Differentiating ME and FM
Canadian researchers believe they have uncovered a way to tell the difference between people with ME, FM and both ME + FM. 11 miRNAs (microRNAs) are proposed as potential biomarkers.
microRNA is the name of a family of molecules that helps cells control the kinds and amounts of proteins they make. That is, cells use microRNA to help control gene expression.
Molecules of microRNA are found in cells and in the bloodstream.
Gene expression refers to whether a particular gene is making too much, too little or the normal amount of its protein at a particular time. OSU
Circulating microRNA expression signatures accurately discriminate myalgic encephalomyelitis from fibromyalgia and comorbid conditions, by Evguenia Nepotchatykh, Iurie Caraus, Wesam Elremaly, Corinne Leveau, Mohamed Elbakry, Christian Godbout, Bita Rostami-Afshari, Diana Petre, Nasrin Khatami, Anita Franco & Alain Moreau in Scientific Reports volume 13, Article number: 1896 (2023)
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and fibromyalgia (FM) are two chronic complex diseases with overlapping symptoms affecting multiple systems and organs over time. Due to the absence of validated biomarkers and similarity in symptoms, both disorders are misdiagnosed, and the comorbidity of the two is often unrecognized.
Our study aimed to investigate the expression profiles of 11 circulating miRNAs previously associated with ME/CFS pathogenesis in FM patients and individuals with a comorbid diagnosis of FM associated with ME/CFS (ME/CFS + FM), and matched sedentary healthy controls. Whether these 11 circulating miRNAs expression can differentiate between the two disorders was also examined.
Our results highlight differential circulating miRNAs expression signatures between ME/CFS, FM and ME/CFS + FM, which also correlate to symptom severity between ME/CFS and ME/CFS + FM groups. We provided a prediction model, by using a machine-learning approach based on 11 circulating miRNAs levels, which can be used to discriminate between patients suffering from ME/CFS, FM and ME/CFS + FM. These 11 miRNAs are proposed as potential biomarkers for discriminating ME/CFS from FM.
The results of this study demonstrate that ME/CFS and FM are two distinct illnesses, and we highlight the comorbidity between the two conditions. Proper diagnosis of patients suffering from ME/CFS, FM or ME/CFS + FM is crucial to elucidate the pathophysiology of both diseases, determine preventive measures, and establish more effective treatments.