Patrick McGowan

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Source:utsc.utoronto.ca

Patrick O. McGowan, PhD, is an epigenetics researcher and Assistant Professor at the Centre for Environmental Epigenetics and Development[1] at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Work with epigenetics[edit | edit source]

Dr. Patrick McGowan's epigenetics work has been supported by The Solve ME/CFS Initiative. Epigenetics is the research field that studies changes in the regulation of genes that are influenced by non-genetic or external factors, such as chemical imbalance, nutrition and the environment. The epigenome of approximately 100 ME/CFS patients and 100 healthy controls are being analyzed by McGowan's laboratory. Early results indicate that a number of epigenetic markers are associated with the response to glucocorticoids and certain ME/CFS symptoms. The epigenetic marks also appear to be distinct in immune cells from ME/CFS patients that show a robust response to the glucocorticoids. The results are preliminary, but suggest epigenetic markers may one day be helpful in classifying subtypes of the disease, and in identifying environmental and other non-genetic factors in ME/CFS symptoms.[2]

Publications related to ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

Webinar[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~pmcgowan/
  2. http://issuu.com/solvemecfsinitiative/docs/chronicle_winter2015?e=17941417/31756241
  3. de Vega, Wilfred C.; Vernon, Suzanne D.; McGowan, Patrick O. (August 2014). "DNA Methylation Modifications Associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". PLoS ONE. 9 (8): e104757. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104757. 
  4. de Vega, Wilfred C.; Herrera, Santiago; Vernon, Suzanne D.; McGowan, Patrick O., "Epigenetic modifications and glucocorticoid sensitivity in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)", BMC Med Genomics, 10 (11), doi:10.1186/s12920-017-0248-3 
  5. de Vega, Wilfred C.; McGowan, Patrick O. (2017), "The epigenetic landscape of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: deciphering complex phenotypes", Epigenomics, 9 (11), doi:10.2217/epi-2017-0106 
  6. de Vega, Wilfred C.; Erdman, Lauren; Vernon, Suzanne D.; Goldenberg, Anna; McGowan, Patrick O. (2018), "Integration of DNA methylation & health scores identifies subtypes in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome", Epigenomics, 10 (5), doi:10.2217/epi-2017-0150 
  7. Herrera, S; de Vega, WC; Ashbrook, D; Vernon, SD; McGowan, PO (Dec 2018). "Genome-epigenome interactions associated with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". Epigenetics. 13 (12): 1174–1190. doi:10.1080/15592294.2018.1549769. 

epigenome - all of the chemical compounds that are not part of the DNA sequence, but are on or attached to DNA as a way to regulate gene activity

ME/CFS - An acronym that combines myalgic encephalomyelitis with chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes they are combined because people have trouble distinguishing one from the other. Sometimes they are combined because people see them as synonyms of each other.

genome - an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes

myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - 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.

chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - A controversial term, invented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that generally refers to a collection of symptoms as “fatigue”. There have been multiple attempts to come up with a set of diagnostic criteria to define this term, but few of those diagnostic criteria are currently in use. Previous attempts to define this term include the Fukuda criteria and the Oxford criteria. Some view the term as a useful diagnostic category for people with long-term fatigue of unexplained origin. Others view the term as a derogatory term borne out of animus towards patients. Some view the term as a synonym of myalgic encephalomyelitis, while others view myalgic encephalomyelitis as a distinct disease.

myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - 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.

chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - A controversial term, invented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that generally refers to a collection of symptoms as “fatigue”. There have been multiple attempts to come up with a set of diagnostic criteria to define this term, but few of those diagnostic criteria are currently in use. Previous attempts to define this term include the Fukuda criteria and the Oxford criteria. Some view the term as a useful diagnostic category for people with long-term fatigue of unexplained origin. Others view the term as a derogatory term borne out of animus towards patients. Some view the term as a synonym of myalgic encephalomyelitis, while others view myalgic encephalomyelitis as a distinct disease.

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