Het Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine van de
Nova Southeastern University (Florida),
o.l.v. dr. Nancy Klimas,
opende op 12 februari 2013 officieel haar deuren
Voor meer informatie over het instituut en de opening, klik op onderstaand logo:
Voor een kort promotiefilmpje van de NOVA universiteit, klik op onderstaande afbeelding:
Voor de doelen van en de expertise binnen het Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine,
zie onderstaand artikel van Cort Johnson op de website van Simmaron (van dr. Peterson).
Great Start – Big Plans Ahead:
Dr. Klimas at her NSU Coming Out Party
Cort Johnson, February 20, 2013
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)
Dr. Klimas's test results suggest
an insult is still present in ME/CFS.
(More on that later).
Calling it a terrible illness Dr. Klimas noted that
1/4 or more of people with ME/CFS are fully disabled and
many more are partially disabled and
that the disease with the funny name is
as debilitating as heart disease, end stage kidney disease, AIDS (AIDS !!!) and MS.
She laughed at one idea she come across at times;
that people with ME/CFS want to be
on disability and the poverty level income that provides them
instead of having access to their income they enjoyed previously;
yes, she laughed, what a great trade-off that would be.
Thus far the Institute has on board researchers specializing in
gene expression (Nathanson),
viral effects (Waziry),
clinical research (Dr. Klimas) and
two computational biologists, (Broderick and Cradock) and,
I've been told, may be adding an animal modeler.
Waziry specializes in a key, key area –
detecting how viruses muck up how cells operate.
If viruses are present you, of course, want to get at them
but if the viruses are gone or are hard to find
then finding some sort of viral fingerprint
could inform you how the damage occurred,
where to target treatments and
what viruses to look for would be very helpful and
that's what Waziry is doing.
Given the common infectious trigger in this disorder
this slant makes sense;
something, after all, happened way back when and
for many people it involved a pathogen.
If Waziry finds a signature unique to cells
that Epstein Barr Virus mutilated, for instance,
you'd know your pathogen
without having to resort to expensive and not always accurate blood tests.
It's also possible, given the many infectious triggers documented in ME/CFS
(EBV, parvovirus, coxsackie, West Nile Virus, Giardia, etc.)
that they're all tweaking the system in the same way.
If that's what's happening
then finding a common immune signature
will allow the team to develop simple diagnostic tests
for a significant portion of ME/CFS patients.
Dr. Klimas has fully embraced a new branch of biology
called computational biology
that uses sophisticated data mining techniques
to analyze how our internal systems operate.
In fact Dr. Klimas has so fully embraced this type of research
that her computational biologists are doing cutting edge work
not being done in any other disease.
The computational biologists
(Broderick and Crawford) play clean up.
Every piece of research and clinical data gathering
ultimately ends up in their hands.
They're trying to do something unique in medicine;
using data mining techniques
to target the molecular source of this disease in time.
Think of it as isolating the pebble that started the snow slide
that ended creating an avalanche.
This isn't about symptom amelioration anymore;
this is about getting at the very beginnings of the system-wide 'collapse'
that occurred and is still occurring in people with ME/CFS.
The computational biologist are the ones, Dr. Klimas explained,
that will ultimately be able to tell her that tweaking this patients HPA axis here,
and prodding their immune system over here and here,
should stop the cascade of system-wide dysfunction
that causes chronic fatigue syndrome...
Essentially she wants to cut a relapse or flare off at it's ...er...start.
Goals for this Year
Next Dr. Klimas went over their goals for this year.
We're going to be able
to collect huge mountains of data on normal care and
make the evidence happen...
Dr. Nancy Klimas
Turn the Clinical Database into A Research Database
(and then analyze the heck out of it)
The plan, is to integrate her clinical databases
into her REDCAP research database,
providing her sophisticated tools
to analyze treatment effectiveness
in her patients, past and present.
If you're part of her clinic (with your permission)
you'll become a research partner as well.
This is big stuff.
By putting her patients into a research database
made for, well, research and analysis –
Dr. Klimas is opening up
thousands of records and patient outcomes to analysis.
Over time this will bring treatment outcomes
out of the fog of individual guesswork and intuition
into the clarity of statistically derived analysis.
No more waiting for someone spend
two years convincing the NIH to fund a small treatment trial...
those trials have effectively been underway
in ME/CFS specialists offices for decades;
they're just waiting to be uncovered.
Doxepin elixir is commonly used
to aid sleep in chronic fatigue syndrome
but how effective is it really?
Are there certainly types of patients it works better in?
Would some patients do better with Ambien?
Nobody really knows the answers to these questions
but given the staff and funding
they are answerable with this technology.
If this really works, this work,
and Dr. Kogelnik at the Open Medicine Institute has similar plans,
would be a bonanza for both patients and doctors.
Since the CDC doesn't seem to be able
to handle non evidence-based data,
we could anticipate an entirely new CDC Toolkit, for example,
coming out of this work.
Dr. Klimas said they were going to try and sell the project to Medicare.
The ability to do this kind of work
is one of the dreams of the electronic digital revolution
spreading across the medical field.
Only time will tell
but hopefully it will deliver on its promise.
How did Dr. Klimas get this project up and running?
She walked into an NSU office...
and asked them "Do you think we could????"
and it was borne.
That's the difference between working in a pro-active environment
that is eager for you to succeed and in an institution (my words, not hers)
that tolerates your existence
but isn't going to go out of its way to support you.
- Establish a Translational Research Program
- Begin the DOD modeling studies (see later presentation)
- Establish a Nanostring (Gene Expression) Laboratory
- Integrate DOD and NIH programs at the new lab
- Apply to NIH for Program Project Funds to Pull Everything Together
- Train Young Researchers