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Australian ME/CFS neuroimaging project receives $1.2m govt grant

Discussion in 'BioMedical ME/CFS News' started by Simone, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Simone

    Simone Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Dr Zack Shan (who has been working with the NCNED group at Griffith University, and is now based at University of Sunshine Coast) has been awarded a $1.2m grant to undertake an ME/CFS neuroimaging project. This is an NHMRC grant (NHMRC is the equivalent of NIH here in Australia), and it’s the first time in more than 10 years that a biomedical ME/CFS project has been successful in NHMRC’s competitive grants project.

    In total, there were 2651 applications for these grants and just 294 were funded (11%). (I’m not sure how that compares with NIH or MRC?)

    PROJECT:
    Title: “Multimodal MRI of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Understanding its Neuropathophysiology and Developing an Objective Neuromarker”

    Grant: $1,269,545.70

    Description: “This translational brain imaging study will investigate the underlying brain disease process of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and develop a multimodal imaging diagnostic marker for it. Understanding the brain disease process of ME/CFS will allow design of biologically based therapeutic interventions. A diagnostic marker for ME/CFS will alleviate the distressing diagnostic odyssey currently experienced by the patients and facilitate multicentre clinical trials.”

    https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/funding/data-research/outcomes-funding-rounds

    This grant is in addition to the health economics study and $3m Targeted Call for a Research which the government has also funded.
     
  2. hixxy

    hixxy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I haven't really been paying attention to research over the last couple of years but have NCNED published anything interesting enough to justify throwing even more money at them? They seem like a black hole sucking all research funding for ME/CFS in this country.
     
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  3. Simone

    Simone Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, their neuroimaging work is really good. Leighton Barnden and Zack Shan have been leading this work and it’s well-regarded by people like Michael VanElzakker. I think this is a very worthwhile grant.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  4. Michiel Tack

    Michiel Tack Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sounds like great news.
     
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  5. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  6. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    For the curious: https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Zack_Shan.

    Looks good at first glance, though the actual science is beyond my understanding so I can't judge how rigorous it is but the themes are certainly relevant:
     
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  7. Sing

    Sing Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I wonder whether impingement or impairment of the nerves involved with the autonomic nervous system, nerves which begin in the brainstem to my knowledge, are a big part of the problem? Hope someone will comment, as I feel too ignorant to understand how this research, whether what has been done so far, or what is being proposed, could sort this out. I think the fact that the autonomic nervous system originates in the brainstem, problems with which either seem to dictate or relate to many of our symptoms, should not be omitted
    I think some exaggerated claims may have been made by some other researchers there, in another area of investigation. It appeared to some of us that the chickens were being counted before the eggs had hatched, to use an old expression. But the same thing does not seem to me to be going on with these particular researchers.
     
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  8. Sing

    Sing Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I definitely agree. I think these researchers are looking in the right place to get a handle on the neurological elements and dynamic of our illness.

    Here is to the Australian competitive spirit—America’s Cup Races, here we go. Even if earlier studies from Griffith University may have promised more than they could deliver, I have a lot better hope for this set.
     
    rvallee and oldtimer like this.
  9. Sing

    Sing Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sidenote: The America’s Cup Race is the oldest international sporting competition in the world, begun in 1851 by the Royal Yacht Club. It was immediately dominated by the New York Yacht Club every time, until the race of 1983 when a boat named Australia II won it for Perth. The last time New Zealand won, and so the next race will be held in the southern hemisphere, March, 2021. The amount of money expended on each boat, I read, may be around $300 million. See how people care about athletic competitions!

    But our illness is still a magnetic competition, if only in being an exceptionally challenging and sophisticated one to understand. I think that more very able researchers are becoming excited about « cracking its code », and believe that some will succeed too. If they pitch themselves against the illness and not each other or us, we will get there even faster!

    (I think it may be time to change my avatar to a racier model, as I am getting into the spirit.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    Louie41 and oldtimer like this.

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