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Cytokines and Myalgic Encephalitis

A study led by Dr. Mady Hornig director of translational research at the Center for Infection and Immunity and associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia's Mailman School on cytokines and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is reported in Science Advances

ME is also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The study was received for publication 19 November 2014, and accepted for publication 6 February 2015.

We report here distinct alterations in plasma immune signatures early in the course of ME/CFS (n = 52) relative to healthy controls (n = 348) that are not present in subjects with longer duration of illness (n = 246). Analyses based on disease duration revealed that early ME/CFS cases had a prominent activation of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines as well as dissociation of intercytokine regulatory networks. We found a stronger correlation of cytokine alterations with illness duration than with measures of illness severity, suggesting that the immunopathology of ME/CFS is not static. These findings have critical implications for discovery of interventional strategies and early diagnosis of ME/CFS.

The progress in the conduct of the study was reported on April 22, 2014 in Pheonix Rising, a site that supports patients with ME.

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity and professor of neurology and pathology at Columbia’s Mailman School, is reported as saying:

This study delivers what has eluded us for so long: unequivocal evidence of immunological dysfunction in ME/CFS and diagnostic biomarkers for disease.

As the headlines in the popular press are reporting, this study provides robust’ evidence that ME is a physical illness.

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