1. Click here, Guest, and read the 'News in Brief' post for w/c 15th July.
    Dismiss Notice

Association between cytokines and psychiatric symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy controls (2018), Groven et al

Discussion in 'BioMedical ME/CFS Research' started by hixxy, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. hixxy

    hixxy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    667
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30063870

    I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the BPS forum so mods, please move it if BPS would be more suitable.
     
    andypants, Inara, Woolie and 5 others like this.
  2. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,659
    Likes Received:
    16,647
    I looked at one of the questionnaires they used, the SCL-90-R which gives scores in categories such as "somatisation", "anxiety", "obsessive-compulsive" and so on.

    If you report symptoms such as headache, weakness, restlessness, dizziness, decreased sexual desire, chest pain, etc this counts towards one of these categories. Apparently their thinking is that these are strictly psychiatric symptoms. At this level of intellect, this group is unlikely to produce anything useful.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  3. Lisa108

    Lisa108 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    2,299
    Location:
    Germany
    - Fukuda criteria
    + It's not a BPS study!
     
  4. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,611
    Likes Received:
    74,568
    Location:
    UK
    Small study, lots of correlations tested, a few reached significance. So is this a case of p-hacking? At least they don't try to contort the conclusion to pretend they have found any useful connection between ME and psychological problems. And they do conclude there is a different immune picture in ME, so it's biological.
     
  5. Adrian

    Adrian Administrator

    Messages:
    3,890
    Likes Received:
    18,616
    Location:
    UK
    There are issues with the HADS scale in terms of measuring depression. The questions are not great.

    What may be interesting is to look at correlations between the cytokines and particular questions and what that may say about levels of disability. Rather than trying to place bad semantics of sets of question answers,
     
  6. Londinium

    Londinium Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    2,154
    Yes, seeing 'twenty patients' and 'subgroups' together had my head in my hands. Pretty certain this isn't the first study finding TNF-alpha differences though, will need to have a hunt...
     
  7. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

    Messages:
    2,197
    Likes Received:
    13,624
    The number of participants are so small that there was probably insufficient power to detect anything in the first place. And indeed, there's a good chance that even the positive findings might turn out to be spurious.

    Notice too that one of the "psychiatric" measures was "somatisation", but the scale they used doesn't really measure somatisation (that's probably not even a thing), but in fact counts the number symptoms you report experiencing. So let me fix that for you:
    Seems much easier to interpret now.

    I also shudder when I see patients from two distinctly different clinical groups - in this case PwMEs and matched controls - pooled together to perform a single correlation analysis. No, no, NO!

    I'm figuring they didn't measure IL1beta because its present in such small concentration in plasma that its hard to detect.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  8. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,611
    Likes Received:
    74,568
    Location:
    UK
    Thanks @Woolie for that - I thought it seemed a very odd thing to do, and completely meaningless.
     
  9. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

    Messages:
    2,197
    Likes Received:
    13,624
    Yea, Wot @strategist said.
     
  10. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,678
    Likes Received:
    12,827
    Aren't they also common side effects of medications too? (especially anti-depressants?)
     
    MEMarge, NelliePledge, Hutan and 7 others like this.
  11. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    948
    Likes Received:
    5,685
    Location:
    Australia
    The only meaningful cytokine association regularly reported in the literature is TGF-Beta, and well, they didn't test for that in this study. White even did a systematic review highlighting TGF-Beta so its absence is notable.
     
  12. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    4,454
    'RESULTS:
    Increased plasma levels of TNF-α in CFS/ME patients almost reached significance compared to healthy controls (p = .056). When studying the CFS/ME and control groups separately, there was a significant correlation between TNF-α and The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) depressive symptoms in controls only, not in the CFS/ME group. A correlation between IL-10 and psychoticism was found in both groups, whereas the correlation for somatisation was seen only in the CFS/ME group. When looking at the total population, there was a significant correlation between TNF-α and both the HADS depressive symptoms and the SCL-90-R cluster somatisation. Also, there was a significant association between IL-10 and the SCL-90-R cluster somatisation when analyzing the cohort (patients and controls together).'

    "almost reached significance" is meaningless This may not be a BPS study, but it is something the BPSers do - it leaves the impression something of scientific interest has been found when it hasn't.
     
    MEMarge, merylg, andypants and 6 others like this.
  13. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    7,420
  14. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,824
    Likes Received:
    10,600
    I definitely did the wrong course at uni. Oh to be rewarded for churning out crap
     
    MEMarge, Inara, Woolie and 2 others like this.
  15. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    5,257
    I am stepping out a little beyond my knowledge base/ability to function here so someone will correct me if I've got even this little bit wrong.

    So the BPS devotees come to realise that cytokines are of interest in the ME community as a possible avenue of interest.
    Et voila -- a paper that shows the association between cytokines and psychiatric symptoms in ME.

    Never mind that the evidence of psychiatric symptoms comes from the laughable Chalder fatigue questionnaire.

    I think that this shows an avenue for us that needs following up. We must continue to hammer home to all and sundry that the CFQ does not do what the BPS suggest it does and that it is not fit for purpose. Every medical researcher should be made aware of it's abject failings in this regard.

    I do think it would benefit us to demolish the CFQ thoroughly so that it is shown to have no validity at all when used for ME (and possibly elsewhere) so that it would also invalidate findings based on it.

    Is there in fact a way to do this?
     
    Hutan, Woolie, inox and 2 others like this.
  16. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    7,813
    The Science for ME forum also made a submission.

    The Chalder Fatigue Questionnaire was subsequently dropped
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
    Hutan, Indigophoton, Inara and 4 others like this.
  17. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    5,257
    I read your post and followed the links. I am very glad this is being addressed (and appreciate the efforts made)but my cognitive functioning is such that everything about this is so unfamiliar to me that it was beyond me to parse what it all means exactly.

    As an example, the CFQ was subsequently dropped from what? I know the answer is obvious but I cannot hold onto information (memory?) when presented inside a bulk of unknown info (I don't know if that makes sense at all).

    How does this affect the use of CFQ in the paper that is the subject of this thread?

    Again, thank you for all your efforts in pursuing this and other issues.
     
    Hutan, Inara and Tom Kindlon like this.
  18. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    7,813
    CDE stands for Common Data Elements. Researchers in the US will be encouraged to use scales that are mentioned under the different categories. This could perhaps influence what researchers in other countries do.
     
    Hutan, Inara, Trish and 1 other person like this.

Share This Page