By Rochelle Joslyn.
2018 was a pivotal year for ME/CFS research, yielding over 200 publications specifically addressing various aspects of ME/CFS. Foundational work emerged from prominent biomedical scientists around the globe, leveraging powerful novel technologies and analysis strategies to advance our understanding of the disease presentation, pathophysiology, and effective treatment modalities. From sophisticated neuroimaging to characterization of immune cell dysfunction, the body of work produced this year decidedly situates ME/CFS within the realm of neuroimmune disease.
Reports from the past year encompass a breadth of domains, illuminating the physiological and biochemical nature of the disease, and describing unique elements of the ME/CFS experience such as post-exertional malaise and social stigma. Importantly, this year has brought forth clinical trials of biochemical agents and immunomodulatory techniques, as well as substantial re-analyses debunking past trials of therapies rooted in the psychosomatic paradigm. Comprehensive molecular profiling to aid identification of biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets has moved the field closer to the prospect of objective diagnostic measures and novel clinical trials.