Driving research of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS),
Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia and Long Covid

Autoimmunity and Autoantibodies in ME/CFS

Investigate potential differences in adrenergic and muscarinic receptor autoantibody levels in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples between ME/CFS patients and healthy controls.

  • Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD, Prof, Director ScD
  • Annie Bynke, Med Student, PhD
  • Per Julin, MD, PhD , MD
  • CG Gottfries, MD, PhD, Prof em
  • Carmen Scheibenbogen, MD, PhD, Prof

Recently completed a validation study on the presence of autoantibodies in plasma in two Swedish ME/CFS cohorts. We observed a significant up-regulation of autoantibodies in up to 70% of the patients. No autoantibodies could be found in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is very good news, as that would make removal of the antibodies very difficult.

Preliminary studies using immunoadsorption and/or plasmapheresis to remove the antibodies show positive effects in at least a subpopulation of ME/CFS patients.


Previously, autoantibodies have been observed to have increased binding to adrenergic and muscarinic receptors in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME / CFS) patients. It is hypothesized that these autoantibodies may be part of the pathogenesis of ME / CFS and patient symptom.


Plasma, CSF and health-related questionnaires were collected from two Swedish ME / CFS cohorts, plasma and CSF from one of the cohorts (n=24), only plasma from the second cohort (n=24) together with plasma samples (n=24) and CSF (n=6) from healthy controls.

All samples were analyzed for IgG autoantibodies directed against adrenergic and muscarinic receptors ELISA technique. The questionnaires were used as measures of disease severity.

This study has been published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity – Health

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia Leading Research. Delivering Hope.Open Medicine Foundation®

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