1. Guest, the 'News in Brief' for the week beginning 29th May 2023 is here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Welcome! To read the Core Purpose and Values of our forum, click here.
    Dismiss Notice

Associations Between Psychological and Immunological Variables in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, 2021, Raanes & Stiles

Discussion in 'Psychosomatic news - ME/CFS and Long Covid' started by ola_cohn, Dec 14, 2021.

  1. ola_cohn

    ola_cohn Established Member (Voting Rights)

    Associations Between Psychological and Immunological Variables in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: A Systematic Review

    Emilie F. W. Raanes and Tore C. Stiles

    Background: Little emphasis has been given to the fact that various psychological processes and behaviors in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) have neural correlates that affect—and are affected by—the immune system. The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the literature on cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between psychological and immunological variables/changes in CFS/ME.

    Methods: The systematic literature search was conducted on Dec 10, 2020 using PubMed. Original research studies investigating associations between a predefined set of psychological and immunological variables in CFS/ME were included. Specifically, the review was focused on studies examining the following psychological variables: executive function, emotion regulation, interpersonal function, sleep, mental health, anxiety, depression, and/or other psychiatric symptoms. In terms of immunological variables, studies investigating interleukin (IL)-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), CD4+, and/or CD8+ were included. Besides original research papers, other potentially relevant papers (e.g., literature reviews) were carefully read and reference lists were checked in order to identify any additional relevant studies. Available data was summarized in text and tables.

    Results: The literature search identified 897 potentially relevant papers. Ultimately, 14 studies (807 participants in total) were included in the review of which only two were longitudinal in nature. The review indicated that executive function is associated with IL-1 and IL-6, and interpersonal function is associated with IL-6 and TNF-α. Further, the available data suggested that emotion regulation is associated with IL-2 and sleep is associated with IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-2. Interestingly, poorer emotion regulation, interpersonal function, and sleep have all been found to be associated with higher cytokine levels. Executive function has shown both positive and negative relationships with cytokines and among these psychological constructs, it is also the only one that has been found to be associated with CD4+ and CD8+ counts/percentages.

    Conclusions: Correlations exist between psychological and immunological variables in CFS/ME. However, there are few consistent findings and there is almost a complete lack of longitudinal studies. This review points to a gap in existing CFS/ME research and hopefully, it will inspire to the generation of innovative, psychoneuroimmunological hypotheses within the CFS/ME research field.

    Open access
  2. Ash

    Ash Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Oh @ola_cohn you are treating us today!

    They do like to Conclude, by announcing that they have almost/absolutely learned nothing at all by pursuing their chosen course of personal interest, but that these lack of findings mean it is vital to hand over the money so that they and theirs can do it all again. And again. And again. And forever?

    Why would they drop it?
    They ask for money, they get it.

    This money pays for itself when those paying consider the savings to be made for them by this process of obstruction of understanding.

    Understanding that may otherwise lead to treatment options, that would require funding.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2021
  3. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    I see this is published in a psychosomatic journal and the authors are psychologists. I assume the purpose of doing this review and the inevitable conclusion that more research is needed is simply to justify their own continued employment and recruitment of post grad students for them to supervise doing the supposedly necessary work.

    It doesn't seem to have occurred to them to conclude that since nothing consistently significant was found in previous studies, this topic is a dead end.
  4. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    What is not clear is whether we are seeing researchers that fail to understand the Concorde fallacy, that having invested too much already does not make further bad investment any better, or that, as has been pointed out in other threads, are caught up in the secondary gains trap, mistaking the trappings of science for its substance?
  5. Kalliope

    Kalliope Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    The authors are from the same university, probably even same department, where the Lightning Process study was supposed to be led from before its ethical approval was removed. Are they paving the way for a new attempt?
  6. DokaGirl

    DokaGirl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I suppose BPS researchers study diseases such as MS, Parkinson's and ALS etc., digging for correlations between thoughts, emotions, and physical symptoms.

    But perhaps they more tenaciously cling on to ME...

    Oh and yeah, so we didn't find anything, so let's keep at it, eh!
  7. DokaGirl

    DokaGirl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Dead, kaput, finito!
  8. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    And what about strength, dexterity and sagacity? None of those "variables" deal with anything in real life, it makes no sense to associate any of those things, they're not even the product of asking about objective things, they're all vague and ambiguous. They may as well be Dungeons & Dragons character attributes for all that they are relevant in real life.

    It would be possible to loosely correlate objective immune data to psychological consequences, but doing the opposite is not possible, it's too vague and non-specific (which somehow matters completely arbitrarily). Except of course such studies always try to do the influence correlation one way and one way only.

    All this study serves is for a few people to have their names to a paper no one can use. What is the point? It advances nothing at all. And as was pointed above, having learned nothing at all, all they can conclude is to do it again and again. The same way. Because it has nothing to do with learning anything. Having learned nothing in over a century, it's just tradition to keep doing the same things without any purpose whatsoever, because there is no oversight or accountability.
  9. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Undergraduate stats class was full of examples such as those below: sadly it seems very few BPS researchers get past this level

    more hilarious examples at link - Spurious Correlations (tylervigen.com)



    DokaGirl, MEMarge, ola_cohn and 10 others like this.

Share This Page