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

Stress-Activated MicroRNAs
in ME / CFS Pathogenesis

OUR HYPOTHESIS

We designed a clinical intervention, safely producing a post-exertional malaise (PEM), a hallmark symptom of ME / CFS. We hypothesized that a standardized stress-test inducing PEM, will reveal a more specific disease signature associated with ME / CFS symptoms. In that context, we investigated the role of circulating microRNAs, which are small non-coding RNA molecules that can be detected in the blood as well as in other biological fluids.

WHY THIS STUDY MATTERS FOR ME

Studying microRNAs might help to bridge the conceptual gap between genetic predisposition and environmental factors causing ME / CFS or exacerbating specific symptoms. Equally important, the design of a portable clinical intervention allows investigating severely ill persons with ME / CFS, especially the ones that are housebound.

OUR KEY FINDINGS

  • This strategy led us to identify 32 circulating microRNAs in a case-control cohort.
  • Several of the miRNAs identified in our discovery cohort are associated with inflammation, regulation of immunity and/or a physiological response to exercise (endurance regulators).
  • Implementation of bioinformatics tools like Machine Learning algorithm (Random Forest Algorithm) led to a validation of a first diagnostic panel of 8 microRNAs (miR-28-5p, miR-29a-5p, miR-127-3p, miR-140-5p, miR-374b-5p, miR-486-5p, miR-3620-3p and miR-6819-3p) using a dataset of individuals with ME / CFS and matched healthy controls.
  • This panel has a predictive accuracy of 90% with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 75% when the expression of each microRNA is compared after the stess-test versus their respective values at baseline (without stimulation). Conversely, when only the baseline values are used (without the stress-test), the predictive accuracy is lowered to 60% with a sensitivity of 71% and a specificity of 33% (non-specific). These preliminary results clearly indicated the superiority of our stress-test approach to reveal the molecular signature underlying ME / CFS.
  • This approach led also to an unbiased method to separate the persons with ME / CFS, called clustering, along three distinct clusters showing specific correlations between each cluster and symptom severity. Indeed, persons with ME / CFS classified in cluster 1 exhibit less general fatigue than those classified into cluster 2 and 3, while individuals in cluster 3 suffer of more severe sleep disturbances and PEM.
  • Interestingly, high expression of specific circulating microRNAs could help in predicting the respond toward specific treatment like Ampligen, Rituximab and many others.
  • To find out more about the outcomes of this study, read Profile of Circulating MicroRNAspaper.•The next phase of our investigation into microRNAs continued with the MAESTRO project.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia Leading Research. Delivering Hope.Open Medicine Foundation®

What are the advantages of giving from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF)?

  • Your gifts to your donor advised fund entitle you to an immediate income tax deduction at the time of contribution.
  • You avoid capital gains tax on appreciated assets you place in your donor advised fund.
  • Your fund’s investment gains accumulate tax free.
  • Funds are distributed to Open Medicine Foundation in your name and immediately put to use to support our worldwide research efforts.

How do I make a donation through my DAF?

Just click on the DAF widget below. It is simple and convenient to find your fund among the over 900 funds in our system.

Still can’t find your fund? 

  • Request a grant distribution through your Donor Advised Fund sponsor
  • Be sure to use OMF’s EIN #26-4712664
  • You can also designate OMF as a beneficiary for your Donor Advised Fund
  • Questions? Give us a call at 650-242-8669