Special Issue Information
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a systemic disease that affects the central nervous system, the immune system, cell energy metabolism, the autonomic nervous system, etc. The main clinical sign is persistent chronic fatigue that is not relieved by rest and lasts for more than six months. Up to 75% of patients are completely unable to work and remain wheelchair-dependent, and at least 25% are permanently housebound or even bedbound.
Accordingly, the socio-economic impact of the disease is huge. At present, no curative treatment options are available. Therefore, patients have practically no prospect of recovery or at least of returning to work. Etiological factors for ME/CFS include genetic predisposition, stress, trauma, exposure to toxins, the ratio of physical activity to rest, and a recent history of infectious disease. ME/CFS can affect individuals from all races, genders, age groups, and social statuses. The pathogenesis of ME/CFS is likely multi-factorial and various microbial and viral infections can serve as possible triggers for ME/CFS. However, to date, no single biomarker has been identified that can be generalized to the entire patient population. Considering the heterogeneity of ME/CFS, it is plausible that a specific set of biomarkers might enable us to define disease subtypes. Identification of biomarkers will allow for prognosis of the disease’s development and promote the development of a specific definition for diagnostics and a treatment plan.
Hence, I encourage researchers from diverse backgrounds (clinics, systems medicine, genetics, molecular biology, epidemiology) to contribute original research and review articles on any aspect of biomarker identification, biomarker characterization, or translational approaches of clinical relevance to this Special Issue, which aims to bring ideas from different fields of science to one common platform that may stimulate further research and solve a modern day clinical mystery.
Dr. Bhupesh K. Prusty
To read the rest of this story, click on the link below: