What is the new study sponsored by CFIDS Association of America?

A new study sponsored by the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) Association of America will attempt to better understand what is happening within the brains and bodies of patients with CFS – what mechanical processes are taking place that lead to elevated lactate levels. In this study – as he did in his earlier work – Dr. Dikoma Shungu will employ a technology known as magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This imaging test reveals the chemical composition of tissues in the body such as the brain. The researchers will observe markers of oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and cerebral blood flow.

This study will also have much narrower parameters than the previous one. Dr. Shungu's earlier study showed levels of lactate that varied considerably among the CFS patients in the study. "We actually had a very big spread – more than half of them had significantly increased lactate, but there were also patients who didn't have increased lactate." This is consistent with CFS, he said, which is a "very, very heterogeneous, multisystem condition." This study will compare patients with similar symptoms and should make it easier for researchers to draw conclusions about the mechanisms that link CFS with elevated levels of lactate.

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