First Study Shows Promise of IgG as a Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), otherwise known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a rare disease primarily characterized by unexplainable and intense fatigue that is not relieved with rest.

Other symptoms, which may ebb and flow with time, include blurred vision, headaches, depression, sore throat, bowel dysfunction, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, dizziness, low stamina, and more.

There are many things which may cause CFS such as a viral infection, a hormone imbalance, genetics, or a weak immune system. Medical professionals still do not have a complete understanding of this condition.

Researchers explain that IgG may have a therapeutic impact in this condition. Due to its immunomodulatory effects, it would lessen susceptibility to infections.

The Study

This recent study was a proof of concept, open trial including 17 patients. All patients were facing recurrent infections and had either IgG subclass deficiency or mild IgG deficiency.

The aim was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of subcutaneous IgG in CFS.

All patients were given the therapy in .8 g/kg doses each month for a full year. However, prior to this part of the trial, they underwent a dose-escalation phase of .2 g/kg and then .4 g/kg.

Although this trial had some limitations, such as its small size and the fact that there was no control group, it nonetheless demonstrated the feasibility of this treatment.

The primary endpoint of this trial was fatigue. This was assessed using the Chalder Fatigue Scale and a test of physical functioning. These were evaluated at the 12-month mark.

Out of 12 patients, 5 demonstrated a clinical response at the 12th month. 2 patients demonstrated clinical improvement at month 6 and month 9. For 4 participants, treatment had to be stopped as a result of adverse events. In one of these individuals, their CFS worsened.

Ultimately however, this study demonstrates that the IgG treatment, which is self-administered, could lead to improvement for some CFS patients. Further, the researchers noted soluble IL-2 receptor as well as LDH as potential biomarkers.

The researchers explain that their results clearly show that a randomized controlled trial should be initiated.

You can read more about this study here.

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