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Unraveling Endothelial Function in ME/CFS


Principal investigator:
Study start:
Not available
Completion (planned):
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Last update:


Research types:
Basic research
Research areas:
Cardiovascular dysfunction
Not applicable
Priv. Sector Partner:
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Project description

ME/CFS is a multi-organ disease that affects at least 17-24 million people worldwide. ME/CFS is mainly characterized by recurrent or persistent exhaustion not improved by rest, cognitive impairment, and chronic pain which can worsen after performing even minor mental or physical effort. Although the exact cause of this syndrome is still unknown, there is accumulating evidence that some patients with ME/CFS show disturbances of the immune system, where chronic inflammation seems to be linked to their symptoms.

In several known pathologies, inflammation is known to affect the cardiovascular system via the endothelial function, which is responsible for controlling the normal blood flow and adequate oxygen supply to all tissues in the body. The endothelial function is primarily dependent on the production of nitric oxide (NO) by the endothelial cells which form a thin membrane that line the entire cardiovascular system, from the heart to the smallest blood vessels. Despite its well-established physiological relevance, no thorough study has so far evaluated endothelial function in patients with ME/CFS. In addition, given the pivotal function exerted by the endothelial cells and their ubiquity presence in the body, one can posit the question: could the multi-organ abnormalities found in ME/CFS patients be also a consequence of defective endothelial function?

To answer this question, the study aims to evaluate the mechanisms that control the endothelial-dependent NO production using experimental strategies and innovative approaches. This study has the potential of understanding the endothelial function in ME/CFS and how it can be improved in the clinic. It also hopes to understand whether features of endothelial dysfunction can be used as a putative biomarkers for disease diagnostic and prognosis.

(Description adapted from project website: see link above)

Patient cohort

Not available

Patients enrolled: Not available

Age group: Not available

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