From the Desk of Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD
Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) is pleased to share the published results of an exciting fully-funded study conducted under the direction of Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD, Director of the ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Uppsala University.
This study was designed to validate the increase of autoantibodies observed in the blood of people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) that was observed in a previous study. In addition, the study investigated potential differences in autoantibody levels in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of those with ME/CFS and healthy controls.
Autoantibodies are antibodies (immune proteins) that mistakenly target and react with a person’s own cell structures. The increased autoantibodies observed previously in the blood of people with ME/CFS appear to be targeting ‘signaling molecules’ (named adrenergic and muscarinic receptors) on cell surfaces that are responsible for regulating energy metabolism, immune system activation, muscle activity, heart muscle activity and neurocognitive function.
Blood, cerebrospinal fluid and health-related questionnaires were collected from two ME/CFS cohorts. Blood and cerebrospinal fluids were collected from the first cohort, while only blood was collected from the second cohort along with blood samples from healthy controls.
All samples were analyzed for autoantibodies. The questionnaires were used as measures of the disease’s severity in patients.
“While no significant correlations between autoantibody levels and disease severity were evident in the study, our collaborators have conducted subsequent treatments to remove these autoantibodies and this has improved ME/CFS symptoms in a subset of patients,”
-Dr. Jonas Bergquist
Results from this study validated those previously found of an increase of autoantibodies against adrenergic and muscarinic receptors in the blood of people with ME/CFS.
“We are thrilled to fund this paper by Dr. Bergquist and his team at Uppsala,” OMF founder and CEO Linda Tannenbaum says. “This critical work speaks to the importance of our mission — to support and accelerate the research needed to tackle the global health crisis that is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”
Read the full paper published in Brain, Behavior, & Immunity – Health.
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