Letter from the President
Nancy Klimas, M.D.
I have two things to pass on to the membership. First, the IACFS/ME Conference is coming faster than you think. Second, I would like to congratulate the Japanese Fatigue Society for their successful International Conference on Fatigue Science 2008.
We have another exciting issue of the Bulletin, and we hope that you enjoy the papers that are included. We have an important summary of a conference that occurred in London, an historical essay on Florence Nightingale, and two empirical articles, one on the importance of using scales that appropriately measure extreme values of fatigue among patients with ME/CFS, and the other involving the evidence for T-helper 2 shift and association with illness parameters.
Fatigue in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
Ellen M Goudsmit, Ph.D., Health Psychologist, Teddington, Middlesex, UK
Bart Stouten, Ph.D., Co-editor, ME and CFS References
Sandra Howes, Co-editor, ME and CFS References
Background: The objectives of this study were to measure fatigue in patients with well-defined Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and to assess if there are any problems associated with the Chalder Fatigue Scale, which has been widely used to assess fatigue in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
The Third IiME International ME/CFS Conference 2008
Don Baken, Ph.D., Massey University, Palmerston North, NZ
I was lucky enough to attend this conference by adding it on to a previously planned work trip to Europe. I was invited to attend a dinner the night before with most of the speakers. I was struck by their enthusiasm about the issues associated with ME/CFS and their willingness to talk to others about these. This summary is an attempt to provide some of the information presented at the conference to people who were not able to be present.
A Little Bit of History
Rosamund Vallings, M.B., B.S.
On a recent visit to the United Kingdom to attend the Cambridge conference, I spent some time in London and decided to experience a little CFS/ME history again. I had done my medical training at the London Hospital, soon after the flu like epidemic that had affected many at the Royal Free Hospital, another of the 12 big London teaching hospitals, situated in Grays Inn Road. In 1955, nearly 300 of the medical and nursing staff had remained seriously ill following this epidemic, and as we were a nearby teaching hospital, we had many of these people as inpatients for investigation.
Evidence for T-helper 2 Shift and Association with Illness Parameters
in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Susan Torres-Harding, Ph.D., Roosevelt University
Matthew Sorenson, Ph.D., Leonard A. Jason, Ph.D., DePaul University
Kevin Maher, Ph.D., Labcorp & University of Miami
Mary Ann Fletcher, Ph.D., University of Miami
Few immunological markers have been consistently reported in CFS. However, a shift to a T-helper 2 (Th2) type immune response has been hypothesized for individuals with CFS. The current study investigated whether individuals with CFS who exhibited a stronger shift towards a Th2 type of immune response would also exhibit more severe symptoms, poorer neurocognitive functioning, and poorer physical and psychosocial functioning. The current investigation measured the percentage of Th1-like and Th2-like memory cells using cell surface flow cytometry in 114 individuals with CFS. The associations between the ratio of Th1 and Th2 memory cells and various illness parameters measures were then examined, including symptom severity, psychiatric functioning, neurocognitive functioning, salivary cortisol levels, and chronic pain status. Results indicated that individuals who exhibited a more extreme shift towards a Th2 immune response also exhibited poorer sleep and high levels of basal salivary cortisol. The implications of these findings are discussed.
IACFS/ME Biennial 2009 Conference
The 9th International IACFS/ME Conference, "Developing Interdisciplinary Collaborations," will be held March 12-15, 2009 at Peppermill Resort, Reno, Nevada.
Call for Papers - IACFS/ME Biennial 2009 Conference
The Conference Planning Committee of the International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME (IACFS/ME) invites potential presenters to submit abstracts for our next biennial meeting which will be held in Reno, Nevada, March 12-15, 2009.
Call for Award Nominations
The following awards will be given out at the 2009 IACFS/ME conference to be held in Reno, Nevada.
Call for Student Abstracts!
Announcing the First Biennial IACFS/ME Student Research Competition Award.