VALHALLA, N.Y. -- U.S.Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-Westchester/Rockland, recently announced two National Institutes of Health grants totaling $502,939 for New York Medical College to study chronic fatigue syndrome and how common streptococcus bacterium causes severe illness.
“The National Institutes of Health contribute approximately $2 billion to the New York economy each year, enabling local medical research companies to study groundbreaking medicines and treatments.” said Lowey. “I’m pleased New York Medical College will use these federal investments to conduct important research that will improve the lives of those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and provide better understanding of how streptococcus bacterium causes diseases such as strep throat.”
The first grant – $246,000 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke – will allow NYMC to study chronic fatigue syndrome in adolescents and young adults. NYMC and others have shown that many younger patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome cannot tolerate prolonged standing, otherwise known as orthostatic intolerance, which is often accompanied by either excessive heart rate or a fall in blood pressure and fainting. NYMC will test the effectiveness of an oral rehydration solution to reverse these symptoms.
"We are looking forward to finding a simple and safe way to help patients with chronic fatigue syndrome minimize some of their symptoms and improve their quality of life,” said Dr. Marvin Medow, professor of pediatrics and associate director of The Center for Hypotension at NYMC.
The second grant – $256,939 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – will allow NYMC to explore how common streptococcus bacterium manifests into serious illness. Group A streptococcus is a bacterium that causes more than 700 million infections each year worldwide, from relatively mild illnesses, such as strep throat, to severe and life-threatening diseases, such as rheumatic fever.
“This grant will help us to understand the underlying basis for how the common streptococcus bacterium causes different diseases. Specifically, we plan to compare strains of the bacterium that cause strep throat to strains that trigger autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatic fever,” said Dr. Debra Bessen, professor of microbiology and immunology at NYMC.
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