Magdy El-Salhy,Trygve Hausken,Jan Gunnar Hatlebakk,
First published: 08 July 2021 https://doi.org/10.1111/nmo.14157
Neurogastroenterology and motility
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal functional disorder. Although IBS is a benign condition, it reduces the quality of life considerably. While there is currently no effective treatment for this disorder, fecal microbiota (FMT) seems to be promising.
The aim of this review was to analysis possible factors affecting the success or failure of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of FMT for IBS and highlighting the gaps in our knowledge that need to be filled and of sketching a possible model for successful FMT in IBS patients.
MethodsA systematic search was conducted of literature published in English from January 2015 to December 2020 using the keywords: fecal microbiota transplantation, randomized trials, and IBS.
Seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the efficacy of FMT for IBS were found in the literature. Four of the seven RCTs found various positive effects, while the other three did not find any effect.
Conclusions and Inferences
The efficacy of FMT for IBS appears to be donor-dependent. The effective (super) donor would need to have a favorable microbiota signature, and 11 clinical criteria that are known to be associated with a favorable microbiota have been suggested for selecting FMT donors for IBS. Comparing the microbiota of the effective donors with those of healthy subjects would reveal the favorable microbiota signature required for a super-donor. However, the studies reviewed were not designed to compare efficacy of different donor types. The dose of the fecal transplant is also an important factor influencing the outcome of FMT for IBS. However, further studies designed to test the effect of fecal transplant dose are needed to answer this question. Administering the fecal transplant to either the small or large intestine seems to be effective, but the optimal route of administration remains to be determined. Moreover, whether single or repeated FMT is more effective is also still unclear. A 1-year follow-up of IBS patients who received FMT showed that adverse events of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation were both mild and self-limiting.
Research Letter Neurology October 22, 2021
Assessment of Cognitive Function in Patients After COVID-19 Infection
Jacqueline H. Becker, PhD1; Jenny J. Lin, MD, MPH1; Molly Doernberg, MPH1; et alKimberly Stone, MPH1; Allison Navis, MD2; Joanne R. Festa, PhD2; Juan P. Wisnivesky, MD, DrPH1,3
JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(10):e2130645. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.30645
COVID-19 Resource Center
People who have survived COVID-19 frequently complain of cognitive dysfunction, which has been described as brain fog. The prevalence of post–COVID-19 cognitive impairment and the association with disease severity are not well characterized. Previous studies on the topic have been limited by small sample sizes and suboptimal measurement of cognitive functioning.1 We investigated rates of cognitive impairment in survivors of COVID-19 who were treated in outpatient, emergency department (ED), or inpatient hospital settings.
We analyzed data in this cross-sectional study from April 2020 through May 2021 from a cohort of patients with COVID-19 followed up through a Mount Sinai Health System registry. Study participants were 18 years or older, spoke English or Spanish, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 or had serum antibody positivity, and had no history of dementia. Participant demographic characteristics (eg, age, race, and ethnicity) were collected via self-report. Cognitive functioning was assessed using well-validated neuropsychological measures: Number Span forward (attention) and backward (working memory), Trail Making Test Part A and Part B (processing speed and executive functioning, respectively), phonemic and category fluency (language), and the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test–Revised (memory encoding, recall, and recognition). The Mount Sinai Health System Institutional Review Board approved this study, and informed consent was obtained from study participants. The study followed the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) reporting guideline.
We calculated the frequency of impairment on each measure, defined as a z score of less than or equal to 1.5 SDs below measure-specific age-, educational level–, and sex-adjusted norms.2,3 Logistic regression assessed the association between cognitive impairment and COVID-19 care site (outpatient, ED, or hospital), adjusting for race and ethnicity, smoking, body mass index, comorbidities, and depression. The threshold for statistical significance was α = .05, and the tests were 2-tailed. Analyses were performed using SAS, version 9.4 (SAS Institute).
The mean (IQR) age of 740 participants was 49 (38-59) years, 63% (n = 464) were women, and the mean (SD) time from COVID-19 diagnosis was 7.6 (2.7) months (Table 1). Participants self-identified as Black (15%), Hispanic (20%), or White (54%) or selected multiracial or other race and ethnicity (11%; other race included Asian [4.5%, n = 33)] and those who selected “other” as race). The most prominent deficits were in processing speed (18%, n = 133), executive functioning (16%, n = 118), phonemic fluency (15%, n = 111) and category fluency (20%, n = 148), memory encoding (24%, n = 178), and memory recall (23%, n = 170; Table 2).
In adjusted analyses, hospitalized patients were more likely to have impairments in attention (odds ratio [OR]: 2.8; 95% CI: 1.3-5.9), executive functioning (OR: 1.8; 95% CI: 1.0-3.4), category fluency (OR: 3.0; 95% CI: 1.7-5.2), memory encoding (OR: 2.3; 95% CI: 1.3-4.1), and memory recall (OR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.3-3.8) than those in the outpatient group. Patients treated in the ED were more likely to have impaired category fluency (OR: 1.8; 95% CI: 1.1-3.1) and memory encoding (OR: 1.7; 95% CI: 1.0-3.0) than those treated in the outpatient setting. No significant differences in impairments in other domains were observed between groups.
In this study, we found a relatively high frequency of cognitive impairment several months after patients contracted COVID-19. Impairments in executive functioning, processing speed, category fluency, memory encoding, and recall were predominant among hospitalized patients. The relative sparing of memory recognition in the context of impaired encoding and recall suggests an executive pattern. This pattern is consistent with early reports describing a dysexecutive syndrome after COVID-194 and has considerable implications for occupational, psychological, and functional outcomes. It is well known that certain populations (eg, older adults) may be particularly susceptible to cognitive impairment after critical illness5; however, in the relatively young cohort in the present study, a substantial proportion exhibited cognitive dysfunction several months after recovering from COVID-19. The findings of this study are generally consistent with those of research on other viruses (eg, influenza).6
Limitations of this study include a potential sampling bias, as some participants may have presented to Mount Sinai Health System because of health concerns. Future studies should investigate long-term post–COVID-19 cognitive trajectories and the association with neuroimaging findings to assess potential mechanisms.
The association of COVID-19 with executive functioning raises key questions regarding patients’ long-term treatment. Future studies are needed to identify the risk factors and mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunction as well as options for rehabilitation.
Heliyon: The SARS-CoV-2 receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: A meta-analysis of public DNA methylation and gene expression data
João Malato, Franziska Sotzny, [...], and Nuno Sepúlveda
People with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) often report a high frequency of viral infections and flu-like symptoms during their disease course. Given that this reporting agrees with different immunological abnormalities and altered gene expression profiles observed in the disease, we aimed at answering whether the expression of the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the major cell entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2, is also altered in these patients. In particular, a low expression of ACE2 could be indicative of a high risk of developing COVID-19. We then performed a meta-analysis of public data on CpG DNA methylation and gene expression of this enzyme and its homologous ACE protein in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and related subsets. We found that patients with ME/CFS have decreased methylation levels of four CpG probes in the ACE locus (cg09920557, cg19802564, cg21094739, and cg10468385) and of another probe in the promoter region of the ACE2 gene (cg08559914). We also found a decreased expression of ACE2 but not of ACE in patients when compared to healthy controls. Accordingly, in newly collected data, there was evidence for a significant higher proportion of samples with an ACE2 expression below the limit of detection in patients than healthy controls. Altogether, patients with ME/CFS can be at a higher COVID-19 risk and, if so, they should be considered a priority group for vaccination by public health authorities. To further support this conclusion, similar research is recommended for other human cell entry receptors and cell types, namely, those cells targeted by the virus.
Keywords: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, SARS-CoV-2, ACE2, Gene expression, DNA methylation
An Audit of UK Hospital Doctors’ Knowledge and Experience of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
Keng Ngee Hng, Keith Geraghty, Derek F. H. Pheby
Medicina 2021, 57(9), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57090885
Received: 21 July 2021 / Revised: 13 August 2021 / Accepted: 24 August 2021 / Published: 27 August 2021
Background and Objectives: There is some evidence that knowledge and understanding of ME among doctors is limited. Consequently, an audit study was carried out on a group of hospital doctors attending a training event to establish how much they knew about ME and their attitudes towards it. Materials and Methods: Participants at the training event were asked to complete a questionnaire, enquiring about prior knowledge and experience of ME and their approaches to diagnosis and treatment. A total of 44 completed questionnaires were returned. Responses were tabulated, proportions selecting available options determined, 95% confidence limits calculated, and the significance of associations determined by Fisher’s exact test. Results: Few respondents had any formal teaching on ME, though most had some experience of it. Few knew how to diagnose it and most lacked confidence in managing it. None of the respondents who had had teaching or prior experience of ME considered it a purely physical illness. Overall, 91% of participants believed ME was at least in part psychological. Most participants responded correctly to a series of propositions about the general epidemiology and chronicity of ME. There was little knowledge of definitions of ME, diagnosis, or of clinical manifestations. Understanding about appropriate management was very deficient. Similarly, there was little appreciation of the impact of the disease on daily living or quality of life. Where some doctors expressed confidence diagnosing or managing ME, this was misplaced as they were incorrect on the nature of ME, its diagnostic criteria and its treatment. Conclusion: This audit demonstrates that most doctors lack training and clinical expertise in ME. Nevertheless, participants recognised a need for further training and indicated a wish to participate in this. It is strongly recommended that factually correct and up-to-date medical education on ME be made a priority at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is also recommended that this audit be repeated following a period of medical education.
Keywords: myalgic encephalomyelitis; chronic fatigue syndrome; ME/CFS; ME; medical education; postgraduate education
The effect of IL-2 stimulation and treatment of TRPM3 on channel co-localisation with PIP2 and NK cell function in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome patients
J of translational medicine
Natalie Eaton-Fitch, Hélène Cabanas, [...], and Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a serious multifactorial disorder. The origin remains ambiguous, however reduced natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity is a consistent immunological feature of ME/CFS. Impaired transient receptor potential melastatin 3 (TRPM3), a phosphatidylinositol dependent channel, and impaired calcium mobilisation have been implicated in ME/CFS pathology. This investigation aimed to examine the localisation of TRPM3 at the NK cell plasma membrane and co-localisation with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). The effect of IL-2 priming and treatment using pregnenolone sulfate (PregS) and ononetin on TRPM3 co-localisation and NK cell cytotoxicity in ME/CFS patients and healthy controls (HC) was also investigated.
NK cells were isolated from 15 ME/CFS patients and 15 age- and sex-matched HC. Immunofluorescent technique was used to determine co-localisation of TRPM3 with the NK cell membrane and with PIP2 of ME/CFS patients and HC. Flow cytometry was used to determine NK cell cytotoxicity. Following IL-2 stimulation and treatment with PregS and ononetin changes in co-localisation and NK cell cytotoxicity were measured.
Overnight treatment of NK cells with PregS and ononetin resulted in reduced co-localisation of TRPM3 with PIP2 and actin in HC. Co-localisation of TRPM3 with PIP2 in NK cells was significantly reduced in ME/CFS patients compared with HC following priming with IL-2. A significant increase in co-localisation of TRPM3 with PIP2 was reported following overnight treatment with ononetin within ME/CFS patients and between groups. Baseline NK cell cytotoxicity was significantly reduced in ME/CFS patients; however, no changes were observed following overnight incubation with IL-2, PregS and ononetin between HC and ME/CFS patients. IL-2 stimulation significantly enhanced NK cell cytotoxicity in HC and ME/CFS patients.
Significant changes in co-localisation suggest PIP2-dependent TRPM3 function may be impaired in ME/CFS patients. Stimulation of NK cells with IL-2 significantly enhanced cytotoxic function in ME/CFS patients demonstrating normal function compared with HC. A crosstalk exists between IL-2 and TRPM3 intracellular signalling pathways which are dependent on Ca2+ influx and PIP2. While IL-2R responds to IL-2 binding in vitro, Ca2+ dysregulation and impaired intracellular signalling pathways impede NK cell function in ME/CFS patients.
ME/CFS: Exercise goals should be set by patients and not driven by treatment plan, says NICE
BMJ 2021; 375 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2643 (Published 29 October 2021)Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2643
Graded exercise therapy (GET) should no longer be used to treat patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy)/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in long awaited updated guidance.1
Patients may still be offered exercise programmes provided they are not based on fixed incremental increases in physical activity or exercise. Instead, programmes should be based around person centred energy management, which is a self-management strategy led by the patient with support from a healthcare professional in an ME/CFS specialist team, the guideline advises.
Energy management should consider all types of activity (cognitive, physical, emotional, and social) that help patients learn to use the amount of energy they have, while reducing their risk of post-exertional malaise or worsening their symptoms by exceeding their limits.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has sometimes been assumed to be a cure for ME/CFS, the guideline acknowledges. Now it should be offered only to help people manage their symptoms, improve their functioning, and reduce the distress associated with having a chronic illness.
Association of Self-reported COVID-19 Infection and SARS-CoV-2 Serology Test Results With Persistent Physical Symptoms Among French Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Joane Matta, PhD1; Emmanuel Wiernik, PhD1; Olivier Robineau, MD, PhD2,3; et alFabrice Carrat, MD, PhD3; Mathilde Touvier, PhD4; Gianluca Severi, PhD5,6; Xavier de Lamballerie, MD, PhD7; Hélène Blanché, PhD8; Jean-François Deleuze, PhD8; Clément Gouraud, MD, MSc9; Nicolas Hoertel, MD, PhD10; Brigitte Ranque, MD, PhD11; Marcel Goldberg, MD, PhD1; Marie Zins, MD, PhD1; Cédric Lemogne, MD, PhD12; for the Santé, Pratiques, Relations et Inégalités Sociales en Population Générale Pendant la Crise COVID-19–Sérologie (SAPRIS-SERO) Study Group
JAMA Intern Med. Published online November 8, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.6454
Question Are the belief in having had COVID-19 infection and actually having had the infection as verified by SARS-CoV-2 serology testing associated with persistent physical symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Findings In this cross-sectional analysis of 26 823 adults from the population-based French CONSTANCES cohort during the COVID-19 pandemic, self-reported COVID-19 infection was associated with most persistent physical symptoms, whereas laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection was associated only with anosmia. Those associations were independent from self-rated health or depressive symptoms.
Meaning Findings suggest that persistent physical symptoms after COVID-19 infection should not be automatically ascribed to SARS-CoV-2; a complete medical evaluation may be needed to prevent erroneously attributing symptoms to the virus.
Importance After an infection by SARS-CoV-2, many patients present with persistent physical symptoms that may impair their quality of life. Beliefs regarding the causes of these symptoms may influence their perception and promote maladaptive health behaviors.
Objective To examine the associations of self-reported COVID-19 infection and SARS-CoV-2 serology test results with persistent physical symptoms (eg, fatigue, breathlessness, or impaired attention) in the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Design, Setting, and Participants Participants in this cross-sectional analysis were 26 823 individuals from the French population-based CONSTANCES cohort, included between 2012 and 2019, who took part in the nested SAPRIS and SAPRIS-SERO surveys. Between May and November 2020, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect anti–SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Between December 2020 and January 2021, the participants reported whether they believed they had experienced COVID-19 infection and had physical symptoms during the previous 4 weeks that had persisted for at least 8 weeks. Participants who reported having an initial COVID-19 infection only after completing the serology test were excluded.
Main Outcomes and Measures Logistic regressions for each persistent symptom as the outcome were computed in models including both self-reported COVID-19 infection and serology test results and adjusting for age, sex, income, and educational level.
Results Of 35 852 volunteers invited to participate in the study, 26 823 (74.8%) with complete data were included in the present study (mean [SD] age, 49.4 [12.9] years; 13 731 women [51.2%]). Self-reported infection was positively associated with persistent physical symptoms, with odds ratios ranging from 1.39 (95% CI, 1.03-1.86) to 16.37 (95% CI, 10.21-26.24) except for hearing impairment (odds ratio, 1.45; 95% CI, 0.82-2.55) and sleep problems (odds ratio, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.89-1.46). A serology test result positive for SARS-COV-2 was positively associated only with persistent anosmia (odds ratio, 2.72; 95% CI, 1.66-4.46), even when restricting the analyses to participants who attributed their symptoms to COVID-19 infection. Further adjusting for self-rated health or depressive symptoms yielded similar results. There was no significant interaction between belief and serology test results.
Conclusions and Relevance The findings of this cross-sectional analysis of a large, population-based French cohort suggest that persistent physical symptoms after COVID-19 infection may be associated more with the belief in having been infected with SARS-CoV-2 than with having laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection. Further research in this area should consider underlying mechanisms that may not be specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A medical evaluation of these patients may be needed to prevent symptoms due to another disease being erroneously attributed to “long COVID.”
Local immune response to food antigens drives meal-induced abdominal pain
Javier Aguilera-Lizarraga, Morgane V. Florens, Guy E. Boeckxstaens
Nature volume 590, pages151–156 (2021)
Up to 20% of people worldwide develop gastrointestinal symptoms following a meal1, leading to decreased quality of life, substantial morbidity and high medical costs. Although the interest of both the scientific and lay communities in this issue has increased markedly in recent years, with the worldwide introduction of gluten-free and other diets, the underlying mechanisms of food-induced abdominal complaints remain largely unknown. Here we show that a bacterial infection and bacterial toxins can trigger an immune response that leads to the production of dietary-antigen-specific IgE antibodies in mice, which are limited to the intestine. Following subsequent oral ingestion of the respective dietary antigen, an IgE- and mast-cell-dependent mechanism induced increased visceral pain. This aberrant pain signalling resulted from histamine receptor H1-mediated sensitization of visceral afferents. Moreover, injection of food antigens (gluten, wheat, soy and milk) into the rectosigmoid mucosa of patients with irritable bowel syndrome induced local oedema and mast cell activation. Our results identify and characterize a peripheral mechanism that underlies food-induced abdominal pain, thereby creating new possibilities for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and related abdominal pain disorders.
Deficient butyrate-producing capacity in the gut microbiome of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients is associated with fatigue symptoms
Cheng Guo, Xiaoyu Che, Thomas Briese, View ORCID ProfileOrchid Allicock, Rachel A. Yates, Aaron Cheng, Amit Ranjan, Dana March, View ORCID ProfileMady Hornig, View ORCID ProfileAnthony L. Komaroff, Susan Levine, View ORCID ProfileLucinda Bateman, View ORCID ProfileSuzanne D. Vernon, View ORCID ProfileNancy G. Klimas, Jose G. Montoya, Daniel L. Peterson, View ORCID ProfileW. Ian Lipkin, View ORCID ProfileBrent L. Williams
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.10.27.21265575 BMJ Yale
Background Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex, debilitating disease of unknown cause for which there is no specific therapy. Patients suffering from ME/CFS commonly experience persistent fatigue, post-exertional malaise, cognitive dysfunction, sleep disturbances, orthostatic intolerance, fever and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Recent evidence implicates gut microbiome dysbiosis in ME/CFS. However, most prior studies are limited by small sample size, differences in clinical criteria used to define cases, limited geographic sampling, reliance on bacterial culture or 16S rRNA gene sequencing, or insufficient consideration of confounding factors that may influence microbiome composition. In the present study, we evaluated the fecal microbiome in the largest prospective, case-control study to date (n=106 cases, n=91 healthy controls), involving subjects from geographically diverse communities across the United States.
Results Using shotgun metagenomics and qPCR and rigorous statistical analyses that controlled for important covariates, we identified decreased relative abundance and quantity of Faecalibacterium, Roseburia, and Eubacterium species and increased bacterial load in feces of subjects with ME/CFS. These bacterial taxa play an important role in the production of butyrate, a multifunctional bacterial metabolite that promotes human health by regulating energy metabolism, inflammation, and intestinal barrier function. Functional metagenomic and qPCR analyses were consistent with a deficient microbial capacity to produce butyrate along the acetyl-CoA pathway in ME/CFS. Metabolomic analyses of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) confirmed that fecal butyrate concentration was significantly reduced in ME/CFS. Further, we found that the degree of deficiency in butyrate-producing bacteria correlated with fatigue symptom severity among ME/CFS subjects. Finally, we provide evidence that IBS comorbidity is an important covariate to consider in studies investigating the microbiome of ME/CFS subjects, as differences in microbiota alpha diversity, some bacterial taxa, and propionate were uniquely associated with self-reported IBS diagnosis.
Conclusions Our findings indicate that there is a core deficit in the butyrate-producing capacity of the gut microbiome in ME/CFS subjects compared to healthy controls. The relationships we observed among symptom severity and these gut microbiome disturbances may be suggestive of a pathomechanistic linkage, however, additional research is warranted to establish any causal relationship. These findings provide support for clinical trials that explore the utility of dietary, probiotic and prebiotic interventions to boost colonic butyrate production in ME/CFS.
Front. Med., 05 July 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.686736
Herpesviruses Serology Distinguishes Different Subgroups of Patients From the United Kingdom Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Biobank
Tiago Dias Domingues1,2, Anna D. Grabowska3, Ji-Sook Lee4, Jose Ameijeiras-Alonso5, Francisco Westermeier6,7, Carmen Scheibenbogen8, Jacqueline M. Cliff4, Luis Nacul9,10, Eliana M. Lacerda9, Helena Mouriño1,11 and Nuno Sepúlveda2,4,8*
The evidence of an association between Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and chronic herpesviruses infections remains inconclusive. Two reasons for the lack of consistent evidence are the large heterogeneity of the patients' population with different disease triggers and the use of arbitrary cutoffs for defining seropositivity. In this work we re-analyzed previously published serological data related to 7 herpesvirus antigens. Patients with ME/CFS were subdivided into four subgroups related to the disease triggers: S0-42 patients who did not know their disease trigger; S1-43 patients who reported a non-infection trigger; S2-93 patients who reported an infection trigger, but that infection was not confirmed by a lab test; and S3-48 patients who reported an infection trigger and that infection was confirmed by a lab test. In accordance with a sensitivity analysis, the data were compared to those from 99 healthy controls allowing the seropositivity cutoffs to vary within a wide range of possible values. We found a negative association between S1 and seropositivity to Epstein-Barr virus (VCA and EBNA1 antigens) and Varicella-Zoster virus using specific seropositivity cutoff. However, this association was not significant when controlling for multiple testing. We also found that S3 had a lower seroprevalence to the human cytomegalovirus when compared to healthy controls for all cutoffs used for seropositivity and after adjusting for multiple testing using the Benjamini-Hochberg procedure. However, this association did not reach statistical significance when using Benjamini-Yekutieli procedure. In summary, herpesviruses serology could distinguish subgroups of ME/CFS patients according to their disease trigger, but this finding could be eventually affected by the problem of multiple testing.
A Comprehensive Examination of Severely Ill ME/CFS Patients
Chia-Jung Chang,Li-Yuan Hung, Andreas M. Kogelnik, David KaufmanRaeka, S. Aiyar,Angela M. Chu,Julie Wilhelmy,Peng Li,,l Tannenbaum, Wenzhong Xiao, and Ronald W. Davis
ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center at Stanford, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA
These authors have contributed equally to this work and share first authorship.
Academic Editors: Kenneth J. Friedman, Lucinda Bateman and Kenny Leo De Meirleir
Healthcare 2021, 9(10), 1290; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101290
Received: 1 September 2021 / Revised: 20 September 2021 / Accepted: 22 September 2021 / Published: 29 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ME/CFS – the Severely and Very Severely Affected)
One in four myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients are estimated to be severely affected by the disease, and these house-bound or bedbound patients are currently understudied. Here, we report a comprehensive examination of the symptoms and clinical laboratory tests of a cohort of severely ill patients and healthy controls. The greatly reduced quality of life of the patients was negatively correlated with clinical depression. The most troublesome symptoms included fatigue (85%), pain (65%), cognitive impairment (50%), orthostatic intolerance (45%), sleep disturbance (35%), post-exertional malaise (30%), and neurosensory disturbance (30%). Sleep profiles and cognitive tests revealed distinctive impairments. Lower morning cortisol level and alterations in its diurnal rhythm were observed in the patients, and antibody and antigen measurements showed no evidence for acute infections by common viral or bacterial pathogens. These results highlight the urgent need of developing molecular diagnostic tests for ME/CFS. In addition, there was a striking similarity in symptoms between long COVID and ME/CFS, suggesting that studies on the mechanism and treatment of ME/CFS may help prevent and treat long COVID and vice versa.
Keywords: severe ME/CFS; quality of life; clinical symptoms; sleep; cognitive tests; laboratory tests; viral infection; antibody and antigen; long COVID; post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC)
Redox imbalance links COVID-19 and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome
Bindu D. Paula,b,c,1, Marian D. Lemled , Anthony L. Komaroffe , and Solomon H. Snydera,b,c,1
Edited by Maureen R. Hanson, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and accepted by Editorial Board Member Philippa Marrack June 25, 2021
(received for review February 28, 2021)
Although most patients recover from acute COVID-19, some experience postacute sequelae of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection (PASC). One subgroup of PASC is a syndrome called “long COVID-19,” reminiscent of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). ME/CFS is a debilitating condition, often triggered by viral and bacterial infections, leading to years-long debilitating symptoms including profound fatigue, postexertional malaise, unrefreshing sleep, cognitive deficits, and orthostatic intolerance. Some are skeptical that either ME/CFS or long COVID-19 involves underlying biological abnormalities. However, in this review, we summarize the evidence that people with acute COVID-19 and with ME/CFS have biological abnormalities including redox imbalance, systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation, an impaired ability to generate adenosine triphosphate, and a general hypometabolic state. These phenomena have not yet been well studied in people with long COVID-19, and each of them has been reported in other diseases as well, particularly neurological diseases. We also examine the bidirectional relationship between redox imbalance, inflammation, energy metabolic deficits, and a hypometabolic state. We speculate as to what may be causing these abnormalities. Thus, understanding the molecular underpinnings of both PASC and ME/CFS may lead to the development of novel therapeutics. COVID-19 | chronic fatigue syndrome | myalgic encephalomyelitis
Health, Wellbeing, and Prognosis of Australian Adolescents with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS): A Case-Controlled Follow-Up Study
Elisha K. Josev,Adam Scheinberg,Katherine Rowe,Lionel Lubitz and,,Sarah J. Knight
Neurodisability and Rehabilitation, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne 3052, Australia
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(16), 3603; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10163603
Received: 30 June 2021 / Revised: 1 August 2021 / Accepted: 9 August 2021 / Published: 16 August 2021
Background: The purpose of this study was to follow-up an Australian cohort of adolescents newly-diagnosed with ME/CFS at a tertiary paediatric ME/CFS clinic and healthy controls over a mean period of two years (range 1–5 years) from diagnosis. Objectives were to (a) examine changes over time in health and psychological wellbeing, (b) track ME/CFS symptomatology and fulfillment of paediatric ME/CFS diagnostic criteria over time, and (c) determine baseline predictors of ME/CFS criteria fulfilment at follow-up. Methods: 34 participants aged 13–18 years (25 ME/CFS, 23 controls) completed standardised questionnaires at diagnosis (baseline) and follow-up assessing fatigue, sleep quality and hygiene, pain, anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life. ME/CFS symptomatology and diagnostic criteria fulfilment was also recorded. Results: ME/CFS patients showed significant improvement in most health and psychological wellbeing domains over time, compared with controls who remained relatively stable. However, fatigue, pain, and health-related quality of life remained significantly poorer amongst ME/CFS patients compared with controls at follow-up. Sixty-five percent of ME/CFS patients at baseline continued to fulfil ME/CFS diagnostic criteria at follow-up, with pain the most frequently experienced symptom. Eighty-two percent of patients at follow-up self-reported that they still had ME/CFS, with 79% of these patients fulfilling criteria. No significant baseline predictors of ME/CFS criteria fulfilment at follow-up were observed, although pain experienced at baseline was significantly associated with criteria fulfilment at follow-up (R = 0.6, p = 0.02). Conclusions: The majority of Australian adolescents with ME/CFS continue to fulfil diagnostic criteria at follow-up, with fatigue, pain, and health-related quality of life representing domains particularly relevant to perpetuation of ME/CFS symptoms in the early years following diagnosis. This has direct clinical impact for treating clinicians in providing a more realistic prognosis and highlighting the need for intervention with young people with ME/CFS at the initial diagnosis and start of treatment.
Keywords: chronic fatigue syndrome; myalgic encephalomyelitis; follow-up; adolescence; health; wellbeing; diagnostic criteria