Happy #OMFScienceWednesday! Today, we talk about why the Collaborative Research Center at Stanford we are funding aims to produce blood-based diagnostic technology for ME / CFS. Here are three major reasons:
1) Cheaper and faster: Anyone familiar with ME / CFS knows how difficult, time-consuming, and expensive it is for patients to get a diagnosis. A big part of that is because standard diagnosis is quite subjective (symptom-based) rather than biological. Because blood circulates throughout our body, its contents are altered by our health state. Blood is the least invasive way to get a glimpse at our individual biological differences, which is why it is used for the diagnosis of so many diseases. Several technologies developed by Dr. Ron Davis’ team at Stanford University are able to perform procedures to characterize patient blood samples cheaply and quickly. Here’s an example: https://med.stanford.edu/…/scientists-develop-lab-on-a-chip…
2) Allows monitoring: Just as diabetics use a home fingerstick kit to monitor their glucose levels over time, a blood diagnostic would eventually allow ME / CFS patients to monitor the state of their disease, including their response to treatments, dietary changes, or stressors.
3) Points to new drugs: A test that can tell healthy blood from ME / CFS blood can also be used to identify drugs that can make ME / CFS blood behave more like healthy blood. The Collaborative Research Center at Stanford is adapting technologies to screen large collections of drugs on patient blood, which may lead to new drugs that have the potential to be effective in patients.