With this newsletter, we introduce Mary-Kay Wildenhain Belant, our Research News Editor.
Even for a newbie to ME/CFS/FM like me, it’s obvious we’ve recently witnessed an uptick in research-based information, public awareness, and funding for new research related to these extremely debilitating, poorly understood diseases. It’s also very clear that people with ME/CFS/FM, their loved ones, and caregivers have struggled through decades of medical and societal ignorance about their health conditions. Thank goodness ME/CFS/FM-sufferers seem remarkably resilient and persistent! These qualities promise renewed hope and determination that science will lead government, medicine, and media toward long-needed explanations and treatments.
Below you will find links to a number of articles describing new and recent ME/CFS/FM research. With so much going on right now, these will be just a taste - we hope they’ll draw you toward a full meal of ME research out there on the internet!
1. Are you new to ME/CFS/FM, either as a patient or a loved one seeking to help and support? This recent comprehensive article "Myalgic Encelphalomyelitis. Unknown Cause. No cure. New Hope" in ASBMB Today, the monthly news magazine of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is a great place to start getting educated about the current context, state of the science, and research funding situation for ME/CFS.
2. After reading the article above, build your knowledge with this recent feature article, "A Reboot for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research," in the well-respected, international, peer-reviewed journal, Nature.
3. The comprehensive articles above emerge from the rising critical mass of attention on ME/CFS/FM, built by advocacy work over time. How exciting and hope-affirming that ME/CFS made the “Top 10 Trends in 2017” list for Medscape! It is free to use Medscape to follow the link above - you just need to register.
4. People with fibromyalgia and their loved ones will want to read this January 15 news article, "Fibromyalgia Hypersensitivity Could be due to Hypersensitive Brain Networks," at the Neuroscience News and Research website. The research this article describes was recently published as a scientific report in Nature, "Functional Brain Network Mechanism of Hypersensitivity in Chronic Pain."
5. BioMed Central, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal, recently published results from a Norwegian study, “Factors impacting the illness trajectory of post-infectious fatigue syndrome: a qualitative study of adults’ experiences.” This research offers insights that can help ME/CFS patients and their circles of support to choose among approaches and to avoid some that might do harm and/or waste time and energy.
6. Readers watching the science for diagnostic biomarkers will be very interested in another Nature science report: “Exercise-induced changes in cerebro-spinal fluid miRNAs in Gulf War Illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and sedentary control subjects.” Researchers found “patterns indicat[ing] distinct mechanisms for post-exertional malaise in CFS and [two different types] of GWI.
7. Parent carers/caregivers are the focus of this 2015 PubMed behavioral science descriptive research article, "Caring for People with Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Parents’ Experiences."
Together in ME/CFS/FM education and advocacy,
~ Mary-Kay Wildenhain Belant
Research News Editor
Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association volunteer