Journal of IiME Volume 2 Issue 2 ME/CFS and Family Medical History Family Illnesses Among People with ME/CFS: Blood Versus Non-Blood Relatives By Mary Gloria C. Njoku, Leonard A. Jason, Lindsay DiPasquale, Center for Community Research, DePaul University Acknowledgements: Correspondence should be addressed to Leonard A. Jason, Ph.D., Director, Center for Centers #3100, Dietzgen #3100, LPC, 990 W. Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614. The authors appreciate the funding provided by NIAID (grant number AI 49720). ABSTRACT Most research examining the family history of persons with ME/CFS have primarily investigated differences between individuals with ME/CFS and control groups without the illness. Research examining differences between blood and nonblood relatives might contribute to understanding genetic and environmental etiologic factors. The current study investigated the occurrence of five illnesses (i.e., diabetes, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS) among blood and nonblood relatives of individuals with ME/CFS. Family history of medical illness was obtained from self report data completed by participants. We determined the number of participants reporting a family history of diabetes, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, and ME/CFS between the bloodrelated family members and non-blood-related family members of participants with ME/CFS. There was a greater prevalence of diabetes, Lupus, Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS among blood relatives than non-blood relatives. The findings of this study suggest that both genetic and environmental factors are associated with ME/CFS. Keywords: Family Histories, Autoimmune; endocrine; ME/CFS. www.investinme.org Professor Leonard Jason Professor of Clin. & Community Psychology, Director, Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago Dr. Leonard Jason, Ph.D., is among the most prolific of all CFIDS researchers. For more than a decade, Dr. Jason and his team at DePaul University’s Centre for Community Research have worked to define the scope and impact of CFS/ME worldwide. Professor Jason presented at the IiME International ME/CFS Conference 2008 in London. Research on the etiology of ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) suggests that endocrinological factors may influence the development of this illness (Friedberg & Jason, 1998). Endocrine abnormalities such as thyroid dysfunctions and low functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis have been linked to the etiology of ME/CFS (Addington, 2000; Demitrack et al., 1991). Other studies have found associations between ME/CFS and Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) (continued on page 5) Page 4/74

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