On September 23, 2020, a CDC ME/CFS Stakeholder Engagement and Communication (SEC) call took place, featuring a presentation by Dr. Maureen Hanson, ENID Center Director, on “Immune Dysfunction in ME/CFS”. Dr. Elizabeth Unger, Branch Chief of CDC’s Chronic Viral Diseases Branch, provided CDC programmatic updates. The SEC call transcript, audio, and presentation slides are now available on the CDC’s website. Direct links to specific content, including Hanson’s slideshow presentation, are below.
Listen to the audio recording.
Read the transcript.
View Dr. Hanson’s presentation.
On November 4-5, 2020, Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medicine held a COVID-19 Summit to exchange information about research into the disease ongoing at both institutions. Dr. Maureen Hanson presented a “flash” talk with three slides to introduce Cornell COVID-19 researchers to the similarity between long-haul COVID-19 and ME/CFS. Content from Hanson’s talk is below.
At the Swedish RME annual ME/CFS conference on Oct. 14, 2020, Clinical Core Co-Director, Dr. Betsy Keller, presented virtually on post-exertional malaise (PEM). Keller goes into detail on PEM by covering what it is, ways to assess impairment due to PEM, and strategies to minimize PEM. Her full talk “PEM: Strategies for determining and managing the cardinal symptom of ME/CFS” can be viewed below and is also available on YouTube here.
For an English version of Swedish RME’s website visit this link.
Center investigator Dr. Ludovic Giloteaux is lead author of a new publication out in the Journal of Translational Medicine. The paper describes cytokine profiling in extracellular vesicles (EVs) in ME/CFS. The study specifically looks at EVs from the plasma of 70 participants, 35 of which are diagnosed with ME/CFS and compared with 35 healthy controls. Both female and male participants were included in this work. Dr. Jesus Castro-Marrero visited our lab from Spain on a fellowship to contribute to the project.
One key finding of the study is the noted disturbances in cytokine networks.. Disturbances in these cytokine networks were seen in both plasma and EVs, and provides further evidence of immune dysregulation in ME/CFS. We are using information from this work to inform our further studies on EVs from blood collected before and after an exercise challenge. Stay tuned for future publications from our Center on this topic.
Center Director Dr. Maureen Hanson will be presenting current scientific research on ME/CFS during a panel session hosted by New York State Department of Health. The session titled “Scientific Research on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the Age of COVID-19” will be moderated by Dr. Charles Gonzalez. Dr. Ian Lipkin (Columbia University) and Dr. Avindra Nath (NIH) will be joining Hanson as panel presenters.
The Zoom panel session takes place on October 26, 2020 from 6 – 7 PM ET. To join, register at this link.
Hanson Lab alumna, Alexandra Mandarano ’19 Ph.D., received the Laboratory Product Sales (LPS) award for her December 2019 JCI publication. The LPS award is granted to a student of the graduate field Genomics, Genomics and Development who is first author on what is judged to be the “best” student paper published in a calendar year. The award includes Mandarano’s name engraved on a plaque in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics office. Congratulations, Dr. Mandarano!
Back in January 2020, Germain et al published a metabolomics paper in Metabolites stating:
The latest worldwide prevalence rate projects that over 65 million patients suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)…
This 65 million people with ME/CFS figure has brought about some attention resulting in this letter to the Editor. Importantly, this letter brings several more supporting references beyond the initial Valdez et al publication. The key takeaway from the letter is that the prevalence of ME/CFS is likely much greater than the oft-cited figure of “20 million worldwide.”
Dr. Arnaud Germain, a member of the Hanson Lab, is the lead author on a new publication in the journal Metabolites. The paper describes a metabolomics study on the plasma of 52 female subjects. A large emphasis on lipids was observed in the approximately 1,750 blood compound datapoints. As summarized in the illustration below, notable changes were uncovered when comparing the ME/CFS and control cohorts.
The Trans-NIH ME/CFS Working Group announced an upcoming public lecture at the Masur Auditorium in NIH’s Clinical Center. Cornell ENID Center members Dr. Maureen Hanson and Dr. Betsy Keller will be presenting, and the event will also include updates on the NIH intramural study. The event will be hosted by the NIH ME/CFS Special Interest Group and is scheduled to take place on April 22, 2020 at 12:30 pm. Anyone that is interested can attend in person or watch the talks via videocast.
This post will be updated with the videocast link and other pertinent event information as it is made available. Also, you can receive updates and other NIH ME/CFS information by joining the NIH ME/CFS listserv. Visit the subscription link here if you are interested in subscribing.
Event information: https://www.nih.gov/mecfs/events
UPDATE: The Trans-NIH ME/CFS WG announced on 3/23/2020 that this event will be postponed due to the coronavirus situation.
The ENID Center is excited to announce a new publication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Recent Hanson Lab graduate, Dr. Alexandra Mandarano, is the lead author of “Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome patients exhibit altered T cell metabolism and cytokine associations”. This paper goes into our research exploring the immune system in people with ME/CFS.
UPDATE: The final publication of the paper was released on February 10, 2020. Accompanying this release, Dr. Mady Hornig wrote a related commentary: “Can the light of immunometabolism cut through “brain fog”?“.
Dr. Daniel Peterson and Simmaron Research staff Dr. Gunnar Gottschalk and Marco Maynard provided blood samples from carefully diagnosed ME/CFS cases and controls that were critical for carrying out the study. Thanks to Simmaron Research and a private donor, as well as NIH, for financial support for the study. A press release was issued by NIH.
Furthermore, we have launched a new initiative to help expand the reach of our research. Dr. Mandarano has recorded a talk that walks you through this publication. The video is hosted on our new YouTube channel. Check out this video below and stay tuned for future posts and videos about our research.