Current Research

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Simmaron collaborates with world-renowned researchers.

Current Investigations

Center for Solutions for ME/CFS

One of three Collaborative Research Centers funded by NIH, this Center for Solutions is run by Dr. Ian Lipkin at Columbia University. The new Center has three main aims – understanding how pathogens affect immune functioning and cause disease in ME/CFS, understanding links to the microbiome and host interactions, and developing a mobile app to better understand the symptoms and stressors in this disease. Dr. Peterson is a clinical collaborator in the Center.

Autoimmunity and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in ME/CFSgene

This study evaluates the family history of autoimmunity and the increased prevalence of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in patients with ME/CFS. It is led by the University of New York Albany and collaborators include Dr. Paul Levine, who has studied the increased risk of lymphoma in ME/CFS patients, and Dr. Daniel Peterson.

Microbiome Study in ME/CFSDigestive-system-me-cfs

The Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health under the direction of Dr. Ian Lipkin and Mady Hornig is conducting a study of the gut microbiome in a subset of patients from the pathogen investigation in ME/CFS, including patients from Sierra Internal Medicine.

Arthropod-Borne Disease in Post-Infectious Fatigue

Borrelia_burgdorferi_(CDC-PHIL_-6631)_loresSimmaron has been awarded access to samples from the NIH directed XMRV investigation to study the presence of antibodies to vector-borne pathogens in highly characterized CFS/ME patients and controls. This study has the potential to aid in subsetting and identifying a role of infection in precipitating CFS/ME. Collaborators include Wisconsin Viral and Sierra Internal Medicine.

Genomic and Functional Analysis of Immune Receptors in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Part 1methylation-me-cfs

Dr. Isabel Barao at University of Nevada Reno will determine whether genetic variations in the genes coding for immune receptors expressed by natural killer (NK) cells, macrophages and B cells, play a role in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) risk and pathogenesis. Collaborators include University of Nevada Reno, National Cancer Institute, and Sierra Internal Medicine.

Data Analysis of Immune Measures in ME/CFS Patients on Ampligenkey-to-data

Simmaron is extracting and analyzing data from patients receiving the immune modulator Ampligen from Dr. Peterson at Sierra Internal Medicine. The data analysis will correlate immune measures with treatment outcome measures and assist Ampligen’s chances at FDA approval for ME/CFS.

Multi-Site Clinical Assessment of ME/CFS – Year Five

Sierra Internal Medicine is collaborating in the CDC’s 7-site clinical assessment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) to characterize patients with CFS or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) in clinical practices of clinicians with expertise in ME/CFS.

ConnectionsThe data collected using a standardized approach from expert clinical practices will be used by CDC to address the CFS case definition. Ultimately, this study aims to improve how to measure illness domains. This may allow patients to be sub-grouped to improve therapy and allow the underlying biology to be discovered.

This large study contains two smaller studies:  biological changes caused by exercise, and NK cell function analyses.

Nested Pathogen Study in Cancer Subset of ME/CFSBacteria ME/CFS

This investigation parallels the Columbia University study described below, studying the cerebral spinal fluid of a subset of ME/CFS patients who went on to develop lymphoma or other cancers. The pathogen detection is being performed at The Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Completed Investigations

(see Publications page for links to manuscripts)

Pathogens and Pathogenic Mechanisms of ME/CFS – published

HHV-6An investigation to detect Pathogens and Pathogenic Mechanisms in the cerebral spinal fluid of patients with ME/CFS using the known and novel pathogen arrays at The Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Cytokine Abnormalities in Cerebral Spinal Fluid – published

This investigation detected and tracked cytokine abnormalities in the spinal IL-1bfluid of patients with ME/CFS.Dr. Marshall-Gradisnik and her colleagues at the National Center for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases, who specialize in researching natural killer cell function in ME/CFS, lead this pilot study.

Simmaron has been a leader in spinal fluid research in ME/CFS.

Post-Infectious Cardiomyopathy – awaiting publication

heartThis study investigates four subjects from Northern Nevada that developed a form of dilated cardiomyopathy with an unknown etiology.  Simmaron has recruited the services of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Centers for Infection and Immunity Center to study serum, plasma, and other biological samples.

A Clinical and Biosample Database to Enable Discovery of Pathogens and Pathogenic Mechanisms in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – published

Funded by: The Chronic Fatigue Initiative, NY, New York

drug-developmentIn conjunction with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Centers for Infection and Immunity, this research study applied comprehensive and sophisticated technology to the role of viruses and other pathogens in ME/CFS.  Such comprehensive viral analysis is unprecedented in this illness.

XMRV and MLV in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – published

virusFunded by: The National Institutes of Health (NIH)

While bringing conclusion to the XMRV debate, this study creates well-defined patient cohorts from multiple sites under the leadership of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Centers for Infection and Immunity.