[Thanks to Jane Colby of the Tymes Trust for this.]
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: MAY BE REPOSTED BUT ONLY IN ITS ENTIRETY
FIRST BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH IN CHILDREN WITH M.E. - A GROUNDBREAKING STUDY OF BIOCHEMICAL MARKERS IN THE BLOOD OF CHILDREN WITH ME
* Children with ME may have signs of a chronic inflammatory disorder. * ME could result from a continuing challenge to the immune system, such as a persistent viral infection. * Study findings could become the basis for future treatment interventions.
Three years ago on 11 January, the Report of the Chief Medical Officer's Working Group on CFS/ME stated that research in children with ME was an urgent priority. This is the first biomedical study in children.
Two ME charities, MERGE and The Young ME Sufferers Trust are delighted to announce a unique study into biochemical markers in children with ME. The investigation will be based in the Vascular Diseases Research Unit at the University of Dundee. Funding for this study has been provided by MERGE (the ME Research Group) and The Young ME Sufferers Trust (the Tymes Trust) in conjunction with the Scottish charity 'Search ME'.
ME and CHILDREN
ME (also called ME/CFS) is a disabling condition of unproven cause affecting all age groups, but it represents a substantial and widespread problem in the young. Estimates vary but there are probably around 20,000 children with ME in the UK alone, yet some doctors still refuse to recognize the problem, let alone investigate it. Attitudes are changing, however, and in a recent report, the UK Chief Medical Officer highlighted the fact that research in children with ME was an urgent priority.
The scientific study of ME in adults is sparse given the extent of the problem, but in terms of children it is almost non-existent. MERGE and The Young ME Sufferers Trust believe that work in this area is crucial, as studies suggest that ME is the commonest cause of long-term sickness absence from school in previously fit children.
Title: An Investigation into Biochemical and Blood Flow Aspects of ME/CFS in Children
Researchers: The study will be under the direction of Dr Gwen Kennedy (Research Fellow) and Professor Jill J F Belch (Professor of Vascular Medicine) at the Vascular Diseases Research Unit, University Department of Medicine, Ninewells Hospital Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY. In the past 15 years, this research group has published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers relating to inflammation and vascular disease, and over the past 4 years has been investigating ME/CFS in adults. The study on children is an extension of this work on adults.
Background and Aim: Previous work by these researchers, using sophisticated vascular imaging techniques, has shown biochemical abnormalities in the circulation of adult ME patients, suggesting that ME might result from a continuing challenge to the immune system, such as a persistent viral infection.
The aim of the newly-funded study is to investigate a group of children with well-defined ME/CFS (in whom there is the possibility of long-lasting chronic ill-health) to see - for the first time - if similar biochemical abnormalities exist as those already observed in adults with ME. If they do, children with ME/CFS may have signs of a chronic inflammatory disorder associated with increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but encouragingly, the findings might become the basis for future treatment interventions.
This study is unique in that it is the first to investigate biomedical markers in children with CFS/ME and fits in well with the UK Chief Medical Officer's call in 2002 for further research in this field.
The study will recruit 25 children with well-defined ME/CFS along with 25 age- and gender-matched 'control' children. Each child will have a) A medical examination; b) Blood tests consisting of a standard full blood count, measurements of oxidative stress (eg oxLDL and plasma isoprostanes in the blood), cholesterol measurements (HDL, LDL & trigclycerides); C-reactive protein (an indicator of inflammation will be measured by a high sensitivity ELISA) and apoptosis measurements. In addition, blood flow responses to acetylcholine will be measured using a scanning laser Doppler imager.
Recruitment for the study will
begin in the Spring of 2005, and results should be available about
18 months afterwards. ------------------------------
The Young ME Sufferers Trust (Tymes Trust) www.tymestrust.org PO Box 4347, Stock, Ingatestone, Essex, CM4 9TE Tel/Fax : 01245 401080
Copyright © 2002 - 2009 Margaret Diann Hursh
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