Exploring the neurocognitive consequences of PEM in ME


Canadian researcher Dr Alain Moreau talks about his team’s research funded by OMF, into Post Exertional Malaise in ME/CFS:

“Our team developed a standardized test lasting 90 minutes to induce PEM in ME/CFS patients using a mechanical arm stimulation with an inflatable cuff. We included both people with ME/CFS and sedentary healthy individuals in our study. Both groups had blood drawn and underwent cognitive testing before and after the PEM test.

Inflatable arm cuff – Developed by researchers at UdeM and the CHU Sainte-Justine, the innovation allows testing of patients who cannot participate in clinical studies due to the severity of their condition. [UDEM Nouvelles 2020]

Our initial findings indicate that ME/CFS participants experienced cognitive impairment after the PEM test, although a significant variation in individual responses was observed. This prompted us to divide the participants into three subgroups based on their cognitive responses.

This stratification allowed us to notice how some cognitive domains seem more affected depending on the cluster, namely memory and attention…

These subgroups align with specific microRNAs (miRNAs), which are small molecules that regulate genes. Interestingly, these same miRNAs are linked to other neurological disorders, suggesting their potential role in cognitive function.

Our future research will involve looking for more miRNAs and other molecules related to various aspects of cognition (like attention, memory, and executive function) in the context of ME/CFS. These results will contribute to a better understanding of the disease, particularly its impact on brain fog and other types of cognitive impairment.”

Exploring the neurocognitive consequences of post-exertional malaise in myalgic encephalomyelitis, by Corinne Leveau, Iurie Caraus, Anita Franco, Alain Moreau in Journal of the Neurological Sciences Volume 455, Supplement, December 2023, 122590

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