STUDY HYPOTHESIS AND DESCRIPTION
The metabolic trap theory emerged from the genetic and metabolomics data from the Severely ill Patients Study (SIPS). Using previously published work, Dr Phair has developed a computational program that can model the flow of metabolism throughout the body and its cells. Using this technology, Dr Phair can determine any points that may disrupt the flow using genomic and metabolic information and this has led to the hypothesis of a metabolic trap that occurs in ME/CFS patients at the point in metabolism where tryptophan is converted to serotonin and kynurenine.
To test the hypothesis, experiments were initiated to measure the levels of tryptophan and kynurenine in cells from ME/CFS patients. This is a complicated procedure, as taking cells out of the body without disrupting their inherent metabolism is fraught with problems.