Pro Health’s $20,000 Research Fundraising Challenge 2002

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In keeping with our mission to fund research into the causes, pathology and potential cures for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM), Pro Health is currently funding several important CFS and FM research studies, as described below. We extend our sincere thanks to our many loyal customers, whose purchases from Pro Health catalogs and ImmuneSupport.com provide some of the funds we donate to such important research and advocacy efforts in the CFS and FM community. We also encourage you to make outright donations to the following research studies, and as a further incentive, Pro Health will match donations up to $5,000 made by our customers and Healthwatch readers to each of the research studies described below.

FM Research Study: Mechanisms of Chronic Pain in Fibromyalgia Syndrome

I. Jon Russell, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues are conducting a study of the “Mechanisms of Chronic Pain in Fibromyalgia Syndrome” at the University Clinical Research Center and The Research Imaging Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas. The objective of this study is to utilize MRI and fMRI methodologies to examine the structure-function relationships of the brain in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) patients to a graded pressure stimulus at one of the typical tender points [TePs].

Functional MRI [fMRI] is an expansion of the MRI technology with great potential to measure the active function of the brain in health and disease. This method is completely non-invasive and does not require any injection. With the MRI camera continuously focused on the head of a test subject, a stimulus such as a sound, a picture, or a touch on the skin can be introduced. The areas of the brain activated by the stimulus will be recognized by a change in the fMRI signal specifically resulting from the stimulus. Systematic induction or withdrawal of the stimulus will turn on or off the change in the relevant brain structures. Drs. Gracely, Clauw, and colleagues have demonstrated the utility of this method in patients with fibromyalgia with pressure induction at a non-tender point in the hand. Among other things, this study will determine whether examining the brain response to painful pressure at a FMS TeP will activate the brain in the same general way as was seen with pressure at a non-tender area of the hand as reported by Drs. Gracely, Clauw, et al.

CFS Research Study: To Identify Genes Differentially Regulated by the 37-kDa RNase L in CFS by DNA Microarray Analysis

Kenny De Meirleir, M.D., Ph.D., Patrick Englebienne, Ph.D., and Robert Suhadolnik, Ph.D., are currently seeking funding to conduct a preliminary study of gene expression in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. According to Dr. De Meirleir, “the only study done so far to look at gene expression in CFS was recently presented at a conference in Sweden, which I attended, and is not published yet [as of August 2002]. The CDC discovered that there is upregulated gene expression (seven genes) and these genes are all implicated in the immune system (based on a study of 25 CFS patients and 50 matched controls). We want to know what this means, and how this relates to our own findings. We are seeking to determine whether this [gene expression] is acquired and if so, what elicits this increased genetic expression, and whether there is a genetic predisposition.” Dr. De Meirleir and colleagues intend to use the results of their preliminary study to convince the NIH and other institutions to invest further in this project.

How to Participate in Pro Health’s $20,000 Research Fundraising Challenge

Pro Health encourages donations to make this important research possible, and will match your donations dollar-for-dollar (up to $5,000 per study). We challenge our customers and Healthwatch readers to make even a small donation to the study that you would like to support. If combined reader/customer donations total $10,000 ($5,000 for each study), Pro Health will match those donations, bringing our collective total to $20,000 for this important research.

For Dr. Russell’s FM study, please make your tax-deductible checks payable to UT Health Science Center, and for Dr. De Meirleir’s CFS study, please make your tax-deductible checks payable to VUB/MFYS. Mail your donation checks to Attn: Research Funding, 2040 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite 101, Santa Barbara, CA 93103. We will forward donations to the respective parties. Thank you for your support!

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