Prof. Leonard Jason On The Future of ME Research

This latest video highlights the need for basic teaching materials about ME in medical schools which are currently underrepresented.

Current research includes learning from the past, integrating computer (artificial) intelligence, and it also will help with case definitions.  Also being looked at are different ways of using multiple and varied and more complex modeling to understand how systems function.

Prof. Jason states that the US government now recognizes that ME is not a “yuppie flu,” and affects many more people than originally thought, and that there are many organizations that are stopping the use of “CFS” are using alternative names; such as, ME or ME/CFS or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.  He believes that the current research has helped in that shift of designations.

He also mentions that when deciding on a case definition, data and observations should be used, rather than consensus methods.  What are the core features?  This should be contributions to the debate that is currently ongoing in regard to these definitions.

Prof. Jason mentions different lines of research that his department is focusing on:

  • Using a De Paul patient vs controls questionnaire to gather a data base;
  • Using artificial intelligence techniques empirically-based and consensus-based;
  • Biological and physiological measures;
  • Following college students’ blood samples over years’ time to see which do and don’t have medical issues;
  • Pediatric ME patients.

A question regarding what other research Prof. Jason believes will be hopeful in the near future:

  • Involve multi-disciplinary efforts – bring researchers and experts from many disciplines (computer scientists with mathematical gifts; neurologists; epidemiologists; autonomic nervous system experts, etc.);
  • Involve professionals with environmental, public health backgrounds as well.

He believes that ME is the greatest challenge to medicine we have today.  What is really a puzzle for the medical community are the complex illnesses.  He wants to get into the mechanisms that are involved in illnesses like ME and he hopes to have a new birth of understanding and what needs to have the greatest focus.

Most important, is that adequate funding is necessary for the type of research that is needed to accomplish Prof. Jason’s goal of getting to the roots of what causes ME.

At the present time, there are many economic challenges to countries.  Difficult times for researchers.”  He has faith and hope “that, over time, the greatest medical insights will occur and will come to fruition with the help of those patients who have the most complex system issues, such as ME.”  He expects to “bring together the best scientists and researchers in the world, to study one of the most neglected, but most important, medical illness facing our world.”

 

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