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Unique spinal fluid proteins found in chronic fatigue, post Lyme disease syndrome patients

Results suggest both CFS and post Lyme disease syndrome involve central nervous system but are different illnesses

February 24, 2011 Share This!

  • Of more than 2500 proteins found in the spinal fluid of volunteers, 724 were unique to healthy patients, 738 to chronic fatigue syndrome patients, and 692 to post lyme disease syndrome patients, differences between the illnesses that researchers can investigate further.
    Photo courtesy of Schutzer et al, PLoS ONE 2011.

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RICHLAND, Wash. – Chronic fatigue syndrome knocks people down with a debilitating fatigue, but researchers have yet to identify an underlying cause. Now, scientists examining the complement of proteins in spinal fluid have found that CFS patients carry a subset of proteins unique to their spinal fluid, compared to healthy volunteers. Included in the subset are proteins implicated in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, supporting the idea that CFS has an underlying neurological cause.

In addition, the team also looked at people who had not fully recovered from Lyme disease after treatment, under the assumption that the two conditions are related because they have similar symptoms. Patients with this lingering Lyme disease, known as neurologic post treatment Lyme disease, shared some proteins in common with CFS patients — such as those involved in inflammation. But the two illnesses also had sets of proteins unique to each condition. The team, led by Steven E. Schutzer of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, and Richard D. Smith of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, hope the unique proteins can guide future research into the causes and possible treatments of the two diseases.

Researchers performed the protein analysis work at EMSL, the DOE's Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory on the PNNL campus.

Read the entire release from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey here.


Reference: Steven E. Schutzer, Thomas E. Angel., Tao Liu., Athena A. Schepmoes, Therese R. Clauss, Joshua N. Adkins, David G. Camp II, Bart K. Holland, Jonas Bergquist, Patricia K. Coyle, Richard D. Smith, Brian A. Fallon, Benjamin H. Natelson, Distinct Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteomes Differentiate Post-Treatment Lyme Disease from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Feb. 23, 2011 PLoS ONE , doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017287.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 6,000 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the state.

Tags: Fundamental Science, Health Science, Proteomics

EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, is a national scientific user facility sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Science.  Located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., EMSL offers an open, collaborative environment for scientific discovery to researchers around the world. Its integrated computational and experimental resources enable researchers to realize important scientific insights and create new technologies. Follow EMSL on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of more than $1 billion. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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