Letter from Drs Lipkin & Hornig and they have new findings!

Here’s a message to us all from Dr Lipkin and Dr Hornig, with some encouraging news from their research! Highlights include:

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] …We want to take this opportunity to thank our supporters for all your fundraising efforts, donations and general support and encouragement …our research team has recently discovered differences in markers of immunity and metabolism in ME/CFS that may relate to disturbances in the gut microbiome. Details will be published in 2015. We look forward to sharing these findings with the ME/CFS community. [/pullquote]

Full letter:

The Center for Infection and Immunity
Mailman School of Public Health
Columbia University

December 12, 2014

Dear Friends:

It’s been nearly a year since the Microbe Discovery team launched the ME/CFS microbiome crowdfunding campaign. To date, more than $153,000 has been raised from nearly 1000 donations in 25 countries. We want to take this opportunity to thank our supporters for all your fundraising efforts, donations and general support and encouragement. And we’d like to especially thank the crowdfund team for their hard work, creativity, and financial support.

It’s been a productive year for the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII). While our research on emerging infectious disease outbreaks such as MERS and Ebola was particularly demanding, we never lost focus on our commitment to continue to make breakthroughs in the area of ME/CFS research.

With the ongoing collaborative support from the Chronic Fatigue Initiative, Simmaron Research and Edward P. Evans Foundation our research team has recently discovered differences in markers of immunity and metabolism in ME/CFS that may relate to disturbances in the gut microbiome. Details will be published in 2015. We look forward to sharing these findings with the ME/CFS community.

We presented our work at numerous worldwide conferences including:

• IACFS/ME Scientific Conference in San Francisco, CA in March
• 9th Invest in ME Research International ME Conference 2014: Synergizing Research into ME in the UK in May
• ME/CFS Research Collaborative Scientific Conference in the UK in September
• National Action Center for CFS/ME in Oslo, Norway in November
• NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Advancing the Research on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Bethesda, MD in December

We continue to raise awareness for our cause in the media and were thrilled that Buzzfeed and Columbia University highlighted our work and community partnership. We wish to thank Phoenix Rising, Cort Johnson of Health Rising and Simon McGrath for the invaluable support and continual coverage of our research efforts.

Thank you again for your generous, ongoing support. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

With our deepest appreciation,

W. Ian Lipkin, MD. Mady Hornig, MD.

PDF of letter

Comment from the Microbe Discovery Team

One of Dr Lipkin and Dr Hornig’s key reasons for looking at the microbiome in ME/CFS is that it might be driving the inflammation seen in the illness, and the microbiome has been implicated in immune activation in other illnesses, including Crohn’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

The crowfund study aims to look at the microbiome alongside inflammatory markers to see if the microbiome could be driving inflammation. Another way the microbiome could cause disease is through metabolic products from gut microbes entering the body. In his talk to patients in London, Dr Lipkin said of the microbiome:

“I think it produces compounds which traffic through the body or into the brain and cause all sorts of curious diseases”.

The latest findings about metabolism from Columbia may relate to metabolic products found in the blood, some of which may well have come from the microbiome.