Persistent fatigue induced by interferon-alpha: a novel, inflammation-based, proxy model of chronic fatigue syndrome
This study looked at inflammatory markers in people with persistent fatigue that began after treating Hepatitis C with interferon alpha therapy, and persisted for at least 6 months after. The initial grant described the persistent fatigue and flu-like symptoms occurring after treatment of Hepatitis C with Interferon alpha therapy as being remarkably similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This study is due to be published in 2019, a corrected proof was made available online in December 2018, and a press release, science briefing and interviews with the media were held in December 2018, ahead of publication.
Funding[edit | edit source]
- Medical Research Council grant name: Persistent Fatigue Induced by Interferon-alpha: A New Immunological Model for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (MR/J002739/1), awarded to Carmine Pariante, the 20th author.
- "Additional support" from the National Institute for Health Research Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre in Mental Health at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London, both of which also part supported Trudie Chalder.
- Principle investigator Alice Russell also received support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South London at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Conflicts of interest[edit | edit source]
- This study included a long list of conflicts of interest, almost entirely related to prior hepatitis funding, drug companies that produce treatments for hepatitis and prior funding for research apparently unrelated to ME/CFS.
- Carmine Pariante, who the Medical Research Council grant was awarded to, also disclosed prior funding on depression and inflammation in the conflicts of interest.
Results[edit | edit source]
Criticism from scientists[edit | edit source]
- Dec 17, 2018, Have scientists found explanation for the onset of ME/CFS? - Nick Brown
- Dec 18, 2018, Trial By Error: The New Interferon “CFS” Study - David Tuller
Responses and criticism from charities[edit | edit source]
- Charity Action for ME welcomed the study, but criticized the choice of diagnostic criteria, stating it did not include post-exertional malaise, the "hallmark" symptom of ME/CFS, which could lead to patients with other non-fatiguing conditions being included
- #MEAction Missing Millions urged caution
Criticism from citizen scientists[edit | edit source]
- "This lower KYN/TRP ratio in #CFS is somewhat in opposition to a study of somatization which observed higher levels of the KYN/TRP ratio. This points to a different biological underpinning of primarily psychiatric syndromes, such as depression & somatization, as opposed to CFS." - Tom Kindlon
- Science4ME forum
Investigators[edit | edit source]
Alice Russell, Nilay Hepgul, Naghmeh Nikkheslat, Alessandra Borsini, Zuzanna Zajkowska, Natalie Moll, Daniel Forton, Kosh Agarwal, Trudie Chalder, Valeria Mondelli, Matthew Hotopf, Anthony Cleare, Gabrielle Murphy, Graham Foster, Terry Wong, Gregor A. Schütze, Markus J. Schwarz, Neil Harrison, Patricia A. Zunszain, Carmine A. Pariante
Media coverage[edit | edit source]
- 2018, Could overactive immune system trigger Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
- 2018, First look at sufferers before they fall ill suggests overactive immune system can put them 'on trajectory' to years of exhaustion
- 2018, Study finds chronic fatigue clues in overactive immune response
- 2018, Chronic fatigue syndrome 'could be triggered by overactive immune system'
Talks and interviews[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
Learn more[edit | edit source]
- CFS/ME Ongoing Projects - grant MR/J002739/1 - Medical Research Council
References[edit | edit source]
- Russell, Alice; Hepgul, Nilay; Nikkheslat, Naghmeh; Borsini, Alessandra; Zajkowska, Zuzanna; Moll, Natalie; Forton, Daniel; Agarwal, Kosh; Chalder, Trudie; Mondelli, Valeria; Hotopf, Matthew; Anthony, Cleare; Murphy, Gabrielle; Wong, Terry; Foster, Graham; Schütze, Gregor A.; Schwarz, Markus J.; Harrison, Neil; Zunszain, Patricia; Pariante, Carmine (2018). "Persistent fatigue induced by interferon-alpha: a novel, inflammation-based, proxy model of chronic fatigue syndrome". Psychoneuroendocrinology. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.11.032. ISSN 0306-4530. Retrieved December 18, 2018. Unknown parameter
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- Medical Research Council. "CFS/ME Current Projects". mrc.ukri.org. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Pariante, Carmine; Russell, Alice (December 14, 2018). "The biology of chronic fatigue | Science Media Centre". Science Media Centre. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Brown, Nick (December 17, 2018). "Nick Brown's blog: Have scientists found an explanation for the onset of ME/CFS?". Nick Brown's blog. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Tuller, David (December 19, 2018). "Trial By Error: The New Interferon "CFS" Study". Virology blog. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- M.E, Action for (December 17, 2018). "NEW RESEARCH: Prof Carmine Pariante has announced the results of #research which states that an overactive immune system may explain the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. #CFS". @actionforme. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Kindlon, Tom. "Tweet status 1074517907961466881". Twitter. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Ives, Laurel (December 17, 2018). "Could overactive immune system trigger ME?". BBC News. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Matthews-King, Alex (December 17, 2018). "Hope for ME patients as immune system study challenges stigma that chronic fatigue is 'all in the mind'". The Independent. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Kelland, Kate (December 17, 2018). "Study finds chronic fatigue clues in overactive immune response". Reuters. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Davis, Nicola (December 17, 2018). "Chronic fatigue syndrome 'could be triggered by overactive immune system'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
somatic symptom disorder A psychiatric term to describe an alleged condition whereby a person's thoughts somehow cause physical symptoms. The actual existence of such a condition is highly controversial, due to a lack of scientific evidence. It is related to other psychiatric terms, such as "psychosomatic", "neurasthenia", and "hysteria". Older terms include "somatization", "somatoform disorder", and "conversion disorder". Such terms refer to a scientifically-unsupported theory that claims that a wide range of physical symptoms can be created by the human mind, a theory which has been criticized as "mind over matter" parapsychology, a pseudoscience.