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DecodeME - UK ME/CFS DNA study underway

Discussion in 'BioMedical ME/CFS News' started by NelliePledge, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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    Moderator note:

    Please note: at this point only people from the UK will be eligible to participate in the study.

    However people from anywhere, with or without ME/CFS, can register their interest in receiving updates about the study. People who register will receive information about participation closer to the March 2021 start date.





    a quick post as this was only posted on Facebook a few minutes ago.

    Possibly should go on an existing thread but wanted to highlight the announcement. I’m on phone so struggling to post the wording from the Facebook announcement hopefully people can see it ok?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2020
    Helen, Woolie, cassava7 and 60 others like this.
  2. wigglethemouse

    wigglethemouse Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Twitter Announcement


    decodeME Website
    https://www.decodeme.org.uk/
    Congratulations @Chris Ponting @Andy and all involved!
     
    Helen, Robert 1973, Woolie and 56 others like this.
  3. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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  4. wigglethemouse

    wigglethemouse Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Andy On this page the video refers to "Professor Chris Ponting talks in more detail about this study at the CMRC conference last autumn:" but the conference was March 2020 right?
    https://www.decodeme.org.uk/the-science/
     
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  5. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  6. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  7. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  8. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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  9. dreampop

    dreampop Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Congrats @Chris Ponting @Andy and everyone else involved. I'm shocked you were able to get so much funding so quickly, a remarkable feat in me/cfs research. I expect this will take a long time, but I'm really happy to see such a massive project underway.
     
  10. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    Full update:

    Patients, scientists and advocates celebrate £3.2m funding for DecodeME, the largest ever ME/CFS DNA study
    Funding for the world’s largest genetic study into myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), led by a partnership of patients and scientists, has been announced today.

    Despite its high cost to patients, the economy, the NHS and society, very little is known about the causes of ME, also diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS, or ME/CFS), including how to treat it effectively.

    Now, thanks to £3.2 million funding, awarded jointly by the Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research, work can begin on DecodeME, the ME/CFS DNA study that hopes to reveal the tiny differences in a person’s DNA that may affect their risk of developing ME/CFS, and the underlying causes of the condition.

    DecodeME will look at samples from 20,000 people with ME/CFS, in the hope that the knowledge discovered will aid development of diagnostic tests and targeted treatments.

    ME/CFS affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK, of all ages, and from all social and economic backgrounds. Post-exertional malaise, an adverse reaction to levels of exertion that many might consider trivial, is often considered to be the defining symptom - this can leave patients suffering from symptoms including extreme levels of fatigue, pain, inability to process information, and light and noise sensitivities. One in four people with ME/CFS are so severely affected they are house- and frequently bed-bound.

    Andy Devereux-Cooke, one of the patients leading DecodeME, says: “As someone living with ME/CFS, I'm well aware that the patient community has waited a long time for a study such as this one that has such a strong, genuine element of patient involvement. All of us involved with this research project hope that it can start to address the totally unwarranted stigma and lack of understanding that so many patients with ME/CFS face on a daily basis."

    Partnering with the MRC Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, it’s being led by the ME/CFS Biomedical Partnership. This collaboration of researchers, people with ME/CFS, carers and advocates has grown out of the UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative (CMRC), established in 2013 by Prof Stephen Holgate, MRC Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton.

    Principal Investigator Prof Chris Ponting, MRC Human Genetics Unit, University of Edinburgh, says: “Our focus will be on DNA differences that increase a person’s risk of becoming ill with ME/CFS. We chose to study DNA because significant differences between people with, and without, ME/CFS must reflect a biological cause of the illness. It is our hope that this study will transform ME/CFS research by injecting much-needed robust evidence into the field.”

    People with ME/CFS across the UK will be asked to volunteer to take part in DecodeME, which they can do from home, confirming they meet the selection criteria via a patient questionnaire already being used by the CureME Biobank. Participants will be mailed a collection kit and asked to send back a saliva or “spit-and-post” sample. These will be compared with samples from healthy controls.

    Sonya Chowdhury, Chief Executive, Action for M.E., and Chair of the study Management Group, says: “Simply put, we cannot do this without the determination and support of people with ME/CFS. Recruiting the 20,000 people we need is challenging – but absolutely achievable, by working in partnership with the CureME Biobank, charities, patient advocates, local support groups and others. People with ME/CFS can register their interest right now on the DecodeME website.”

    The samples will enable the Partnership to undertake the world’s largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) of ME/CFS. Such studies have already helped to uncover the biological roots of many other complex diseases, including the identity of genes involved in Type II Diabetes, and the microglia (immune cells of the brain) that play a key role in Alzheimer’s Disease.

    Co-Principal Investigator Dr Luis Nacul, CureME Biobank, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, says: “Unlocking the genetic susceptibility to ME/CFS is a key part of understanding what causes ME/CFS and the disease mechanisms involved. This, in conjunction with other biomedical research into ME/CFS, should finally pave the way to better diagnosis and the development of specific treatments for this debilitating disease.”

    Professor Fiona Watt, Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council, which is helping to fund DecodeME, said: “This project is very significant in its scale and ambitions. It is one of the biggest studies into potential genetic connections to ME/CFS and I would like to congratulate Prof Chris Ponting and his colleagues on this award. It signals the shared commitment of funders, researchers and patients to work together to gain new insights into ME/CFS.”

    Dr Louise Wood, joint head of the National Institute for Health Research, said: “I am pleased to see the research teams in Edinburgh and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and patient groups, come together to take forward this important project which seeks to shine a light on the causes of ME/CFS for the benefit of people living with this debilitating condition. Patient involvement – one of NIHR's key values – has been embedded throughout, bringing huge relevance and value to the project."

    The study is scheduled to begin in September, with recruitment of participants from March 2021. Anyone with ME/CFS aged 16 years or over who wants to take part in the DecodeME study can register here.
     
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  11. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    Thank you all.

    Thanks for highlighting that, I'll flag it up to the people who can sort it.

    I've not read the Guardian article yet but I'd just like to stress that we did NOT provide them with that image.
     
  12. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Congrats, and thanks, to all who helped bring this into existence. :thumbup:
     
  13. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    @Simon M has written a blog about the news.

    https://mecfsresearchreview.me/2020/06/23/uk-spends-3-million-on-the-worlds-biggest-me-cfs-study/
     
    Louie41, Woolie, dangermouse and 34 others like this.
  14. Cheesus

    Cheesus Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I just woke up to discover this near the top of the Guardian website. I don't visit the forum much and was only vaguely aware that something was going on. I just wanted to pop in and say that I am in awe of the work you guys have done. To build this from the ground up when you're all so desperately sick is really an amazing achievement. I have signed up and will make sure that the handful of people I know with ME will sign up too!

    Thank you!
     
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  15. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Oh my gosh oh my gosh!!!!! Yaaaaay

    Thank you so much to everyone involved, including Andy and Chris Ponting :hug::):angel:
     
  16. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Huge thanks to all involved. We needed some good news, and this is certainly good news. Especially big thanks to @Chris Ponting for turning the CMRC in the right direction and leading this project, and to @Andy for doing a superb job of representing patients on the core group running this project.
     
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  17. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    On a personal note, I want to thank all the members of the DecodeME team for making this possible, but I'd especially like to highlight the enormous contribution that Sonya, from Action for ME, has made. Here on the forum we may have our disagreements about some of the wording that AfME currently use, but she has made tremendous efforts to get this study funded - in my opinion we would not have achieved this without her.
     
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  18. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Made my day!
    Thanks to all who helped make this happen.
    :):thumbsup::angel::trophy@:party::balloons::)
     
  19. Agapanthus

    Agapanthus Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I stumbled on it on the Guardian website when I should have been asleep in bed last night, and instantly signed up I was so excited!!
     
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  20. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    A screenshot of the Times article.

    Source:
    Code:
    https://www.facebook.com/Hope4MEFibro/posts/3103201986405267


    104971827_3371460409554269_2339088545466734089_o.jpg
     

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