An audience of 400 packed a Salt Lake City auditorium last fall to hear about the latest ME/CFS and fibromyalgia science from leading physicians and researchers. The occasion – the 2008 Conference of OFFER (the Organization for Fatigue & Fibromyalgia Education & Research), founded by Dr. Lucinda Bateman, MD.
Now all can “attend” the event via online videos provided free at the OFFER website. Hear Dr. Bateman’s insightful take on the recent “explosion of information about management of FM and ME/CFS,” and more. Videos include:
• “New Hopeful Biomarkers in Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia Syndromes”
by University of Utah Pain Research Center researcher Kathleen Light, PhD
This is a report on the investigative work being done at the University (home of the Whittemore-Peterson Institute) by Dr. Light and her husband Alan Light, PhD, in collaboration with Dr. Bateman and others.
The gist of their work has been to identify biomarkers associated with the exaggerated delayed-onset muscle pain and fatigue that has been quantified in patients with CFS and/or FMS. They have identified certain blood-based measures that appear to correlate with post-exertion “malaise” – and with the extent of malaise, which varies somewhat depending on the patient’s fitness level.
Next they hope to offer biomarkers based on these measures that the medical community can use in CFS and FMS diagnosis – and ideally to identify targets for physiological intervention to reduce muscle pain and fatigue. One caveat being that they did not yet know if these changes occur in patients with other fatiguing conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis.
• “Updates in Diagnosis and Treatment of CFS”
by Lucinda Batemen, MD, director of the Fatigue Consultation Clinic in Salt Lake City
Beginning her presentation by clarifying the CDC and Canadian case definitions and the Pediatric case definition, Dr. Bateman summarized “the difference between ME/CFS and FMS,” and why she considers them “heterogeneous.”
She laid out the latest research on gene expression and genomic subtypes, exercise physiology & prospects for diagnostic biomarkers, viral links, the possibility of a ‘superantigen’ trigger, the ‘treatment’ hierarchy she employs in her practice, and the state of research and need for funding going forward.
• “Updates in Diagnosis and Treatment of FM”
by Dr. N Lee Smith, MD, Director Lifetree Clinical Research & Pain Clinic, Salt Lake City
Dr. Smith, a noted pain management & research expert, focused his presentation on explaining different pain types and levels, considerations in diagnosis, the science on fibromyalgia genetics, different patterns of problems, and how differently acting medications may be used alone or in combination to deal with them.
• “What Fibromyalgia Taught Me”
by Daneen Akers, maker with her husband, Stephen Eyre, of the film “Living with Fibromyalgia”
Daneen Akers describes her family’s experience with her mother’s FM as “the guest who came to dinner and never left,” and their struggle to learn about and deal with it. The result being the DVD film “Living with Fibromyalgia,” which many viewers promise will be a help to anyone coping with FM.