Activate Now
ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help

Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Brain White Matter Abnormalities in Female Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome: A MAPP Netwo...

International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society Hosts Its Annual Scientific Conference in Ft. Lau...

Lyme Camp- A Unique Event for People with Lyme Disease

How One LLND Treats Lyme disease and Co-infections Using Natural Medicine

Acupuncture reduces hot flashes in breast cancer survivors

Top 7 Nutrient-Dense Foods That Make Calorie Counting Obsolete

For veterans with Gulf War Illness, an explanation for the unexplainable symptoms

SURVEY: Has Your Illness Affected What You Eat?

DePaul Study Recruiting Participants

VIDEO: Dr. Horowitz Discusses Lyme Disease and Chronic Illness

Print Page
Email Article

Will Epigenetics Lead to a Cure for CFS/ME? CFIDS Association's Webinar Offers Some Tantalizing Clues

  [ 4 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Erica Verrillo • • May 22, 2013

Webinar: Epigenetic Changes and CFS: Identifying the Culprit

The CFIDS Association of America has conducted a series of webinars covering various topics of interest to the CFS/ME community. In this webinar, the 6th in the series, Dr. Patrick McGowan, from the University of Toronto, Scarborough, talks about his research on epigenetics. Epigenetics is currently a "hot topic" in research, and is drawing an eager young group of researchers, which makes it an ideal field of study for investigating the underpinnings of complex illnesses like CFS/ME.


What is epigenetics?

Epigenetics is the study of the factors that affect the way your genes work. Dr. McGowan used a computer analogy to explain the difference between genetics and epigenetics: genes are the hardware, and epigenetics are the software. Unlike genes, epigenetic factors are highly variable, even among identical twins, because epigenetics are influenced by the environment.

How do epigenetics influence the development of disease?

Epigenetic factors are influenced by the environment, which means they can provide extremely important clues to the development of disease. For example, in twin studies, identical twins may not develop the same illness, or may develop it at different times. If scientists can figure out what the epigenetic changes are in those twins, they may be able to identify how the disease developed.

How can epigenetics be used to treat disease?

Epigenetic changes are reversible. That means that drugs can be developed to shift the epigenetic factors which have caused a disease. Because this is a new field, there is very little data about the effects of epigenetic altering drugs on humans, but clinical studies are underway on cancer, epilepsy and the effects of anti-depressants taken by mohers during pregnancy on their future children.

Do other environmental factors affect epigenetics, such as diet?

Diet can infuence epigenetics. For example, a diet high in fat can alter epigenetic factors. DNA methylation, which is a relatively stable gene marker, is also affected by diet, particularly by folate. 

What are the preliminary observations of the CFS study?

  • Immune cell function may be altered in CFS, not just in function, but in their ratios
  • Epigenetic changes may occur in genes involved in the immune system, particularly in T cells
  • CFS may alter the normal complement of immune cells
  • The data suggest that CFS may have an epigenetic component in the blood

Will epigenetics lead to a cure for CFS/ME?

The field is very new, so it is too early to say where epigenetics may lead. An additional problem is that many of the drugs used to alter epigenetic factors are "dirty drugs," that is they have widespread effects that may alter other epigenetic factors, potentially causing harm (e.g. tumors). However, there is also great potential for treatment, especially for an illness like CFS/ME. Through its exploration of epigenetic factors in patients with CFS/ME, Dr. McGowan's group is beginning to explore that potential.

Further reading:

Time Magazine article : "Why Your DNA Isn't Your Destiny."

Rich Carson's excellent article on Epigenetics: "Genetic Breakthrough Offers Promise for ME, Fibromyalgia"

Please Discuss This Article:   Post a Comment 

[ Be the first to comment on this article ]

Free Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Newsletters
Subscribe to
Subscribe Now!
Receive up-to-date ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia & Lyme Disease treatment and research news
 Privacy Guaranteed  |  View Archives

Vitamins and Supplements

Featured Products

FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%

Natural Remedies

Probiotic Mint Promotes Healthy Gums & Teeth, Freshens Breath and Whitens Teeth Probiotic Mint Promotes Healthy Gums & Teeth, Freshens Breath and Whitens Teeth
Block food Cravings At Their Molecular Root Block food Cravings At Their Molecular Root
Could a B-12 Deficiency Be Causing Your Symptoms? Could a B-12 Deficiency Be Causing Your Symptoms?
The Revolutionary 'Good Fat' That Promotes Heart, Brain, Bone and Joint Health The Revolutionary 'Good Fat' That Promotes Heart, Brain, Bone and Joint Health
Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Tart Cherry Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Tart Cherry

What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia Diagnosis
Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Fibromyalgia Causes
Fibromyalgia Treatments
Fibromyalgia Diet
Fibromyalgia Medications
M.E. & CFS
What is M.E./CFS?
M.E./CFS Diagnosis
M.E./CFS Symptoms
M.E./CFS Causes
M.E./CFS Treatments
M.E./CFS Diet
M.E./CFS Medications
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease Diagnosis
Lyme Disease Symptoms
Lyme Disease Causes
Lyme Disease Treatments
Lyme Disease Diet
Lyme Disease Medications
M.E. & CFS
Lyme Disease
General Health
ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus
Credit Card Processing