A first glance at the results of the “severely ill big data study” that was launched two years ago and that have been presented during the Community Symposium, held in August at Stanford (pics and contents are from this video and this other one).

There is an alteration in cortisol production, with a low level early in the morning and a higher than normal level as time passes by (figure 1).

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Figure 1. There is a disruption in cortisol secretion in patients vs controls, with low cortisol early in the morning and a slight increase later on.

There is an increase in leptin and a decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (figure 2), an increase in lysine and a decrease in indolepropionate (which is involved in tryptophan metabolism) (figure 3).

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Figure 2. Leptin is increased while BDNF is decreased.
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Figure 3. Indolepropionate is significantly reduced while lysine is increased in patients vs controls.

In microbiota, we see an increase in Firmicutes at the expense of Bacteroides, with a huge increase in Verrucomicrobia in two patients (figure 4).

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Figure 4. There is an increase in Firmicutes and a decrease in Bacteroides in patients vs healthy controls.

If we consider gene expression in ME/CFS and compare it with what we have in other diseases, we find a strong similarity with systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and with diseases caused by parasites, gram-negative bacteria, Trypanosoma, lentivirus. Enchondromatosis was another disease with similar gene expression (figure 5).

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Figure 5. Gene expression of ME/CFS compared to other diseases.
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Figure 6. Cell-free DNA is normal in all ME/CFS patients enrolled in this study with the exception of two of them.

Cell-free DNA, which is often high in diseases with tissue damage, is normal in patients (figure 6). DNA from several viruses has not been found in blood (figure 7). HHV7 and EBV copies are found more frequently in peripheral blood from healthy individuals than from patients (figure 8).

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Figure 7. Several common viruses have been searched for in blood, with negative results.
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Figure 8. Positive PCR for EBV and HHV/ is more frequent in controls than in patients.

Cytokines are high in patients vs control, and the worse the clinical picture the higher they are (figure 9).

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Figure 9. In this set of 63 cytokines, the worse the symptoms, the higher the cytokines in the blood.

 


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