ME Research UK – January 2024 e-newsletter

Our New Year’s resolution for 2024 is to provide more regular newsletters to keep people up to date with the charity’s activities and research.

New project announcement

ME Research UK starts the year with an announcement of a new project, jointly funded with the ME Association, awarded to Professor Robert Dorey, Dr Fatima Labeed and Professor Michael Hughes from the Centre for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Surrey, and Dr Eliana Lacerda and Caroline Kingdon from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the UK ME/CFS Biobank. This 12-month study will build upon initial findings of white blood cell impedance in the disease by using improved methods in a larger cohort, in the hope that it will result in a reliable, repeatable, and low-cost diagnostic tool using the electrical signature from a simple blood test.

Pictured: Professor Robert Dorey and Dr Fatima Labeed

Research articles

We continue to inform our supporters about new ME/CFS research news, and recent articles on our website include pieces on:

Extracellular vesicles and exertion

Extracellular vesicles, tiny packages released by cells, play a crucial role in the body. A study, utilising cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), found differences in extracellular vesicles in participants with ME/CFS compared to healthy controls, potentially indicating ‘failure to mount an adequate response to exercise at the molecular level.’

Biological abnormalities in people with ME/CFS

Despite the wealth of research showing biological abnormalities in ME/CFS, it is often perceived as psychosomatic by health professionals, and those funding research. This has impeded biomedical research and understanding of the disease. A recent article provides a clear summary of why the view that ME/CFS is a psychosomatic illness is inconsistent with results from biomedical research.

Coenzyme Q10 – a supplement worth further investigation?

A recent review by researchers in the UK and Spain explores mitochondrial dysfunction and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) supplementation in post-viral conditions – ME/CFS, long COVID and fibromyalgia. Whilst the research findings overall seem to be inconsistent across post-viral syndromes, the paper does suggest that there are still avenues to explore.

Beyond viruses – exploring infections and ME/CFS

Whilst viruses are commonly linked with the development of ME/CFS, a recent study of over 700,000 people in Taiwan investigates links with other pathogens (bacteria and fungi).

Other topics we have been exploring in January include the gut microbiome in severe ME/CFS, the overlap between long COVID and ME/CFS, and altered energy metabolism in ME/CFS.

Walk for ME 2024

ME Research UK is grateful once more to be chosen as one of two featured charities for the Walk for ME scheme. With the 2024 Team now launched, participants can fundraise in a way and at a date of their choosing. As the organisers say, “The whole idea is that the friend or family member is doing something that their loved one would love to be able to do but can’t.”

Want to know more about becoming a member of Team Walk for ME 2024 ? Full details.

Help us make the breakthrough

We know that, as a subscriber to our e-newsletter and someone who is interested in our work, that you join us in the belief that only robust scientific research is the key to understanding ME/CFS.

Donations from our valued supporters are vital if we are to continue our work to inform, influence, and invest, in ME/CFS research globally.

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