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Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) - a complex disease that has come of age with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Seminar presented by Emeritus Professor Warren P Tate FRSNZ CNZM (Department of Biochemistry)

Ideas that ME/CFS was simply a somatic perception disorder had been promoted by a prominent British psychiatrist, Sir Simon Wesseley, who believed patients perceived their symptoms and their disability and when attempting to do things perceived them as too difficult. This dominated thinking about the disease for over 20 years. Key recent international trends followed an extensive 2015 report from the Academy of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences, USA concluding that that ME/CFS is a serious disease that deserves much more medical attention and social support and is not a psychiatric illness.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK) have drafted extensive guidelines (2020) consistent with this latest thinking on ME/CFS. My research group has been actively researching the biological basis of ME/CFS together with an international expert clinician, Dr Rosamund Vallings, of the Howick Health and Medical Centre.

The research approach has been to study molecular changes in immune cells by precision medicine. From studies of multiple classes of molecules many differences in physiology between ME/CFS patients and healthy age/gender matched controls, have been deduced; there are dysfunctions in the autonomic nervous system, immune regulation, inflammation, energy production, and a lowered general metabolism.

Molecular signatures of ME/CFS have been deduced in the energy producing machinery of cells, and in the DNA epigenetic code that controls the expression of all our information stored in genes could directly explain some of the functional deficits in brain function. Now with post-Covid viral fatigue syndrome arising in 10% of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 (up to 20 million worldwide) the interest in ME/CFS has skyrocketed.

We are researching whether Long COVID is indeed the same illness and likely to be lifelong like ME/CFS. Anna Blair, who is part of Warren’s patient study group and works part time in his lab at the Department of Biochemistry, will also be contributing to the seminar.

Zoom details

If wish to attend via Zoom, then:

ID 146956225
Password 051574

Date Thursday, 29 July 2021
Time 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Audience Public,Allied health professionals
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Seminar
Webinar
Online and in-person
CampusDunedin
DepartmentWomen's and Children's Health (Dunedin)
LocationSeminar room 2, 3rd floor Children's Pavilion, Dunedin Hospital or via zoom, Dunedin
CostFree
Contact NameMel O'Brien
Contact Phone03 470 9541
Contact Emailpaeds.sec@otago.ac.nz

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