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“World-first study” – ME Research UK-funded project acclaimed in Australian media

The results from Dr Leighton Barnden and colleagues at Griffith University Queensland, Australia ME Research UK-funded study have been covered widely in the Australian media.

In a world-first, Griffith University researchers used an ultra-high field MRI (7 Tesla) to investigate how COVID-19 and ME/CFS mirror the same effects on the brain structure. ME Research UK commented on the findings as soon as the research was published in Frontiers in Neuroscience.

Both ABC News online and The National Tribune hailed the importance of the study whilst The Brisbane Times, The West Australian, WA todayand Australian Doctor (ausdoc.) also featured the news.

The key findings of the research being that

  • ME/CFS and long COVID patients had larger than normal volumes of several areas of the brainstem
  • These volume changes correlated with clinical measures of pain and breathing difficulty

Dr Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik, Director of Griffith’s National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases and of the university’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, said the purpose of the study was to demonstrate the potential consistencies between the ME/CFS and Long COVID patients.

“We primarily used the 7T MRI to research the brainstem and its sub regions as it helps to resolve brain structures more precisely to discover abnormalities that other MRIs aren’t able to detect,”

Griffith News 14th March 2023

A short report on ABC news (Australia) touched upon the research

The study was funded by ME Research UK with the financial support of The Fred and Joan Davies Bequest.

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