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Association Awards Research Grants
CFIDS Association of America will fund two
new research studies this year with more than $155,000 in grants.
The first recipient is Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD,
professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. His pilot study is
titled, “Decreased Cerebral Blood Flow and Ortho-stasis in Chronic Fatigue
Friedman’s research will look at the possible causes behind
the decreased blood flow to the brain that occurs in some people with
CFIDS. This phenomenon could be due to a
decreased ability to produce a hormone called renin. Renin, which is made in the
kidneys, stimulates the production of other hormones that help conserve salt in
the body. Without enough salt, blood flow to the brain may be impaired —
resulting in the onset of a number of
A preliminary study found defects in the renin production
mechanism of 19 of 21 people with CFIDS .
The second grant has been awarded to Giris Jacob, MD, DSc,
director of the Jacob
His study is called, “The Interaction between the Cytokine
Immune System and Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) in Chronic Fatigue.”
Jacob and his team will examine the possible link between a
persistently overactive immune system and
CFIDS . The researchers will study 50 patients
have recently suffered from flu-like illnesses and have felt fatigued for at
least three months. This patient group provides a rare opportunity to look at
people who are just developing
CFIDS — as well
as some who may recover.
Jacob will test the patients for the levels of certain
cytokines — proteins produced by the immune system — in their blood. In
particular, the scientists will test levels of cytokines named interleukin 1
(IL-1), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha.
The study also will test the hypothesis that overactive immune
systems are responsible for problems with the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
The ANS controls involuntary functions such as heart beat and blood pressure.
Finding a link between the two body systems may lead to future studies that
improve both the diagnosis and treatment of
These projects were chosen using a two-level peer-review
process that began with the evaluation of 37 letters of intent and 11 full
applications. Since its inception, The
Association has issued more than $3.8 million in research grants.