Open Medicine Foundation is excited to announce its support of an initiation of a clinical trial to understand potential disturbances in the tryptophan metabolism and to test the benefits of treating people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) with Kynurenine. Kynurenine is naturally produced in the body, is a key metabolite in the tryptophan metabolism, and serves several roles in the immune system and inflammation. The Kynurenine clinical trial will be conducted at the ME / CFS Collaborative Research Center at Uppsala University under the supervision of Dr. Jonas Bergquist. OMF has provided support to initiate the study in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. The purpose of the study is to evaluate whether kynurenine is directly connected to ME / CFS patient symptom severity.
Participants will be randomized to either receive Kynurenine or a placebo for a period of three months and then after a washout period, patients will switch to an additional three-months of Kynurenine or placebo in a crossover design. This design does not require healthy controls and instead focuses on whether Kynurenine supplementation has any benefit above placebo in People with ME / CFS. The main study endpoints will be the effects of supplemental Kynurenine to improve cognitive impairment (“brain fog”), memory and headache. Patients will also be asked to register their activity by using wearable sensors.
Currently, new methods have been developed under Dr. Bergquist to measure the metabolic pathways relevant to Kynurenine. These new methods are used to identify 20 people with ME / CFS that have low Kynurenine in the plasma from a sample pool of over 100. This method will also be used to monitor the metabolic effects of Kynurenine supplementation during the trial.
Studying these features will improve our understanding of ME / CFS and this clinical trial may lead to new therapeutic options for People with ME / CFS.