The proposed study offers the direct clinical translation of our findings via our active and close affiliation with the Royal Children’s Hospital specialised Paediatric ME/CFS Rehabilitation Clinic. Through close collaboration with clinicians in this service, our research team is able to have a significant impact on the direct clinical care of children and adolescents with ME/CFS and the practices of clinicians and healthcare professionals working with these patients.
STUDY HYPOTHESIS AND DESCRIPTION
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is diagnosed by its symptoms, which include post-exertional malaise, fatigue, sleep disturbance, pain and cognitive impairment. Currently, there is no biomarker for diagnosis, and it is unclear how symptoms arise to create this chronic pathological state. Research into potential disease mechanisms in adolescents with ME/CFS is severely limited, despite adolescence representing a major age peak in the incidence of ME/CFS.
The outcomes of this project are to discover novel metabolic biomarkers in ME/CFS, link metabolism to the fluctuation of symptoms, determine mitochondrial function in ME/CFS, and produce a plethora of new knowledge for the field of ME/CFS.
Paediatric ME/CFS patients from the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric ME/CFS Clinic will be invited to participate in our study. We would first collect a blood sample and urine sample in conjunction with a symptom survey, questionnaire, and cognitive assessment. We would then engage consenting participants in a longitudinal study with wearable health technology while collecting urine and blood microsamples from patients over time.