Close this search box.
The logo for Emerge Australia, centered around the keyword ME/CFS.
Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Research Digest 6/09/19

Welcome to the 31st Emerge Australia Research Digest, where you will find summaries of some of the latest research and information about ME/CFS, with links to the complete articles.

You can also join our community and choose to have the Digest delivered straight to your inbox every fortnight on a Friday afternoon by signing up at the bottom of this page. 

We appreciate the support of everyone who reads the Digest – we encourage regular subscribers to support us with a monthly suggested donation of $2. You can sign up for monthly giving here. 

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: A comprehensive review

Authors: Cortes Rivera M, Mastronardi C, Silva-Aldana CT, Arcos-Burgos M, Lidbury BA.


This comprehensive review proposes a pathophysiological hypothesis that explains both the set of symptoms characteristic to ME/CFS, as well as the results of molecular research into the condition. The ‘three pillars’ hypothesis focuses on the interactions between the immune system, the neuroendocrine system, and the central nervous system.

A clear pathophysiological process in ME/CFS is currently unknown. There are many different studies focused on biomarkers for ME/CFS, but presently the research provides inconclusive results. There is also limited evidence available for treatment interventions associated with ME/CFS. Current pharmacological, nonpharmacological, and alternative therapies are focused on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life by targeting various elements of the network of the ‘three pillars’. The authors point out that most of these therapeutic approaches also have inconclusive results for the management of ME/CFS symptoms.
The review recommends that future pathophysiological research focuses on differentiating the fatigue experienced in ME/CFS with that experienced in other fatiguing conditions like cancer, as well as differentiating ME/CFS from functional somatic syndromes. This review highlights the need for more studies to be conducted to understand the disease, in order to facilitate the development of effective treatment strategies.

This paper is from Emerge Australia’s sponsored special ME/CFS issue of Diagnostics.

Antibodies to human herpes viruses in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome patients

Authors: Blomberg J, Rizwan M, Böhlin-Wiener A, Elfaitouri A, Julin P, Zachrisson O, Rosen A, Gottfries C.


While the exact cause of ME/CFS is unknown, infection is a common trigger. In particular, several of the eight types of human herpes viruses have been implicated in ME/CFS. This research looked into the rate of herpes virus infections and its re-activation within the ME/CFS cohort as compared to healthy controls.

Results did not show the herpes virus infection to be more common or intense in ME/CFS patients than in healthy controls. However, there were some small differences in antibody relativities in ME/CFS patient samples, which may suggest that ME/CFS patients react differently to herpesviruses than healthy controls do. The authors conclude that this warrants further investigation.  

Living with chronic fatigue syndrome

Author: Clark P.


702 ABC Radio in Sydney aired an hour-long ‘What it’s like to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome’ segment on its Nightlife program on Monday 2 September, with Emerge Australia CEO Dr Heidi Nicholl, joined by researcher and head of microbiology at LaTrobe University Professor Paul Fisher, and patient Fiona Cheng in the studio. Host Philip Clark drilled into the illness and the misconceptions around it, and the in-depth discussion covered the difficulties of living with ME/CFS, research directions and funding challenges, and an update on the initial research focus for the newly announced Australian Mason Foundation-funded biobank and patient registry.

A huge thank you to Fiona for her valiant attendance and excellent contribution, and to all the callers who offered such valuable insights into living with the condition.

Share this page

Share This Article
Search Our Site

Read Previous Issues of Our Research Digest

Research Digest | Issue 107

Welcome to the 107th edition of Emerge Australia’s Research Digest, where we delve into recent research and media releases shaping our understanding of ME/CFS and

Read More »

Research Digest | Issue 106

Welcome to the 106th edition of Emerge Australia’s Digest. In this month’s issue, we explore literature that delves deeper into the connections between metabolic and

Read More »

Research Digest | Issue 105

Welcome to the 105th edition of Emerge Australia’s Digest. In this month’s issue, we delve into a single-cell RNA sequencing project aimed at understanding the

Read More »

Sign up to Stop. Rest. Pace.

Giving a voice to the unseen and unheard.
Sign up to our newsletter today.

Scroll to Top