June 2015

Research 1st News | June 2015

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June promises to be another milestone month in the history of our illness. On June 16, the National Institute of Health’s Pathways to Prevention report on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will be released.

The report comes three years after the NIH launched the process of including ME/CFS in the P2P program, which is executed through NIH’s Office of Disease Prevention. The program has a multi-pronged mission:

• to identify research gaps in a selected scientific area;
• to identify methodological and scientific weaknesses in that scientific area;
• to suggest research needs; and
• to move the field forward through an unbiased, evidence-based assessment of a complex public health issue.

Coming on the heels of the landmark Institute of Medicine report issued Feb. 10, the P2P report may provide further validation that dramatically more ME/CFS research is desperately needed. While the process and outcome of the P2P report have been imperfect, it is another stepping stone on the path of making ME/CFS understood, diagnosable and treatable.

Warmest Regards,

Carol E. Head
Solve ME/CFS Initiative

Research Roundup


Antibodies as Biomarkers

Antibodies are proteins that are produced by one of the major classes of immune cells in our body called B lymphocytes. Antibodies are designed to recognize and bind to molecules called “antigens.” Antigens come from microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.

Antibodies bind to antigens of microorganisms targeting them for destruction. Antigens can also come from molecules and proteins within our body. Antibodies that bind to our own body’s antigens can result in autoimmunity. This versatility means that antibodies make good biomarkers, too. Biomarkers are biological markers that can be used for diagnosis and measuring response to treatment.

To read the full article, Go HERE



Harvard Research Using SolveCFS BioBank™ Samples Published in Science

Stephen J. Elledge from Harvard Medical School, together with his graduate student George Xu, used samples from the SolveCFS BioBank™ in addition to blood samples from around the world to look for antibodies against more than 200 different viruses.

The paper, “Comprehensive serological profiling of human populations using a synthetic human virome,” was published June 5 by Science, one of the world’s top scientific journals.² Elledge and his team developed a technology called “VirScan” to test blood samples for antibodies to 206 different viruses that infect humans, as well as more than 1,000 strains of these 206 viruses.

To read the full article, go HERE 



SMCI Co-Hosts Research Roundtable in Boston

The Solve ME/CFS Initiative co-hosted a Research Roundtable May 2 with the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association. At the event, which was held at Newton Wellesley Hospital, Dr. Suzanne Vernon provided an update on the research being conducted through SMCI’s Research Institute Without Walls by some of the brightest investigators from the best medical institutions. Dr. Vernon also described the exciting work being conducted through the SolveCFS BioBank™.

TO view THE powerpoint presentation from the event, go here


UVA Scientists Uncover Link Between the Brain and Immune System

Researchers at the University of Virginia Medical School have unearthed a groundbreaking discovery demonstrating that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by newly discovered vessels. The revelation, which was discovered by postdoctoral fellow Antoine Louveau, could have important implications on the study and treatment of ME/CFS.

TO Read the full report, Go here

upcoming events


June 18 Webinar with Dr. Lily Chu

On June 18 at 1 p.m. EST, Lily Chu, MD, MS, will present her webinar: “Post-Exertional Malaise: History, Characteristics and Research Findings.” To register for the webinar, go here. ​

Dr. Lily Chu is the co-vice president of the International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and one of the top ME/CFS experts in the world. In the webinar, she'll provide background on the origination and evolution of PEM and offer pointers on how patients can talk to their physicians about it for better understanding. Mark your calendar for our other upcoming webinars: ​

July 16, 1 p.m. EST​
Peter Rowe, M.D., Director, Chronic Fatigue Clinic, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center​

October 15, 1 p.m. EST​
Alan Light, PhD, Research Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Utah​

December 17, 1 p.m. EST​
Solve ME/CFS Initiative Year-End Research Review


Pathways to Prevention Update​

The final report drafted by the panel that conducted the 2014 National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Advancing the Research on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, will appear in print in the Annals of Internal Medicine and will be posted online on June 16, 2015. A draft of the report, which summarizes the workshop and identifies future research priorities, is available here.

The workshop panel will hold a press telebriefing on Tuesday, June 16 at 11 a.m. Eastern time to discuss its findings and answer questions from members of the media. All interested parties are welcome to listen in, but the panel will only be accepting questions from members of the media.

For those who aren’t able to listen to the telebriefing, an audio playback will be available for a four-week period.


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