The heart of ME? Lipkin’s Collaborative Probes the Impact of Exertion

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Simon McGrath is the author of the ME/CFS Research Review blog.
The hallmark symptom of ME/CFS is post-exertional malaise (PEM), a prolonged, grim and disproportionate response to exertion. While Dr W. Ian Lipkin’s NIH-funded Collaborative – the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS – is focusing primarily on how problems in patients’ gut microbiomes might drive the disease, his team is also probing deeply what happens when patients exert themselves.​ Lipkin says that the exertion studies are so important that the Collaborative will devote a third of its research resources to it.
When I spoke to Lipkin about the Collaborative’s work, he also said he was very hopeful that there would be real progress for patients within five years. More on this later in the blog.

Exertion studies

The Collaborative has a simple idea for exploring PEM: use two different exertion tests that should provoke symptoms in patients and then see what happens, both to how patients feel and to their biology.
If biological changes, such as those to cytokines, ramp up along with symptoms then it’s more likely that the biological changes are directly related to the illness and should give clues as to their role. Any insights into the nature of PEM could lead to a much better understanding of ME/CFS.
Fifty patients and controls will undergo a single maximal exercise test, a sure-fire way to provoke PEM. Patients’ symptoms will be measured before the test and then 24 hours, 48 hours and one week after the test. Crucially, researchers will collect blood, saliva and stool (poop) samples on two occasions: before the test, and 24 hours later.
The other, gentler exertion test, called LEAN, simply involves patients leaning against a wall for ten minutes. This test is designed to induce orthostatic intolerance – the development of symptoms when standing upright that ease when lying down – which is a common problem in ME/CFS.
Symptoms (including brain fog, tested using a special phone app) will be measured just before the test and at three time-points afterward. Researchers will also check blood pressure and take other clinical measures both before and immediately after the test.
The researchers running the Collaborative’s immune study will apply transcriptomics (which examines gene expression) and metabolomics to blood samples from both the exertion tests. And this should reveal any biological changes as symptoms kick off.
[maxbutton id=”19″ url=”https://mecfsresearchreview.me/2018/08/14/the-heart-of-me-cfs-lipkins-collaborative-probes-the-impact-of-exertion/#crystal” text=”Keep Reading” ]  

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on google
Google+
Share on email
Email

1 thought on “The heart of ME? Lipkin’s Collaborative Probes the Impact of Exertion”

  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/what-is-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-and-why-arent-we-doing-more-to-treat-the-illness/2014/10/06/4cfff312-d458-11e3-8a78-8fe50322a72c_story.html?commentID=washingtonpost.com%2FECHO%2Fitem%2F1412690684-331-594
    These disputes are heartbreaking when the needs of CFS patients are so great. Even the high-quality treatment I got from Klimas helped me only slightly. A year after I saw her, I heard from some patients who had significantly recovered from CFS through assiduously avoiding exposure to mold and other environmental contaminants. Although I considered the theory wacky, I was desperate enough to experiment. And for me, it worked. Two years later, I can go running, write articles and travel with my new husband. Every time I do, it feels like a miracle.
    But I don’t think it is. My recovery has almost certainly come through physiological changes in response to my avoiding mold.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

Sign petition To Fix ME/CFS tracking In US!

In August, we shared with you that we and six other ME/CFS organizations had submitted a proposal to the National Center of Health Statistics (NCHS) to fix the coding of ME/CFS in the US International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-CM). Today, we are writing with an update on that proposal and asking that you sign the

Read More »

NICE announces roundtable event to ensure implementation of ME/CFS guideline

NICE announced today that it will hold a roundtable in September as the next step in the publication of the ME/CFS guideline. The roundtable will include representatives from patient organisations and charities, relevant professional societies, NHS England and NHS Improvement, NICE and the guideline committee. It aims to, “better understand the issues raised and determine

Read More »

#MEAction & 6 ME Orgs Call for CDC to Change How it Tracks ME/CFS

Together with six other organizations, we have submitted a proposal to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) to add myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) to the neurological chapter of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-CM).  Today, ME/CFS does not exist in the US ICD-10-CM. Instead,  most US doctors assign the code for chronic fatigue

Read More »

Help keep our work going

We rely on donations from people like you to keep fighting for equality for people with ME.

Donate

Get actions alerts and news direct to your inbox

You can choose what you want to be kept up to date on.

Subscribe
Scroll to Top