HealthRising: Ron Davis’ Strategic Approach To Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

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by Cort Johnson

The Open Medicine Foundation released two videos of Ron Davis talking about their work over the past couple of weeks. I got a chance to talk to Davis twice since then and to flesh out a bit more what he’s doing right now.

As most people probably know, the Davis group’s working hypothesis right now is that problems with glycolysis – the process producing many of the raw materials the mitochondria use for energy – is impaired in chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Their data is leading them to suspect an enzyme called pyruvate kinase is this issue. The Fluge/Mella group has come to a similar conclusion, but they’re more focused on a different enzyme called pyruvate dehydrogenase.

Both are coming to the conclusions in an indirect sort of way. Fluge and Mella’s amino acid metabolism results suggested problems with glycolysis were present. Davis’ experiments and metabolomics results suggest the same. Davis noted, though, that neither is directly measuring the performance of the enzymes that break down pyruvate.

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