The study expands on a previously-awarded proposal to thoroughly explore the underlying pathophysiology of post exertional malaise (PEM), the hallmark symptom of ME/CFS.
The hallmark symptom of ME/CFS is the flu-like worsening of symptoms after physical, mental, or emotional exertion known as post exertional malaise (PEM). The underlying mechanism behind this response is currently unknown, and this study aims to contribute useful insights to begin filling this gap. Twenty ME/CFS patients (10 recent and 10 historical) and 10 controls will complete 2-Day serial cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET) to not only stimulate physical exertion but also gather pulmonary gas exchange data in these groups. In addition, muscle biopsies after each CPET as well as pre and post blood draws will be performed to provide further mechanistic insights into PEM.
1. Assess the relevance of mitochondrial dysfunction after acute exercise to post exertional malaise.
2. Determine the prevalence of red blood cell deformability in ME/CFS.