Hornig stresses biomarkers needed to pinpoint root causes of each ME/CFS subgroup


Why highlight an article from The Guardian? Because this may be the first time an article from The Guardian is talking about ME/CFS with more of a biomedical focus. The article also quotes Drs. Jose Montoya, Garth Nicolson, Mady Hornig, and a great community advocate, Mary Dimmock!

The article starts with the tagline:

“Once dismissed by many doctors as a psychological illness, new research suggests CFS has its roots in infection – and there is hope of successful treatment”

It is an interesting read that highlights stigma, it also brushes slightly on the PACE trial in the UK and it’s well worth seeing what Mary Dimmock says. Dr Hornig and Dr Montoya are quoted through the article, here two extracted quotes. Dr Hornig reiterates the need for biomarkers:

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]At the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, Professor Mady Hornig studies the various causes and potential treatments for CFS. “The range of symptoms across CFS patients is extremely diverse,” she says. “In some cases, something may have damaged the mitochondria which provide energy for immune cells, brain cells and your muscle cells.” Other researchers in the US have suggested that such patients can improve a lot from treatments such as a membrane lipid replacement. “For others, viruses or bacteria appear to have induced antibodies that can react against parts of your bodily organs, including your brain and muscle tissue, causing disruption,” Hornig says. “There’s a group in Norway who have had success using immunotherapy to treat some CFS patients.”[/pullquote] [pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Montoya and Hornig have both received grants from the National Institute of Health to identify the subgroups of patients within CFS more accurately. “We need to try to develop biomarkers for CFS that pinpoint what the root causes are,” Hornig says. “For some people it may be abnormal gut bacteria which can damage immune system function, and so probiotic treatment may help. Others may have more profound brain fog and sleep disturbances which could be due to an infection moving into their spinal fluid and brain, so they may respond preferentially to antibiotic or antiviral treatment.”[/pullquote]

Read the full article: ‘Is chronic fatigue syndrome finally being taken seriously?’ By David Cox