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Approved research

Genome-wide association study in chronic fatigue syndrome/ myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) to uncover the genetic susceptibility and identify biological pathways involved

Principal Investigator: Professor Benedicte Alexandra Lie
Approved Research ID: 43949
Approval date: December 9th 2019

Lay summary

The aim of this project is to gain understanding of the aetiology of chronic fatigue syndrome/ myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). We will explore this by identifying genetic risk factors predisposing a person to CFS/ME, and thereby the biological inherited susceptibility. CFS/ME is a serious disease that destroys the lives of many people, yet few studies have been conducted to understand the underlying mechanisms. A hypothesis that emerges from International studies is that the immune system is involved. We will specifically use our knowledge about genetics of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis to answer the question: Is CFS/ME an autoimmune disease? Alternatively, which biological systems appear to be involved in the pathogenesis. CFS/ME is a disease with heritable components, but many factors, also environmental, are involved. Therefore, in order to obtain solid results for our research question, thousands of CFS/ME affected individuals and healthy controls need to be investigated. By including genetic data from the UK biobank, together with data from our own CFS/ME cohort, we will be in a good position to rigorously identify genetic variants participating in the disease process. The project will be conducted over a 34 month period by a dedicated researcher and an experience team. Hopefully, our research will increase the understanding of the disease pathogenesis, and thereby reveal biological pathways involved, as well as identify putative drug targets and biomarkers, desperately needed for this severe disease.