ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center

We are proud to announce that Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) has funded the establishment of a third ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center, here at Uppsala University.

The new Uppsala center will be led by Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD, member of the OMF Scientific Advisory Board. He will work alongside the Fellowship Centers at Stanford, led by Ronald W. Davis, PhD, and Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Affiliated Hospitals, led by David Systrom, MD, and Wenzhong Xiao, PhD.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is a disease that has been known for more than 70 years and has been classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a disease of the nervous system, with the same classification code as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

The condition primarily affects young to middle-aged adults and more often women than men. Those affected are often previously completely healthy and active people. ME/CFS is usually preceded by a flu-like illness or other viral infection that results in highly disabling physical and mental exhaustion.

The name ME implies a neuropathology consisting of muscle pain (myalgia) and inflammation in the brain (encephalomyelitis). Although inflammation in the brain has not been detected in all patients, the use of ME is preferred by many as the term CFS to some extent reduces the severity of the disease, therefore the term ME/CFS is used as a term.

Clinical examination and routine blood tests provide no obvious explanation for the muscle pain and pathological exhaustion. Typical symptoms are cognitive dysfunction, muscle pain, exhaustion and recovery disorder even after light physical or mental exertion. Symptoms vary in frequency and severity from patient to patient.

Our research on ME/CFS

Uppsala Collaborating Center focuses on molecular diagnosis of ME/CFS with the aim of developing evidence-based strategies for treatment. Here in Uppsala, significant efforts are being made to analyze cerebrospinal fluid as a unique source of neurochemical biomarkers for ME/CFS. We use high-resolution mass spectrometry for extremely sensitive detection of endogenous biomolecules.

This unique technology, combined with development of clinically relevant screening and targeted methods for sampling, will provide new insights into the pathophysiology of ME/CFS.