Info from CFS Gene Research

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by bioman85, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. bioman85

    bioman85 New Member

    The scientists found that, compared with controls, individuals with CFS have different levels of expression of genes with roles in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system—specifically, genes involved in how the body responds to hormones and other chemical messengers that are released in response to challenges and stressors such as trauma, injury, and other adverse events. In addition, the investigators identified 28 out of several million possible single nucleotide polymorphisms (common variations of DNA sequences found throughout the genome) that predicted with 76% accuracy whether an individual had CFS. The 3 genes containing the most relevant and frequent of these polymorphisms are associated with brain function, stress reactions, and emotional responses. Genetic tests based on these findings might help drug developers design medications that target specific aspects of the syndrome as well as help physicians identify patients most likely to benefit from them.

    Other analyses revealed that study participants with CFS were approximately twice as likely as those without the syndrome to have a high allostatic load index (a measure of hormone secretions, blood pressure, and other signs of wear and tear on the body resulting from environmental stresses), findings that suggest that difficulty managing stress may be linked to the development of CFS. The scientists also found that individuals with CFS can be categorized into several subtypes based on criteria that take into account genetic profiles and symptoms (such as stress and fatigue levels).

    Despite these advances, much uncertainty still remains about CFS. The investigators were not able to identify definitive genetic markers of CFS or determine how each genetic variation influences the symptoms. More work remains to define how genetic profiles might be used to diagnose CFS, a condition that is currently diagnosed by symptom duration and pattern and the exclusion of other known medical conditions. Reeves noted that he and his collaborators are currently trying to replicate the findings of these studies with data gathered from 30 000 people representative of the metropolitan, urban, and rural populations of Georgia.
  2. bioman85

    bioman85 New Member

    Thanks for replying. Through Drexel I have access to some medical articles, and this was one of them. And who's to say if the genetic differences are causal or an effect?
  3. findmind

    findmind New Member

    This information is interesting and informative; however, I have a really hard time trusting the CDC.

    I think if the word stress is next associated with CFS, we will be doubley damned...first fatigue and then stress.

    Then all we'll hear is, "Well, you should have had the stress I've had, and I am tired all the time, too!" I', not kidding, I think we will be in even deeper do-do!

    What will they do, drug up the kids who show positive on these tests?

    Sorry, until I know what they are going to do and tell the public and my doctor, I'm reserving my opinion about these latest "findings" which do not even MENTION serious viruses or bacterias.

    There's always hope!
  4. bioman85

    bioman85 New Member

    Thanks for the words of appreciation - although it's not much work on my part to copy and paste ;-)

    Findmind - I see what you're saying, but the scope of the study was just limited to genetic differences, I believe. A viral or bacterial infection could possibly stress the body so much that the genes are altered.
  5. findmind

    findmind New Member

    That's my point exactly! For them to have this big awareness campaign coming up, if they use the info from the gene study, it is misleading the public and possibly drs into thinking CFS is CAUSED by genetic abnormalities,

    INSTEAD of CFS causing those same genetic problems.

    There's a big, big difference in my opinion.

    there's always hope,
  6. bioman85

    bioman85 New Member

    There's not enough evidence to say whether it is a cause or effect - all they can say is that these differences have been found, which help prove to everyone that it is an actual physical disease.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/08/2006]
  7. WendyC

    WendyC New Member

    per the NCFIDs claim of PIV-5 (crypto-virus) as the culprit?

  8. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I thought it was fairly well concluded that we are genetically predisposed to the way we relate to stress (stress being anything from a traumatic incident to a serious virus to a very bad day). That genetic abnormalities do ultimately cause CFS, Findmind.

    Do you disagree or am I'm misunderstanding you? I agree we don't need another diagnosis that appears to question our mental health but I don't see genetic disposition as doing that, do you?

  9. bioman85

    bioman85 New Member

    Scientists, now based at St George's Hospital, London, found differences in the way genes are expressed in white blood cells of people with CFS/ME. The scientists say their findings fit with the understanding that a virus, such as Epstein-Barr, may trigger CFS/ME, because that illness might alter how genes are expressed.

    The researchers compared levels of gene expression in the white blood cells of 25 healthy people and 25 who had CFS using DNA chip technology. They found differences in the behaviour of 35 of the 9,522 genes they analysed. Further genetic testing showed 15 of the genes were up to four times more active in people with CFS, while one gene was less active.

    Several genes the team pinpointed play important roles in mitochondria, the "powerhouse" of cells. One of the products of these genes is EIF4G1, which is involved in the protein production in mitochondria. EIF4G1 is hijacked by some viruses, so cells may compensate by increasing gene expression.

    The genetic differences lead to changes in how blood proteins behave which could allow the development of a blood test for CFS, the team say. Other genes are involved in regulating the immune system or playing important roles in nerve cells. The team will now carry out further research on 1,000 CFS patients and healthy people.
  10. bioman85

    bioman85 New Member

    CDC researchers say they've uncovered genetic evidence linking symptoms of the disease -- including fatigue, chronic pain, and memory problems -- with genetic factors governing how the body handles stress.

    Specifically, the researchers say they've found evidence that people with CFS symptoms have genetic factors that could alter how those people react to stress from life events, injury, or infections over the course of their lives, potentially giving rise to the disorder's unpleasant symptoms.

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