Did you know that Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Sydrome…?
- Is a complex illness that affects the immunological, neurological, cardiovascular and endocrine systems.
- It is of unknown etiology. The diagnosis is done through evaluating the symptoms.
- In Spain, it affects, approximately 1 person in 1000.
- ME/CFS is part of the so-called Central Sensitivity Syndromes (CSS), along with Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Electrohypersensibility, and most sufferers have more than one CSS at the same time.
Why should you collaborate in this research?
Right now, ME/CFS does not have the necessary recognition in our country. Despite the fact that a high percentage of those sick with it have it in a severe and incapacitating form, there is a lack of public financing to attend to this illness in a multidisciplinary manner. We depend on research like this to be able to put an end to 30 years of medical neglect and legal vulnerability which have added to the suffering of patients with ME/CFS, leaving so many of them socially excluded.
Who are we?
ASSSEM (Spanish Association of Health Professionals and Patients in Support of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Sydrome) is a non-profit organization established by people living with ME/CFS and professionals. We are now joining forces with the Insituto de Investigación del Sida IrsiCaixa (IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute) to help the research the relationship between the immune system and this illness.
What do we want to do?
The funds we receive will be used to finance the IrsiCaixa Research Project:
“Characterization of the T regulating cells in patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) was defined as a neuroimmunological illness initially thanks to the work of Dr Nancy Klimas and of other research groups. Yet, since then, very few studies have gone further into the immunological aspects of this illness. In the past few years, the interest in the dysfunction of the immune system in patients with ME/CFS has grown and numerous research groups have started investigating in this area including IrsiCaixa.
“Characterization of the T regulating cells in patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” is the name of the project we are seeking funds for. The objective of the study is to establish new tools for diagnosing, as well as understanding better the causes of ME/CFS and possible therapeutic directions. This project gives continuity to the study published last year by the same researchers which proves that there are 8 molecular alterations in people with ME/CFS which seem to be related to a faulty functioning of the immune system.
Regulator T cells (Tregs) are a key element in the immune system because they control both the response to pathogens and autoimmune responses. Given the fact that patients with ME/CFS have alterations in the control of pathogens (infections and reactivation of infections) and have autoimmune problems, the study of these cells could put forward relevant data that can help research.
The idea is to carry out a thorough investigation of regulator T cells, both in amount and function, to be able to determine how they influence in the immunological alterations described in the research published last year. The study will last one year and it will be carried out with the blood samples already stored in IrsiCaixa, so it will not make any more demands on patients.
How much do we need?
We need 29,000 euros to cover the whole research project. Initially we have set ourselves the objective of 5,000 euros, which is the minimum necessary to get this research going.
How long is the study?
The study will last for one year and the rewards become payable once the results are