Driving research of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS),
Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia and Long Covid.

Skeletal Muscle Dysfunction Research

This Harvard study explored the biological changes that occur in the muscles during Post-exertional Malaise (PEM). The Computation Center is now seeking to identify drug targets to prevent PEM.

  • Wenzhong Xiao, PhD
  • 95 skeletal muscle samples have been studied using Illumina RNA-seq systems by NovoGene. Data analysis showed that 2 week of bedrest in the older and 2months of bedrest in the young induced profound changes in gene expression of the muscle.
  • Metabolites of plasma of the bedrest are to be received from collaborators in the UK.
  • Computational analysis will compare the response of bedrest controls in this study with the response in muscle and plasma of the ME/CFS patients.

 The goal of these studies is to identify genomic differences that skeletal muscles in patients with ME/CFS show at rest and ultimately, might be identified to be associated with post-exertional malaise (PEM). Genomic differences could be critical to inform potential contributions to the cause of ME/CFS and in particular, the cause of PEM.

These findings could provide drug targets to prevent or treat PEM and could also potentially lead to a biomarker for ME/CFS. To succeed in these studies, multiple patient and control cohorts must be available to participate. These cohorts include well-characterized ME/CFS patients willing to undergo studies with blood and muscle biopsies together with multiple control volunteer cohorts. Healthy volunteers are one comparison cohort, but age, sex, and lifestyle-matched volunteers are a more appropriate second cohort, and most important comparison group. This is because sex, age, and lifestyle (activity level) are critical determinants, that in themselves, will significantly affect the genomics of skeletal muscle independent of any affects that should be attributed to ME/CFS and PEM directly. 


  • Receive and process ~100 muscle biopsy samples for genomic analysis of healthy volunteers for bedrest studies. Subject profiles:
    • 2 weeks bedrest [younger (18-30 years) vs. older (55-65 years)], and after two weeks of physical rehabilitation
    • 2 months bedrest (young 34 ± 1.8 years)
  • Understand potential disturbances in tryptophan metabolism.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia Leading Research. Delivering Hope.Open Medicine Foundation®

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