Yale Medicine: Long COVID, ME/CFS and the Importance of Studying Infection-Associated Illnesses

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS news' started by Kalliope, May 14, 2024.

  1. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)


    To Beth Pollack, an ME/CFS expert and research scientist at MIT who studies infection-associated chronic illnesses, ME/CFS is a chronic illness that affects multiple systems in the body. “Research has shown that ME/CFS involves dysfunction of the immune and nervous systems, as well as cardiovascular, connective tissue, gastrointestinal, metabolic, and mitochondrial dysfunction,” she says.

    ME/CFS is a severe, disabling, and life-altering disease: 75% of ME/CFS patients are too ill to work, and a quarter of patients are unable to leave their homes or, in some cases, their beds. Some physicians caring for ME/CFS patients say it’s one of the most disabling illnesses they've ever seen. According to the late William Reeves, MD, former head of Viral Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The level of functional impairment in people who suffer from CFS is comparable to multiple sclerosis, AIDS, end-stage renal failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”


    Pollack chairs an NIH subgroup on “less studied pathologies” in ME/CFS, and she organized and led a four-hour NIH research webinar in January 2024 on understudied topics in the disease that greatly impact patients—the first event of its kind in the field. She encourages clinicians, researchers, students, and patients to watch some of the eight NIH Research Roadmap webinars, as they cover many ME/CFS subtopics in-depth, reviewing the current state and next steps for research.

    “We are thinking about how we advance the field toward clinical trials and therapeutics,” says Pollack. “These illnesses urgently need effective treatments. We also need deep phenotyping and mechanistic research that helps us identify subsets most likely to benefit from certain treatments. When appropriate, cross-illness research such as clinical studies and clinical trials with ME/CFS and Long COVID comparator cohorts, or other cohorts like POTS, are important to consider.”


Share This Page