Thursday, January 05, 2017

2016 ME/CFS Research Summary

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2016 was a rough year in many ways for most people, with everything from natural disasters to increasing violence to vitriolic politic upheavals (not just in the U.S.). And, if you are reading this blog, then you or a loved one has this debilitating disease, so it was probably a rough year for you personally, too.

But 2016 was an EXCELLENT year for ME/CFS research! Lots of exciting new studies were published and major on-going projects announced, much of which made big headlines, even in the mainstream media. We are living in a time of great change and forward movement in the ME/CFS world, with advances being made constantly in diagnosis, treatment, and uncovering the mysteries of this complex disease.

Here are some highlights from 2016, starting with summaries from two major ME/CFS research organizations:

Solve ME/CFS Initiative published its year-end summary last week, including research advances, bringing together researchers from diverse branches of science with ME/CFS patients, building awareness of ME/CFS, and advocacy efforts to improve funding and government recognition. Their recently announced 5 seed projects through the Ramsay Award Program for ME/CFS are especially exciting and are just beginning. Check out their summary, which is in an easy-to read and understand format, for details.

Likewise, Open Medicine Foundation also published their Summary of 2016 Accomplishments, which is similarly impressive. It includes exciting research efforts that are still moving forward, a top-notch team of scientists and experts, advocacy efforts, and more.

Back here on my own blog, I posted a lot of summaries of ME/CFS research studies published and/or in progress in 2016, including:
Wow! That's a LOT of exciting research developments in one year, and in all kinds of different areas - genetics, biomarkers, treatments, and diagnosis. Some of these studies are already applicable to patients and many of them will form the basis for further research in this new year and beyond.

The pace of research into ME/CFS is definitely accelerating at a faster and faster rate - and the more that happens, the faster the advances will come because they all build on each other.

Heading into 2017, we have - AT LAST! - a solid framework of scientists, doctors, and experts all focused on unraveling the mysteries of ME/CFS and helping its patients - and most of them are sharing information and working together. Things are looking good for us and just keep getting better and better all the time.

Here's to a healthy and happy new year with many more scientific advances!


Siobhan (Chronically Siobhan) said...

Happy new year Sue!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for great summary. Curious abt this stmt: "Top ME/CFS doctors in the US are already using the results of this study to test treatments with their patients," Do you know where new treatments are being tried?

Tx, Lisa(

Sue Jackson said...

To you, too, Siobhan!

Sue Jackson said...

Hi, Lisa -

The top ME/CFS docs always stay in close touch and work together - Levine, Klimas & the docs at OMF. So, when the metabolics study came out, they discussed the results and pulled out a few small findings to test out. For instance, the study showed low phosphatidyl serine in patients, so they put together a quick study to supplement with it in a group of patients. My doctor (Levine) asked if I wanted to be a part of it.

That's just one example - I think there are other findings that they are testing out as treatments also. I love that they are all working together!