establishment of a new ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at the Harvard Medical School affiliated hospitals. This center work in synergy with the ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Stanford, led by Ronald Davis.[1]

Notable people[edit | edit source]

This center is led by two OMF Scientific Advisory Board members:

Aims[edit | edit source]

"The Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Collaboration seeks to conduct clinical and basic science mechanistic studies with high priority given to areas that create major symptoms for patients."[2]

Goals[edit | edit source]

  • to establish a Clinical Trials Network to facilitate multi-center clinical studies on potential effective treatments for ME/CFS
  • to establish a Center of Excellence for ME/CFS[2]

Research project[edit | edit source]

The research focii for this new center are:

  • to collect molecular data on muscle and other tissues affected by ME/CFS
This will include comparing patient muscle biopsies to controls, "examining genomics, proteomics, and ultrastructural analysis". This aims to help uncover the etiology of post-exertional malaise.

This aims to test the hypothesis that "the inflammation-related recovery mechanisms in ME/CFS patients are dysfunctional, and that this delays recovery from post-stress".

This will involve the testing of hypotheses related to microglial cell activation, vagus nerve signaling, and disrupted autonomic and metabolic functioning in the central nervous system. The very advanced MGH/HMS brain imaging at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging will be used.
  • to research the cardiopulmonary problems contributing to fatigue in ME/CFS
This will use the iCPET Cardiopulmonary Laboratory at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. Exploring the "very specific findings that are seen in ME/CFS patients" to help understand the autonomic dysregulation in ME/CFS, its effects, and its contribution to postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).
  • to explore plasma repository samples of patients undergoing exercise stresses
This will improve understanding of the proteomics and metabolomics in patients.[2]

Funding[edit | edit source]

OMF has funded $1.8 million for the first year of this new ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Harvard.

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

News and blogs[edit | edit source]

Online presence[edit | edit source]

  • Twitter
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  • YouTube

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

etiology The cause of origin, especially of a disease.

postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) - A form of orthostatic intolerance where the cardinal symptom is excessive tachycardia due to changing position (e.g. from lying down to sitting up).

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.