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

Promising Research Underway at Montréal Research Center

From the desk of Dr. Alain Moreau, PhD
Director of the Collaborative Research Center 
at the CHU Sainte-Justine/Université de Montréal

#TripleGivingTuesday Research Update

Promising Research Underway
at Montréal Research Center

I’m very pleased to share with you, a valued supporter of Open Medicine Foundation (OMF), an update from my team at the OMF funded ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Université de Montréal!

Developing a diagnostic tool and prognostic test
Our researchers are actively working to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie ME/CFS. My team has developed an exciting new diagnostic test, which explores the molecular mechanisms and patterns that change during the early development of Post-Exertional Malaise (PEM) in severe ME/CFS patients.

This test, using a Hexoskin Smart Shirt to induce mild-but-reproducible PEM, has so far uncovered eleven different microRNAs associated with ME/CFS that are capable of differentiating ME/CFS patients from healthy patients — with a 90 percent accuracy! MicroRNAs can represent potential indicators for diseases such as ME/CFS, and changes in microRNA expression could indicate cellular dysfunction and degeneration. Our research could lead to the development of a diagnostic test for ME/CFS and a prognostic tool used to predict future cases. 

Studying the role of Thrombospondin-1 
Our team of experts is also actively working to understand the role of Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) in those with ME/CFS. An important biomarker, TSP-1 appears to be associated with changes in the patients’ blood flow to the brain as evidenced in our discovery cohort. Elevated blood levels of TSP-1 have been associated with brain fog and memory impairment while reduced levels have been associated with orthostatic intolerance (symptoms that develop when standing but are relieved when reclining) and POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, a condition that affects circulation) in a group of severely ill ME/CFS patients. After validation in larger cohorts, if these findings are confirmed to be important in ME/CFS, then drug therapies can be developed in order to prevent or treat these severe symptoms in ME/CFS patients.

Click the image for more details about the studies

Understanding environmental and genetic influences 

Additionally, our team in Montréal seeks to understand how both environmental and genetic influences affect gene expression in the most complex diseases such as ME / CFS. In order to identify the most promising candidate genes, we are currently studying identical twins in which one twin has ME / CFS and the other twin does not, as well as multigenerational families that have many affected members.

These promising studies underway at the University of Montréal are, I believe, bringing us one step closer towards finding a diagnostic test, treatments and a cure for ME / CFS. But we need your help to accelerate this valuable research.

Please join me in supporting Open Medicine Foundation during their Triple Giving Tuesday campaign! When you donate between now and December 1, 2020, your gift will be TRIPLE matched by some very generous donors! That’s triple the impact of accelerating the important research underway at OMF’s five established research centers  — an international collaborative of scientists and clinicians focused solely on studying ME / CFS and related chronic, complex diseases.  

Join me in our quest to find a cure for ME/CFS!

It’s with your support that we’re leading critical research and delivering hope for millions. 

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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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.


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 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.


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.


Heather Ah San

Development and Communications Manager