June 2005

Dr. Benjamin Natelson, M.D., professor of neurosciences at the University of New Jersey Medical School, is a highly respectedMyalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) researcher. He recently, using a new technology called proteomic profiling, has found abnormal proteins in the spinal fluid of ME/CFS patients.

The purpose of his research is to seek possible causes and diagnostic markers for ME/CFS.

In the early stages of this research, he has already found at least 5 "CFS-related alterations... in both the high and low molecular weight ranges." One of the proteins "that is present in all healthy controls... appears absent or reduced in 81% of CFIDS patients." Dr. Natelson, in the next phase of his research, is seeking to identify this protein. Likely candidates are a thryroid hormone transport protein and a brain-derived neurotrophic factor. The protein alterations could explain various ME/CFS symptoms, including exhaustion, cognition and memory problems, and neural aberrations.

Dr. Natelson wishes to continue and broaden his research to test the spinal fluids of more ME/CFS patients and controls to determine if a CFIDS-specific altered protein profile exists and if such a profile can be used as a diagnostic marker.

Although his work is in its early stages, it seems like a valuable line of research since the spinal fluid may provide access to determining organic changes in the brain.