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Bangkok, Thailand

Background: In a recently published paper, Harvey and Wessely put forward a 'biopsychosocial' explanatory model for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), which is proposed to be applicable to (chronic) fatigue even when apparent medical causes are present.Methods: Here, we review the model proposed by Harvey and Wessely, which is the rationale for behaviourally oriented interventions, such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET), and compare this model with a biological model, in which inflammatory, immune, oxidative and nitrosative (IO&NS) pathways are key elements.Discussion: Although human and animal studies have established that the pathophysiology of ME/CFS includes IO&NS pathways, these abnormalities are not included in the model proposed by Harvey and Wessely. Activation of IO&NS pathways is known to induce fatigue and somatic (F&S) symptoms and can be induced or maintained by viral and bacterial infections, physical and psychosocial stressors, or organic disorders such as (auto)immune disorders. Studies have shown that ME/CFS and major depression are both clinical manifestations of shared IO&NS pathways, and that both disorders can be discriminated by specific symptoms and unshared or differentiating pathways. Interventions with CBT/GET are potentially harmful for many patients with ME/CFS, since the underlying pathophysiological abnormalities may be intensified by physical stressors.Conclusions: In contrast to Harvey and Wessely's (bio)psychosocial model for ME/CFS a bio(psychosocial) model based upon IO&NS abnormalities is likely more appropriate to this complex disorder. In clinical practice, we suggest physicians should also explore the IO&NS pathophysiology by applying laboratory tests that examine the pathways involved. © 2010 Maes and Twisk; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Morris G.,Tir Na Nog | Maes M.,Maes Clinics at TRIA
Metabolic Brain Disease | Year: 2013

This paper proposes a neuro-immune model for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). A wide range of immunological and neurological abnormalities have been reported in people suffering from ME/CFS. They include abnormalities in proinflammatory cytokines, raised production of nuclear factor-κB, mitochondrial dysfunctions, autoimmune responses, autonomic disturbances and brain pathology. Raised levels of oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS), together with reduced levels of antioxidants are indicative of an immuno-inflammatory pathology. A number of different pathogens have been reported either as triggering or maintaining factors. Our model proposes that initial infection and immune activation caused by a number of possible pathogens leads to a state of chronic peripheral immune activation driven by activated O&NS pathways that lead to progressive damage of self epitopes even when the initial infection has been cleared. Subsequent activation of autoreactive T cells conspiring with O&NS pathways cause further damage and provoke chronic activation of immuno-inflammatory pathways. The subsequent upregulation of proinflammatory compounds may activate microglia via the vagus nerve. Elevated proinflammatory cytokines together with raised O&NS conspire to produce mitochondrial damage. The subsequent ATP deficit together with inflammation and O&NS are responsible for the landmark symptoms of ME/CFS, including post-exertional malaise. Raised levels of O&NS subsequently cause progressive elevation of autoimmune activity facilitated by molecular mimicry, bystander activation or epitope spreading. These processes provoke central nervous system (CNS) activation in an attempt to restore immune homeostatsis. This model proposes that the antagonistic activities of the CNS response to peripheral inflammation, O&NS and chronic immune activation are responsible for the remitting-relapsing nature of ME/CFS. Leads for future research are suggested based on this neuro-immune model. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Maes M.,Maes Clinics at TRIA | Twisk F.N.M.,ME de patienten Foundation | Kubera M.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Ringel K.,Immunologische Laboratorien | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2012

Background: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is accompanied by a) systemic IgA/IgM responses against the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) of commensal bacteria; b) inflammation, e.g. increased plasma interleukin-(IL)1 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α; and c) activation of cell-mediated immunity (CMI), as demonstrated by increased neopterin. Methods: To study the relationships between the IgA/IgM responses to the LPS of microbiota, inflammation, CMI and the symptoms of ME/CFS we measured the IgA/IgM responses to the LPS of 6 different enterobacteria, serum IL-1, TNFα, neopterin, and elastase in 128 patients with ME/CFS and chronic fatigue (CF). Severity of symptoms was assessed by the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (FF) Rating Scale. Results: Serum IL-1, TNFα, neopterin and elastase are significantly higher in patients with ME/CFS than in CF patients. There are significant and positive associations between the IgA responses to LPS and serum IL-1, TNFα, neopterin and elastase. Patients with an abnormally high IgA response show increased serum IL-1, TNFα and neopterin levels, and higher ratings on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) than subjects with a normal IgA response. Serum IL-1, TNFα and neopterin are significantly related to fatigue, a flu-like malaise, autonomic symptoms, neurocognitive disorders, sadness and irritability. Conclusions: The findings show that increased IgA responses to commensal bacteria in ME/CFS are associated with inflammation and CMI activation, which are associated with symptom severity. It is concluded that increased translocation of commensal bacteria may be responsible for the disease activity in some ME/CFS patients. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Maes M.,Maes Clinics at TRIA | Fisar Z.,Charles University | Medina M.,Noscira | Scapagnini G.,University of Molise | And 3 more authors.
Inflammopharmacology | Year: 2012

This paper reviews new drug targets in the treatment of depression and new drug candidates to treat depression. Depression is characterized by aberrations in six intertwined pathways: (1) inflammatory pathways as indicated by increased levels of proinflammatory cyto-kines, e.g. interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, and tumour necrosis factor α. (2) Activation of cell-mediated immune pathways as indicated by an increased production of interferon γ and neopterin. (3) Increased reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and damage by oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS), including lipid peroxidation, damage to DNA, proteins and mitochondria. (4) Lowered levels of key antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q10, zinc, vitamin E, glutathione, and glutathione peroxidase. (5) Damage to mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA and reduced activity of respiratory chain enzymes and adenosine triphosphate production. (6) Neuroprogression, which is the progressive process of neurodegeneration, apoptosis, and reduced neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity, phenomena that are probably caused by inflammation and O&NS. Antidepressants tend to normalize the above six pathways. Targeting these pathways has the potential to yield antidepressant effects, e.g. using cytokine antagonists, minocycline, Cox-2 inhibitors, statins, acetylsalicylic acid, ketamine, ω3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and neurotrophic factors. These six pathways offer new, pathophysiologically guided drug targets suggesting that novel therapies could be developed that target these six pathways simultaneously. Both nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) activators and glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) inhibitors target the six above-mentioned pathways. GSK-3 inhibitors have antidepressant effects in animal models of depression. Nrf2 activators and GSK-3 inhibitors have the potential to be advanced to phase-2 clinical trials to examine whether they augment the efficacy of antidepressants or are useful as monotherapy. © 2011 CARS. Source

Maes M.,Maes Clinics at TRIA | Twisk F.N.M.,ME de patienten Foundation | Kubera M.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Ringel K.,Immunologische Laboratorien
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2012

Background: There is evidence that inflammatory pathways and cell-mediated immunity (CMI) play an important role in the pathophysiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). Activation of inflammatory and CMI pathways, including increased levels of cytokines, is known to induce fatigue and somatic symptoms. Given the broad spectrum inflammatory state in ME/CFS, the aim of this study was to examine whether inflammatory and CMI biomarkers are increased in individuals with ME/CFS. Methods: In this study we therefore measured plasma interleukin-(IL)1, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α, and PMN-elastase, and serum neopterin and lysozyme in 107 patients with ME/CFS, 37 patients with chronic fatigue (CF), and 20 normal controls. The severity of ME/CFS was measured with the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (FF) Rating Scale. Results: Serum IL-1, TNFα, neopterin and lysozyme are significantly higher in patients with ME/CFS than in controls and CF patients. Plasma PMN-elastase is significantly higher in patients with ME/CFS than in controls and CF patients and higher in the latter than in controls. Increased IL-1 and TNFα are significantly correlated with fatigue, sadness, autonomic symptoms, and a flu-like malaise; neopterin is correlated with fatigue, autonomic symptoms, and a flu-like malaise; and increased PMN-elastase is correlated with concentration difficulties, failing memory and a subjective experience of infection. Conclusions: The findings show that ME/CFS is characterized by low-grade inflammation and activation of CMI. The results suggest that characteristic symptoms of ME/CFS, such as fatigue, autonomic symptoms and a flu-like malaise, may be caused by inflammatory mediators, e.g. IL-1 and TNFα. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

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