Thursday, 23 April 2020

OMF Adds a Fourth ME / CFS Collaborative Research Center


We are pleased to announce that we have added a fourth ME / CFS Collaborative Research Center (CRC) to join our End ME / CFS Project.

Directed by Alain Moreau, PhD, the ME / CFS Collaborative Research Center at CHU Sainte-Justine/Université de Montréal in Québec, Canada will serve to increase our international collaborative efforts.

Dr. Moreau and his lab have been researching ME / CFS for several years. After meeting Ronald W. Davis, PhD, OMF Scientific Advisory Board Director, and OMF CEO Linda Tannenbaum in 2017, Dr. Moreau has been a part of the ME / CFS working group and has presented multiple times at the community symposium held at Stanford University. Additionally, he organized the first ME / CFS Canadian Collaborative Conference held in Montreal in May 2018.

I initially decided to invite Dr. Moreau to join our ME / CFS Working Group because he demonstrated that he could take multiple novel approaches to understand the disease. His work will be very complementary to the research of other investigators. The CRC in Montreal extends our international collaboration for solving ME / CFS.” Ronald W. Davis, PhD

About the Research

The new ME / CFS Collaborative Research Center at the Université de Montréal is searching for the cause of the disease with a focus on actionable therapeutic targets. Their innovative research program is at the frontier of genetic predisposition and external factors that may have altered the gene expression in ME / CFS patients (epigenetic changes).

They hope that monitoring different biomarker changes during a stress test will shed light on the pathophysiology of ME / CFS and help to identify specific molecular signatures. In parallel, they intend to develop better clinical tools allowing clinicians to diagnose ME / CFS and select the best treatments to address their medical needs. Ultimately, they hope to find a cure to end ME / CFS.

About Dr. Moreau

Alain Moreau, PhD, is a Full Professor in the Department of Stomatology, Faculty of Dentistry and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, at Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada. Additionally, Dr. Moreau is the Director of Network for Canadian Oral Health Research. He is the Scientific Director of the Viscogliosi Laboratory in Molecular Genetics of Musculoskeletal Diseases, Sainte-Justine University Research Center, Montréal, Québec.

Dr. Moreau’s chief interests of study are pediatric scoliosis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Dr. Moreau is a member of the Open Medicine Foundation Scientific Advisory Board and is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research Network, a national research network funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

The precious blood of Christ

C H Spurgeon's Morning Devotional for 16th April

“The precious blood of Christ”

1 Peter 1:19

Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. It is "precious" because of its redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it the sins of Christ's people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, made one with Him. Christ's blood is also "precious" in its cleansing power; it "cleanseth from all sin." "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Through Jesus' blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God. The blood of Christ is likewise "precious" in its preserving power. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God's seeing the blood which is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God's eye is still the same. The blood of Christ is "precious" also in its sanctifying influence. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God. There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams from the veins of Jesus. And "precious," unspeakably precious, is this blood, because it has an overcoming power. It is written, "They overcame through the blood of the Lamb." How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat. The blood of Jesus! sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death: heaven's gates are opened. The blood of Jesus! we shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!

Saturday, 11 April 2020

From The MEA: We Welcome Professor Derek Pheby as a New Patron of the ME Association

Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association.

We are very pleased to announce that Professor Derek Pheby has accepted our invitation to become a Patron of the ME Association.

Derek has had a long and distinguished career and has a key interest in M.E., in particular through his work in helping to set up the ME Biobank, research into the epidemiology of M.E., and his constant willingness to provide help and support to the charity sector.

His initial interest in M.E. was triggered because a family member was diagnosed with the illness.

Throughout his career, Derek has maintained close contact with the ME Association, and we hope this new appointment will continue to benefit both the charity and the patient community.

We are very grateful to all our patrons for supporting the work of the ME Association: HRH The Duke of Kent KG GCMG KCVO, Etain, Lady Hagart-Alexander, The Countess of Mar, John Rutter CBE, and, Professor Derek Pheby.

Professor Pheby has provided a summary of his biography that you might like to read:

* I studied medicine at St. Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, in the University of London, and I am a graduate in science and medicine, with higher degrees in social policy and law.

* More than forty years ago, I was a general practitioner in rural North Yorkshire, but my more recent career has largely been in medical research and research management, mostly in Bristol, at the University of Bristol. I am an epidemiologist, and a specialist in public health.

* I was awarded a Haldane Award by the Royal Institute of Public Administration in 1983 for work on child protection.

* From 2009 to 2014, I was a member of the General Medical Council’s Reference Community, which advised the GMC on policy and strategy issues.

* From 1989-1994 I was Clinical Coordinator for the development of the Medical Data Index IT system, to support clinical work in the South-Western region.

* I have initiated effective national and international collaborations in cancer care and research, and in ME/CFS, liaising effectively with agencies and institutions across Europe.

* I was Director of the South-West Regional Cancer Registry in the early 1990s, and joint founder and first chairman of the UK Association of Cancer Registries.

* I was UK representative on the Permanent Steering Committee of the European Network of Cancer Registries, and chairman of its data definitions group.

* I was formerly Chair of the Project Assurance Team for all the projects undertaken by the NHS Centre for Coding and Classification, which led in turn to the development of SNOMED/Clinical Terms.

* I was a member, successively, of the National Task Force on ME/CFS, the Chief Medical Officer’s Working Group on ME/CFS, and the MRC Expert Group on ME/CFS.

* I have received around twenty research grants, culminating in a grant of £503,028 from the Big Lottery Fund in 2006 to set up a National Observatory for ME/CFS. This project ran for three years and was the launch pad both for the UK ME Biobank and for EUROMENE (the European ME/CFS Research Network).

* I was the principal investigator and project coordinator, of the National ME Observatory. The purpose was to address inadequacies in the research evidence base, to establish a strategic approach to research in this area, and to develop an infrastructure to support future research. Funded by the Big Lottery Fund via their largest grant for medical research to date, the project involved collaboration between ME charities, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the University of Hull, and the University of East Anglia.

* I was appointed Visiting Professor of Epidemiology at Buckinghamshire New University in 2009.

* I was scientific coordinator of EUROMENE until 2014, when I had to relinquish this role because of cancer, but I remain chair of Working Group 3 – socio-economics (one of six working groups in the current EU-funded project), as well as representing the UK on the Management Committee.

* In 2017, I was awarded the Silver Medal of the European Society for Person-Centred Healthcare.

* I have authored around ninety peer-reviewed scientific publications, as well as numerous articles in the lay press), public presentations to audiences ranging from local self-help groups to national and international conferences, and numerous radio and television broadcasts.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

ME and PEM

This film will give you an introduction to PEM (Post Exertional Malaise).

Once you've understood what PEM is about, you'll know a lot more about the debilitating chronic disease ME.

The film is made by the Norwegian ME Association - Rogaland County with professional support from psychologist Ketil Jakobsen and paediatric neurologist Kristian Sommerfelt.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

God's Love in a Pandemic

From the Metropolitan Tabernacle (“Spurgeon’s”), London: God's Love in a Pandemic

These are momentous days when we find ourselves in the midst of a worldwide ‘discipline’ or warning from God, calling us to acknowledge and seek Him. And although we shrink from the thought, this is the reason for all unexpected catastrophes whether HIV, MERS, SARS, floods or vast fires. The Bible says these things will come more often in the ‘last days’.

A warning from God is not like the last judgement, because it is an expression of God’s love, urging people to turn to Him, whereas the last judgement will finally close the door of mercy for those who turn away from Him.

A warning is not permanent, and God has also given mankind the skill to control it, eventually. But a warning catastrophe pulls us up and humbles us, reminding us that we are only people, and that we are in God’s hands and accountable to Him.

Coronavirus has certainly shaken us more than any other catastrophe of recent generations. The relatively gentle approach of our UK scientific elite soon gave way to radical measures as the virus defied all predictions. Mighty China shook with alarm; the grim regime of Iran was stunned; Europe was soon sent scurrying to lock-down, and the all-powerful USA is now cowering like everyone else.

As the pandemic proceeds, significant features become apparent. It is the elderly (like the writer of this) who are most at risk – those who have had a lifetime of opportunity to honour their Creator (and may have refused). The virus seems to say to the younger people – ‘you have some opportunity left: don’t despise the longsuffering of the Lord.’ Remember that while God is love, He is also holy and just.

This may not be the last warning or discipline, although its full ‘indignation’ has not yet unfolded. Christians are praying for relief and healing for those suffering, and we are witnessing many acts of kindness among people, but it is vital that we heed the message and meaning of this pandemic. Its purpose is to call us to forgiveness and reconciliation with God, by coming to the Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord, who has opened a way of salvation by suffering and dying for sinful people on Calvary’s cross. To trust in Him, repent of sin, and yield your life to Him, is to receive from Him a new and eternal life.