Unraveling the Mysteries of CFS
Research is vital to understanding and ultimately curing CFS. That’s why the CFIDS Association of America, through your support, has invested nearly $4.7 million in promising research since 1987.
At times in the history of CFS research in the U.S., the Association has been the sustaining force for CFS researchers, especially in the early years. For 20 years, we’ve kept the field going and growing by funding studies directly and by pushing for more federal funds for larger studies.
Although the focus of our research program has evolved over time, the Association now supplies seed funding to talented CFS investigators, providing support for innovative projects that will lead to better understanding of the disease. This “scientific venture capital” approach allows us to meet a critical need for scientists to gather the data required to compete for larger federal grants. Some of the most important research on the illness began in just this way—with Association supporter dollars providing that necessary launching pad.
In October 2005 the CFIDS Association launched a special “fast-track” funding program designed to put money to work as quickly and thoughtfully as possible, investing in studies with a high probability of accelerating the rate at which scientific knowledge translates into improvements in the daily lives of people with CFS. Just three months later the Association awarded support to four scientists and a fifth study was approved at the start of this year, for a total of $300,000. This issue of the CFIDSLink reports on one of these studies (see “Exercise Testing Finds CFS Abnormalities”), and the winter issue of the CFIDS Chronicle provides a brief update on the progress of each study (pages 4-6).
By January of 2007, two of these research teams were already presenting promising findings at the International Association of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (IACFS) conference. A story on the conference, with overviews of the breadth of research covered, appears in the winter issue of the CFIDS Chronicle (pages 7-9).
In addition to directly funding research, the Association works vigorously to attract the researchers to the study of CFS, to foster collaborative research teams and to increase the quantity (and quality) of new studies in the pipeline. A 2001-02 symposia series spearheaded by the Association identified many promising avenues of investigation now bearing important results. And in the past 12 months, the Association has proudly supported the IACFS conference, a conference on HHV6, the CFS Computational Challenge (C3) and Duke University’s CAMDA challenge, which examined the same extensive CFS data set as was used in C3.
Research is a top priority at the CFIDS Association, and your support has made it possible.
The CFIDS Association, through your donations, provides the largest source of CFS research money aside from the federal government. We’ve funded nearly $4.7 million in research, but we can do more with your help.
To support the CFIDS Association’s research, education and advocacy efforts, click here.