This was Dr. Montoya’s chance to highlight the ME/CFS work being done at Stanford and it was impressive. Most of the researchers presenting today are brand spanking new to the field and they are producing results and they are excited. The research being done at Stanford, one of the top medical schools in the country, brings a rigor to the field that’s sometimes been missing in the past.
It hasn’t been easy for Dr. Montoya – one researcher told Montoya was told by several of his peers that focusing on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome would ruin his career, but he’s courageously moved forward and with several potential legitimate breakthroughs being presented at this meeting, it appears to be working.
Dr. Unger (CDC)
#meCFS #CFS Stanford – Unger adamant ME/CFS – very heterogeneous; all study results confounded by the presence of the different illnesses (Unger is not a big fan of a new definition, neither is Mark Zinn – Unger thinks we should subgroup first, Zinn states you would have to throw away so much evidence from past studies if you switched to new definition. He was quite taken by the MRI studies already done in ME/CFS…
#meCFS #CFS Stanford – says increased prevalence (1-4 million) from Empirical Definition mostly due not to definition but to study parameters (and we always thought it was due to a lax definition….)
Jarred Younger – Leptin, Leptin, Leptin
We’ve hardly heard of leptin, but after Dr. Younger is through we might become very familiar with it. A younger researcher, Dr. Younger’s (::) dynamic and enthusiastic presentation was a highlight of the conference.
Dr. Klimas was very excited by his work. Lot’s of things appear to be coming together for leptin and ME/CFS.
#meCFS #CFS Stanford – Then a startling network analysis shows that leptin affects maybe 25-30 immune factors in ME/CFS. Could leptin be the key? (He also found it in FM. I asked Dr. Fletcher if she’d ever found it in her studies; she said she never looked :))
#meCFS #CFS Stanford – Leptin is a pro-inflammatory agent that reduces the threshold for the microglia in the brain to firep; i.e., they become more sensitive to negative events in the body … ( Younger believes the microglia cause central sensitization in the brain.)
Komaroff and VanElzakker
- #CFS #ME/CFS Stanford – Komaroff says he was convinced early that inflammation in the brain was key, is sending patients to VE for testing
- #CFS #ME/CFS Stanford – Komaroff was convinced of vagus nerve theory by evidence showing vagus nerve infection can spark CNS inflammation in animals
Ron Davis and the IOM
Ron Davis, one of the top geneticists in the country, is on the IOM definition panel and works with Dr. Montoya and Dr. Kogelnik. His son, Whitney, is very, very ill with ME/CFS. He and his wife both believe people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have been done a great wrong by the scientific community.
Davis is telling the Stanford brass that ME/CFS must be studied. It’s notable, though, that even the top echelon of researchers in the medical field such as Ron Davis and Ian Lipkin receive push-back when they talk about ME/CFS.
Things are changing, though, as the Stanford Symposium and it’s new slate of ME/CFS researchers indicate. ME/CFS is making inroads and who knows what the next couple of years will bring…
- #CFS #ME/CFS Stanford – Davis is highly lauded geneticist, runs huge lab; believes IOM panel will finally give ME/CFS legitimacy
- #CFS #ME/CFS Stanford – Davis is talking to everyone he can at Stanford -saying ME/CFS is last the big disease to make your name in!
- #CFS #ME/CFS Stanford – Davis hopes IOM will give ME/CFS access to top researchers, says panel is working hard, reviewing 1,000’s studies.
Gene Expression Results Indicate Pro-Inflammatory State is Present
“there is genomic evidence of a chronic inflammatory state in the blood of ME/CFS patients”
MRI Findings in ME/CFS – Michael Zeineh, MD, PhD
#CFS #ME/CFS Stanford – increased thickness at points at both ends of the pathway – rather unusual finding…Van Elzakker suggests increased thickness in one area of the brain is a compensatory response for the damage in the other side of the brain.
Quantitative EEG Studies Suggest Subcortical Pathology in ME/CFS – Marcie Zinn, PhD, Mark Zinn, MM
“CFS is going to teach us a lot about the brain”
One of the highlights of the conference, one had the feeling this could end up being a seminal paper in ME/CFS. The researcher is jazzed. He believes it explains a lot about ME/CFS and that it should hearten patients. One note – delta waves should only appear during sleep, but hey’re showing up in spades in ME/CFS patients while they’re awake.
“That’s a lot of brain area!” (Zinn)
Circulating Cytokines in ME/CFS PatientsReveal a Novel Inflammatory and Autoimmune Profile” Jose G. Montoya, MD
“The Perfect Storm”
#CFS#ME/CFS Stanford – Montoya calls increased pro-inflammatory cytokines, reduced anti-inflammatory cytokines over time “the Perfect Storm”
Lipkin shows how wide-ranging his studies can be. Several big ME/CFS studies are on the way and even Ian Lipkin, virus hunter extraordinaire gets his ME/CFS grant applications slammed.
“I am open to everything other than the idea that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is psychosomatic”
Will Lipkin Crack Chronic Lyme Disease”?
Big ME/CFS Studies On the Way