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

New OMF Funded Research Paper

From the Desk of Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD
Uppsala University

Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) is pleased to share the published results of an exciting fully-funded study conducted under the direction of Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD, Director of the ME / CFS Collaborative Research Center at Uppsala University.

This study was designed to validate the increase of autoantibodies observed in the blood of people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) that was observed in a previous study. In addition, the study investigated potential differences in autoantibody levels in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of those with ME / CFS and healthy controls.

Autoantibodies are antibodies (immune proteins) that mistakenly target and react with a person’s own cell structures. The increased autoantibodies observed previously in the blood of people with ME / CFS  appear to be targeting ‘signaling molecules’ (named adrenergic and muscarinic receptors) on cell surfaces that are responsible for regulating energy metabolism, immune system activation, muscle activity, heart muscle activity and neurocognitive function.

Method

Blood, cerebrospinal fluid and health-related questionnaires were collected from two ME / CFS cohorts. Blood and cerebrospinal fluids were collected from the first cohort, while only blood was collected from the second cohort along with blood samples from healthy controls.

All samples were analyzed for autoantibodies. The questionnaires were used as measures of the disease’s severity in patients. 

Findings

“While no significant correlations between autoantibody levels and disease severity were evident in the study, our collaborators have conducted subsequent treatments to remove these autoantibodies and this has improved ME / CFS symptoms in a subset of patients,”

-Dr. Jonas Bergquist

Results from this study validated those previously found of an increase of autoantibodies against adrenergic and muscarinic receptors in the blood of people with ME / CFS.

 “We are thrilled to fund this paper by Dr. Bergquist and his team at Uppsala,” OMF founder and CEO Linda Tannenbaum says. “This critical work speaks to the importance of our mission — to support and accelerate the research needed to tackle the global health crisis that is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

Read the full paper published in Brain, Behavior, & Immunity – Health.


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uncover research-based answers.

Help us improve the quality of life for all sufferers of ME / CFS and other
chronic complex diseases, such as Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome
and Fibromyalgia.

 

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

Averting a second pandemic:

Open Medicine Foundation leads groundbreaking international study of

Long COVID’s conversion to ME/CFS

AGOURA HILLS, CALIF.  — Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) is leading a large-scale international collaborative study investigating the potential conversion of Post-Acute Sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection — more commonly known as Long COVID or Post-COVID Syndrome —  to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), a chronic, life-altering disease with no known cause, diagnostic test or FDA approved treatments available.

Up to 2.5 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from ME/CFS; the COVID-19 pandemic could at least double that number. An estimated 35 percent of Americans who had COVID-19 have failed to fully recover several months after infection, prompting many to call it “a potential second pandemic.”

OMF recognized a familiar health crisis emerging, one with eerie similarities to ME/CFS. This crisis presented a unique opportunity to understand how a viral infection — in this case COVID-19 — may develop into ME/CFS in some patients. The goal is to find targeted treatments for ME/CFS patients and ultimately prevent its onset in people infected with SARS-CoV-2 or other infections.

The federal government is only now investing in Post-COVID research, with no focus on its connection to ME/CFS. OMF has already engaged researchers for the largest-scale study of its kind, solely supported by private donors who have contributed over one million dollars to date. When fully funded, the five million dollar, three-year study will be conducted across the globe at OMF funded Collaborative Research Centers, led by some of the world’s top researchers and ME/CFS experts.

BACKGROUND

In a significant percentage of patients, infections preceded their development of ME/CFS.  For example, according to the CDC about one in ten infected with Epstein-Barr virus, Ross River virus, or Coxiella burnetti develop symptoms that meet the criteria for ME/CFS.

THE STUDY

The ability to follow the development of ME/CFS from a known viral infection is unprecedented to date and crucial to researchers’ understanding of the disease. The focus of this study is to find the biological differences between persons returning to good health after COVID-19 and persons who remained ill more than six months after infection and developed ME/CFS.  Understanding these alterations in key pathways can lead to groundbreaking discoveries including new biomarkers, drug targets, and prevention and treatment strategies.

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About Open Medicine Foundation

Established in 2012, Open Medicine Foundation leads the largest, concerted worldwide nonprofit effort to diagnose, treat, and prevent ME/CFS and related chronic, complex diseases such as Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Post COVID. OMF adds urgency to the search for answers by driving transformational philanthropy into global research. We have raised over $28 Million from private donors and facilitated and funded the establishment of six prestigious ME/CFS Collaborative Research Centers around the world. To learn more, visit www.omf.ngo.

CONTACT:

Heather Ah San

Development and Communications Manager

1-650-242-8669

heather@omf.ngo