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Health Rising – Recovery Potentially Possible: Naviaux Talks on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

by Cort Johnson | Dec 13, 2016

Personalized treatment plans will require addressing the core metabolic abnormalities found in most ME/CFS patients plus the individual metabolic issues found of each patient.

Treatments that work for a time and then stop could be the result of not addressing all the metabolic needs of an individual.

Cort Johnson – “Recovery Potentially Possible: Naviaux Talks on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)”

The day after my brother’s wedding I shot down to San Diego to meet Rachel Riggs and a doctor with ME/CFS. Rachel, who has turned into a volunteer patient coordinator had enrolled me in Naviaux’s next metabolomics study. (Resistance, I quickly surmised, was futile – not that I was putting up any.) Rachel chatted away on the phone with another potential participant as we drove down to Naviaux’s lab. I was one of the last to give blood. editor’s note: Cort actualy enrolled in the 2nd Metabolomics study. SISOH is now recruiting for a 3rd study.

After I gave a surprising small amount of blood we tromped down the hall to meet with Dr. Naviaux in his workroom, the industrial looking pipes overhead bringing back memories of college labs in the past. Ducking into one lab Rachel showed me two $500,000 dollar mass spectometer machines each the size of a large microwave.

Gracious, as always, Dr. Naviaux offered us some coffee or tea. A bit spacey from my fast I tried out some green tea – at which point my nose immediately stopped up. At the first sound of my sniffles Naviaux turned to me and said we would have to note that for the study. (No one with a cold is allowed in the study.) Those sniffles cleared up later. (Dr. Naviaux, if you read this I promise it was from the tea…)

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More from Dr. Naviaux on metabolics and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Dr. Naviaux has responded to some comments on the groundbreaking paper, “Metabolic Features of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”.

In this response he addresses the need for metabolic studies in other disease groups, whether metabolic studies determine the initial cause of sysmptoms, and how dauer states relate to what is seen in CFS.

We thank Vogt et al. for their comments (1). We respond to their three points in order. First, we are aware of the need to extend future metabolomics studies to include other disease groups. We stated this fact in the discussion of ref. 2 and are validating the results in independent cohorts. The detailed biochemical phenotype or signature that we found provides a first glimpse at a previously hidden biology. For example, disturbances in sphingolipid metabolism have important implications for immunobiology and neuroendocrine regulation relevant to myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) (3). Sphingolipids are important mediators of the cell danger response (CDR) (4), and the CDR is an important regulator of the behavioral and functional changes produced by infection, and associated with sickness behavior (5). The biochemical phenotype of ME/CFS is distinct from other diseases that Vogt et al. (1) named. For example, in heart failure, metabolomics shows that long chain acyl-carnitines are increased (6), but these long chain acyl-carnitines were not changed in ME/CFS (2). In our view, chemistry and metabolism underlie all aspects of human biology. Our studies show that metabolomics can be used as a new lens to reveal unexpected biology that was invisible before…

Robert Naviaux, et all

Read full response.
Read the letter the response was based on.

PARTICIPATE in metabolomics research at SISOH.