Saturday, 7 November 2015

First there was CFS/ME, then SEID, now... NIOF

A quick-ish post for you today, to bring the paper by Michael Maes [1] to your attention and illustrate how when it comes to research at least, this year (2015) seems to be truly moving forward when it comes to the topic of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

The latest Maes paper (one of many by this author on this topic) provides some further research discussion on how progress in getting to the root cause of CFS/ME and developing suitable interventions has to some degree been hindered by how the condition(s) have been described down the years. This all came to a head recently with the proclamation that a name change might be in order (SEID - see here) and confirmation that, yes, CFS/ME (or SEID if you will) is a real condition (see here). That last statement is probably not new news to the thousands of people who suffer (yes, they do suffer) with CFS/ME, having been derided for years with labels such as yuppie flu or even worse.

In this recent paper, Maes argues that based on the presentation of various symptoms combined with specific "neuro-immune, inflammatory, oxidative and nitrosative stress (neuro-IO&NS) biomarkers" there may be something to see in terms of "the presence of two well-separated clusters with highly significant differences in symptoms and biomarkers."

Termed NIOF (Neuro-Inflammatory and Oxidative Fatigue), Maes also reports: "An algorithm was constructed which defined NIOF as chronic fatigue and 4 or more of the following 6 symptoms: muscle tension, memory disturbances, sleep disorders, irritable bowel, headache or a flu-like malaise."

Suffice to say that quite a bit more research is required in this area before NIOF becomes part of SEID (or CFS/ME). Independent verification and replication is the way forward; so I'll be waiting to see if anyone takes up the research gauntlet. Personally, I do find it refreshing that research is turning towards the idea that there maybe various different conditions classified under the umbrella of CFS/ME or SEID. The concept of plurality is key to finding both possible reasons for causation [2] and effective interventions for the debilitating aspects of the condition based on the idea of heterogeneity, subgroups and symptoms. It all sounds awfully familiar...

Music: Spiller - Groovejet.

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[1] Maes M. A new case definition of Neuro-Inflammatory and Oxidative Fatigue (NIOF), a neuroprogressive disorder, formerly known as chronic fatigue syndrome or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: results of multivariate pattern recognition methods and external validation by neuro-immune biomarkers. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2015 Sep 12;36(4):320-329.

[2] Magnus P. et al. Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is associated with pandemic influenza infection, but not with an adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine. Vaccine. 2015 Oct 13. pii: S0264-410X(15)01433-4.

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ResearchBlogging.org Maes M (2015). A new case definition of Neuro-Inflammatory and Oxidative Fatigue (NIOF), a neuroprogressive disorder, formerly known as chronic fatigue syndrome or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: results of multivariate pattern recognition methods and external validation by Neuro endocrinology letters, 36 (4), 320-329 PMID: 26454487