Saturday, April 19, 2014

crowdfunding campaign for an ambitious $1.27 million study of ME/CFS and the gut microbiome

Peter B:

"I’m one of a group of ME/CFS patients who have been developing a crowdfunding campaign for an ambitious $1.27 million study of ME/CFS and the gut microbiome – our ‘ecosystem’ of bacteria, viruses and fungi – by “the world’s most celebrated virus hunter”, Dr. Ian Lipkin, at Columbia University in New York.

  • We have created a website for the campaign, with the full support of Dr. Lipkin. A message to patients from him appears on our home page.

    We’re launching the website today and we hope that, as one of our community’s major bloggers, you might like to mention the campaign on your blog to help get the word out.

    $1.27 million is an ambitious target but we’re confident that, with an international effort and with everyone helping us to spread the word, we can raise the money and do it fast.

    We hope you’ll visit the site at

    Thank you!

ME/CFS: a devastating neuro-immune disease as disabling as multiple sclerosis, affecting one million Americans and 17 million people worldwide.
The study: a cutting-edge hunt for the causes of ME/CFS in the gut “microbiome” – the bacteria, viruses and fungi in the digestive system – led by “the world’s most celebrated virus hunter”, Dr W. Ian Lipkin at the world’s largest and most advanced center for microbe discovery and diagnosis at Columbia University in New York.
The payoff: a world-class study with the potential to swiftly lead to treatments using drugs, probiotics or exclusion diets.
Our challenge: to raise $1.27 million (£760,000; €910,000) to fund the project and do it fast! The scientists are ready to go and can complete and publish the study within 12 months. The sooner we fund it, the sooner it starts.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Neuroinflammation is present in widespread brain areas in CFS/ME patients

@ pubmed:
 2014 Mar 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Neuroinflammation in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: An 11C-(R)-PK11195 PET Study.


Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a disease characterized by chronic, profound, disabling, and unexplained fatigue. Although it is hypothesized that brain inflammation is involved in the pathophysiology of CFS/ME, there is no direct evidence of neuroinflammation in patients with CFS/ME. Activation of microglia or astrocytes is related to neuroinflammation. 11C-(R)-(2-chlorophenyl)-N-methyl-N-(1-methylpropyl)-3-isoquinoline-carboxamide (11C-(R)-PK11195) is a ligand of PET for a translocator protein that is expressed by activated microglia or astrocytes. We used 11C-(R)-PK11195 and PET to investigate the existence of neuroinflammation in CFS/ME patients.


Nine CFS/ME patients and 10 healthy controls underwent 11C-(R)-PK11195 PET and completed questionnaires about fatigue, fatigue sensation, cognitive impairments, pain, and depression. To measure the density of translocator protein, nondisplaceable binding potential (BPND) values were determined using linear graphical analysis with the cerebellum as a reference region.


The BPND values of 11C-(R)-PK11195 in the cingulate cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, midbrain, and pons were 45%-199% higher in CFS/ME patients than in healthy controls. In CFS/ME patients, the BPND values of 11C-(R)-PK11195 in the amygdala, thalamus, and midbrain positively correlated with cognitive impairment score, the BPND values in the cingulate cortex and thalamus positively correlated with pain score, and the BPND value in the hippocampus positively correlated with depression score.


Neuroinflammation is present in widespread brain areas in CFS/ME patients and was associated with the severity of neuropsychologic symptoms. Evaluation of neuroinflammation in CFS/ME patients may be essential for understanding the core pathophysiology and for developing objective diagnostic criteria and effective medical treatments.


11C-(R)-PK11195, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), neuroinflammation, positron emission tomography (PET)
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


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