Jonathan Edwards, Emeritus Professor of Connective Tissue Medicine at University College London, provided these insights to readers of the Phoenix Rising website earlier this week:
I need to look at the paper in detail but I think these are important findings.
The only caveat to flag up is that muscarinic ACh receptor antibodies have a reputation for being a bit of a pain in terms of reproducibility but I would not worry too much about that.
It is good to see dynamic results – i.e. changing with treatment.
It is also great to see the Norwegian/German collaboration bearing fruit.
There is a lot more work to do but this is very promising.
It is hard to answer the question about implications specifically.
However, if it proves possible to select cases for rituximab based on data like this then that makes a huge difference to getting a therapeutic programme of the ground.
One of the most important brakes on the programme is the worry that treatments like rituximab would have to be used hit and miss in a condition that is hard to pin down diagnostically and that may include people for whom this is the wrong approach.
Take away that worry and treating ME by B cell targeting begins to look much more similar to lots of other diseases.
Antibodies to ß adrenergic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome