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New study brings M.E. test closer

July 10, 2018

A test to help recognise M.E./CFS could be closer than ever thanks to a new study led by researchers at the Centre for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

The study has identified a constellation of metabolites related to M.E./CFS. After combining this data with data from an earlier microbiome study, the researchers now report they can predict whether or not someone has M.E./CFS with 84% confidence. It’s important to note that this is a small study, so further investigation is still needed before a useable diagnostic test can be produced.

The research team analysed blood samples provided by 50 patients with M.E./CFS and 50 controls matched for sex and age who were recruited at four clinical sites across the United States. Using mass spectrometry, a laboratory technique used to identify molecules by measuring their mass, the scientists found 562 metabolites (microscopic by-products of human and microbial processes such as sugar, fat, and protein molecules). Having excluded molecules related to antidepressants and other drugs patients might be taking, the team found that uncovered altered levels of metabolites that helped them predict the presence of M.E./CFS.

You can find out more about the research at