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Journal of Clinical Medicine: Special Issue "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: Diagnosis and Treatment", 2021

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Andy, Dec 14, 2020.

  1. Andy

    Andy Committee Member (& Outreach when energy allows)

    Hampshire, UK
    While I anticipate we will have separate threads for all papers published in this issue, I thought I would highlight the accuracy, or otherwise, of the detail associated with the 'special issue'. Most bolding mine.

    From https://www.mdpi.com/journal/jcm/special_issues/Chronic_Fatigue

    A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Clinical Neurology".

    Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 April 2021.

    Special Issue Editors

    Prof. Giovanni Ricevuti Website
    Guest Editor

    1. Department of Drug Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
    2. Internal Medicine, Saint Camillus International Medical University, Rome, Italy
    Interests: aging; Alzheimer’s disease; pharmacology; genetics; neuroscience; biomedical science; inflammation; immunology; diagnosis; neutrophils; pathogenesis; phagocytes; chemotaxis; oxidative stress

    Dr. Lorenzo Lorusso Website
    Guest Editor

    Director of Neurology at S.L. Mandic Hospital, Merate, ASST Lecco, Italy
    Interests: multiple sclerosis; neurological paraneoplastic syndromes; brain tumours; motor neuron disorder; fatigue; brain function localization; cinema and art in neuroscience

    Special Issue Information
    Dear Colleagues,

    Background and History of this Topic

    Chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS), or fibromyalgia, is a debilitating disease, with unknown causes. From the perspectives on the etiology and pathophysiology, CFS has been labeled differently, which influenced changes in case definitions and terminologies, like fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome. Normally, we are used to identifying this disease as CFS, or chronic fatigue syndrome.

    CFS or fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic and diffuse musculoskeletal pain, often associated with asthenia, sleep disorders, cognitive problems (e.g. attention, memory), psychological problems (e.g. anxiety, depression) and a wide range of somatic and neurovegetative symptoms.

    The most appropriate therapeutic approach is multidisciplinary, based on an individualized program of care that includes different types of interventions: educational, pharmacological and non-pharmacological.

    Aim and Scope of the Special Issue

    The current concept is that CFS pathogenesis is a multifactorial condition. Various studies have sought evidence for a disturbance in immunity in people with CFS. An alteration in cytokine profile, a decreased function of natural killer (NK) cells, a presence of autoantibodies and a reduced responses of T cells to mitogens and other specific antigens have been reported. The observed high level of pro-inflammatory cytokines may explain some of the manifestations, such as fatigue and flulike symptoms, and influence NK activity. Abnormal activation of the T lymphocyte subsets and a decrease in antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity have been described. An increased number of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes and CD38 and HLA-DR activation markers have been reported, and a decrease in CD11b expression associated with an increased expression of CD28+ T subsets has been observed. This Special Issue aims to discuss the immunological aspects of CFS and explore the various pathogenic hypothesis, as well as offering information about the recent knowledge on effective pharmacological, non-pharmacological, integrative, physical and psychological therapeutic approaches.

    Cutting-Edge Research

    The cutting-edge research defines and discovers causes better, by suggesting a molecular diagnosis, and a cure for CFS. This is of interest for clinicians and researchers, health psychologists, and those who explore the mind–body connection through behavioral medicine and psychoneuroimmunology.

    For these reasons, the welfare treatment of CFS is required, and we need to report, in our Special Issue:

    • a customized multidisciplinary approach;
    • conventional and unconventional pharmacological treatments;
    • a definition of individual assistance paths, starting from path diagnostic-therapeutic assistance (PDTA) specific, in which there are identified competences, territorial references and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for patients, who take into account all factors affecting health, well-being and illness, including the psychological dimensions and lifestyle of a person.
    What Kind of Papers We Are Soliciting

    We solicited papers addressing CFS, fibromialgia, fatigue, topics described and identified above, clinical, laboratory, therapeutic and research items, and related issues, in a creative and novel way. In addition, we solicited “Patients’ Associations and Groups” to publish their own reports on different national and international experiences. Research papers, clinical reports, trials reports, experimental treatment reports, laboratory investigation, reviews and new perspectives will also be accepted.

    Prof. Giovanni Ricevuti
    Dr. Lorenzo Lorusso
    Guest Editors


    • Anxiety disorders
    • Autoimmunity
    • Biomarkers
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome
    • Clinical laboratories test
    • Diagnostic criteria
    • Immunology
    • Myalgic encephalomyelitis
    • Oxygen ozone therapy
    • Personalized medicine
    Louie41, sebaaa, cfsandmore and 7 others like this.
  2. Andy

    Andy Committee Member (& Outreach when energy allows)

    Hampshire, UK
  3. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I think this is probably a pseudo-journal. I have a feeling I get emails asking me to send them papers.
  4. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Translation: We don't know what it is or why it happens, but can't admit it.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
    Louie41, alktipping, sebaaa and 5 others like this.
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    It says it has an impact factor of 3.3 (which shouldn't matter, but...), so that's higher than the Journal of Health Psychology.
  6. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    That probably reflects the fact that it has been set up specifically to milk impact factors.
    I have never heard of this journal other than as a source of requests for papers - the hallmark of a pseudo -journal.

    Looking the material it does not seem possible to come to any other conclusion. This is the blind leading the blind.
    TrixieStix, Louie41, Michelle and 9 others like this.
  7. Milo

    Milo Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Excuse me? :banghead::ill:
  8. cassava7

    cassava7 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    MDPI has been criticized but they seem to be a decent publisher. Their selling point seems to be fast review. Here is an article that looks in-depth at their business scheme & content quality: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2020/08/10/guest-post-mdpis-remarkable-growth/
    As for their special issues which are set up by guest editors, I don't know whether they follow the same peer review rules as for the journal as a whole. I have shared my concerns about the comprehensive review of ME/CFS by Cortes et al. (2019) that was published in the special issue "Biomedical insights that inform the diagnosis of ME/CFS" here: https://www.s4me.info/threads/myalg...ldana-arcos-burgos-lidbury.10702/#post-309569

    For the meta-analysis of 2-day CPET values, though, the 3 reviewers were fairly thorough as can be read in the review report.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
    Louie41, alktipping, sebaaa and 2 others like this.
  9. Hubris

    Hubris Established Member (Voting Rights)

    Dr. Edwards is right here. Unfortunately there are a few individuals in Italy who keep publishing papers for clout (multifactorial condition, immunology, autoimmunity, cytokines, psychiatry, personalized medicine, educational/psychological approaches etc throw everything in there to appease everyone and make it look like you know what you are talking about) but i can assure you they don't care about the patients or doing rigorous science at all (but you don't need to take my word for it, it's pretty obvious from what they write!). I know Dr. Lorusso personally (i've seen him as patient) and it's better i don't describe my experience with him lest i get sued for defamation. Customized multidisciplinary approach my ass.
    EzzieD, Louie41, Michelle and 12 others like this.
  10. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Some red flags and oddities, like stating that ME is FM. It could mostly be, we just don't know, therefore such claims are not appropriate. I think so, still we don't know so that doesn't inspire confidence when it comes to editing a research issue.

    And at this point I really want someone to explain to me what there is left to "explore" of the "mind-body connection". Because all I see is the exact same things happening in loops, the same experiments, the same arguments, the same everything. It's been this way for decades. When you are stuck doing the same things over and over for decades on end you are most definitely not doing science.

    It frankly reached the level of full silliness. The same people are saying the same things for the same reasons and cannot provide a single piece of useful evidence out of decades of this. There is only so much you can explore with normal eyesight about what's right under the street lamp. At some point you need to find something else to do because we know the outcome of doing the same things over and over again. We know this generally but also specifically here. Enough.
  11. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    'Upon further study, I concluded that my expectations were misplaced, and that MDPI is simply a company that has focused on growth and speed while optimizing business practices around the author-pays APC (article processing charge) business model.'

    Maybe that sums it up,business not science.
    Sorry but this is dross.
  12. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

    As @Jonathan Edwards said, these things can be gamed. For example, by recommending that authors add citations to previous work in the journal, or by publishing regular overview articles and editorial commentaries that cite articles from the journals - it doesn't take many of these to get to 3.3.

    The reality is that in my field, these journals are very rarely read or cited.
    I think "fast review" says it all. They are not taken seriously in the world of academia.

    I mentioned before that mdpi publishers use these special issue projects as a sort of pyramid selling scheme. You get one individual/team to agree to be an editor on the special issue, and in return they get to publish an article in the journal for free. They then use their influence and contacts to invite others to contribute, who all pay the full publication fee.

    Again, not saying that everything in these journals is rubbish (although if you do have rubbish, I think you have a better chance of getting it published there than in a conventional journal or a reputable open access journal). But its worth knowing the context, so you can decide how much to worry about the potential impact of what appears in there.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020

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