A new study in the journal Pain has found correlations between alterations in the gut microbiome and Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia, which is thought to be related to ME/CFS, is mostly characterized by widespread chronic pain, but is also marked by symptoms that include fatigue, impaired sleep, and cognitive difficulties. Fibromyalgia, like ME/CFS, has a cause of unknown origin, has no clear diagnostic tests, and most often affects women.
Ron Davis’ group at Stanford University recently published a small-scale, yet promising study where they developed a new blood test that they hope can be used in the future as a cost-effective diagnostic tool for ME/CFS. Using a nanoelectronic assay, they were able to identify all 20 ME/CFS patients in their study as having ME/CFS, and had no false positives in their 20 healthy controls. A feature article by Ryan Prior about Ron Davis on CNN highlights this new study while also providing an in-depth look into Davis’ day-to-day life alongside his wife Janet Dafoe, in caring for their son Whitney, who has severe ME/CFS.
Davis has led a long and successful career. After completing his post-doc at Harvard University under Nobel Laureate James Watson, his lab became a large force behind the technology that powered the Human Genome Project. Now, Davis devotes all of his time and research to solving the puzzle that is ME/CFS. In addition to searching for biomarkers in patients’ blood for diagnostic purposes, Davis is also building a team of renowned scientists to find the molecular basis for ME/CFS.
A large hurdle to solving ME/CFS is awareness of the disease. There is very little funding available to dedicate to research. Advocacy continues to be very important to generating new interest in ME/CFS, and much more research is needed to make real progress in the field. This new CNN feature article brings great awareness for the disease, and will hopefully inspire even more progress.
Jennifer Brea recently announced that her ME/CFS is in remission in a new health update blog! After having a total thyroidectomy last year for stage 1 papillary thyroid cancer, Jennifer’s symptoms were greatly exacerbated, and she experienced new symptoms of flaccid limbs, numb legs, difficulty speaking and thinking, and even a hard time breathing when turning her head too far to one side. A cervical collar helped ease her symptoms, which led to her receiving a diagnosis of craniocervical instability and atlantoaxial instability (CCI/AAI). Jennifer received a series of surgeries about six months ago to treat her CCI/AAI, and has had a rapid recovery of all of her symptoms of both CCI/AAI and ME/CFS.