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Systems Modeling Reveals Shared Metabolic Dysregulation and Novel Therapeutic Treatments in ME/CFS and Long COVID

The Heart of the Matter

  • In a recently released preprint, OMF’s computation team investigated the shared metabolic symptoms found in ME/CFS and Long COVID.
  • Using new modeling technology, the team identified metabolic pathways that are dysregulated in both ME/CFS and Long COVID.
  • They identified a combination of L-ornithine and L-aspartate (LOLA) as a potential treatment to explore in future clinical trials.

Systems Biology Modeling of Metabolic Dysfunctions

Headshot of Wenzhong Xiao, PhDOn June 18, Dr. Wenzhong Xiao, the Director of OMF’s Computational Research Center, released a preprint of his project investigating how metabolic dysfunction contributes to shared symptoms seen in ME/CFS and Long COVID. Through this project, Dr. Xiao and his team were also able to identify a potential treatment to be trialed in future research studies.

Using metabolic modeling, the team was able to identify several metabolic pathways that were altered in muscle samples of ME/CFS patients when compared to healthy controls. After combining these results with analysis of Long COVID samples, they found that, collectively, the most affected pathway was asparagine/aspartate (ASN/ASP) metabolism.

Following this finding, the authors propose a potential treatment for ME/CFS and Long COVID that targets ASN/ASP metabolism. Within this particular metabolic pathway, ASN is metabolized into ASP. This pathway is downregulated in ME/CFS and Long COVID, though, which means that there are lower levels of ASP than normal. Therefore, it’s possible that supplementing with L-aspartate may provide a therapeutic benefit. 

In addition, the arginine and proline metabolism pathway was found to be downregulated in ME/CFS. L-ornithine is a product of the metabolism of arginine, so supplementing with L-ornithine might similarly provide a therapeutic benefit. By combining L-aspartate with L-ornithine (LOLA), it’s also possible that the body might be able to remove ammonia more efficiently, which could reduce fatigue. 

Ultimately, the team was able to find commonly affected metabolic pathways in ME/CFS and Long COVID. By targeting these pathways, LOLA has the potential to provide a therapeutic benefit that should be trialed in future studies. Read the full preprint here

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At Open Medicine Foundation, we’re working urgently to transform our discoveries into tangible progress. We aim to build new treatment pathways as soon as possible, benefiting people with ME/CFS and Long COVID globally.

By donating today, you are supporting the growth and sustainability of important research projects like this that hold the promise of a better future for millions. On behalf of all of us at OMF, we thank you in advance for your contribution.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS) Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia Leading Research. Delivering Hope.Open Medicine Foundation®

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