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Unlocking New Insights: Food and Saline Infusions in ME/CFS Research

The Heart of the Matter

  • Food and saline infusions are both known to have an impact on ME/CFS symptoms.
  • The Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration is aiming to identify responses to different foods using objective measures, which may also prove useful in future trials.
  • The team will also try to understand the impact of saline infusions to identify a rescue treatment for patients.

Trialing Food on ME/CFS Patients

Patient questionnaires have previously shown that food can have a significant impact on post-exertional malaise (PEM), the worsening of symptoms after physical, cognitive, or mental exertion. But what is the impact of a simple, whole food, with low glycemic index, like oats?

OMF’s Melbourne Collaboration is planning to assess responses to oats in people with ME/CFS. To evaluate response, the study team is utilizing unique and objective measures, including tests for brain function and cognition, pupillary response to light, and analysis of metabolites and proteins. Importantly, if one or more of these objective measures is sensitive enough to identify changes based on food, then they may be helpful for use in future trials.

Saline Infusion for ME/CFS, POTS, Long COVID

Saline infusions are known to have a rapid, positive impact on patients that can last for several days. But what aspects of saline infusions are helpful? Is it the saline itself, the concentration of electrolytes in the fluid, or maybe the resulting increase in blood volume?

In another study at the Melbourne Collaboration, the team will test three different solutions several weeks apart in each participant to try to identify to what patients positively respond. Ultimately, this may support using a saline infusion as a rescue treatment for patients. In addition, understanding the impact of saline will be especially useful for studies that use saline as a placebo, as any effect seen from this placebo can produce misleading results. 

Watch the video below to hear about both of these studies from the investigator, David Fineberg, MD, and Chris Armstrong, PhD, at the Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration.


Watch Now

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Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia Leading Research. Delivering Hope.Open Medicine Foundation®

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