While working on a cure for his son's chronic fatigue syndrome, has Ron Davis laid the groundwork for understanding long Covid? 👇 thetimes.co.uk/article/could-…
ME/CFS - or chronic fatigue syndrome - is thought to affect 20 million people worldwide, including the mounting numbers of people suffering from long Covid
Symptoms of ME/CFS include:
🔶 Bone-deep fatigue, often accompanied by chills
🔶 Muscle pain
🔶 Cognitive confusion known as “brain fog”
🔶 Sensory sensitivities
Although it’s now widely accepted to be a physical illness, many doctors remain ignorant or dismissive of ME/CFS today, and there is an enduring view that sufferers are just lazy or that they should be able to do something about it themselves
Whitney Dafoe went from a lively, travel-mad twentysomething to being bedbound with ME/CFS, leaving his father - Stanford biochemist Ron Davis - determined to find a cure Image
Following bouts of illness in his teens, Dafoe became bedbound at 29, unable to move, eat or speak.

His parents worked day and night, changing his urinal and IV drip, attaching bags of liquid nutrients to his feeding tube and putting ice on the tender part of his stomach
Davis set up the Stanford ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center and enlisted the help of esteemed researchers.

In 2015 he helped to publish a report for the US Institute of Medicine that concluded that this was indeed a biological disease, not a psychological one Image
“Doctors just didn’t know what to do with him,” Davis says. “Blood tests, everything like that came back normal. I decided I’d have to work on it myself.”

He began analysing his son’s blood in his lab, looking for what had gone wrong in the cells’ molecular pathways
That year, Davis had a breakthrough. Poring over his son’s charts he realised there was something wrong with Dafoe’s ability to generate the essential energy molecule ATP - irrefutable proof that something was happening at a cellular level
Now 38, Dafoe has been through some very dark periods but there is hope. Various drugs helped him to recover the strength to sit up and he learnt to communicate via gestures
“Hope is a choice I have made,” says Dafoe. “I decided at one point that I simply was never going to give up. I just have a gut feeling that I will get better, that my father will find a cure and I will fully recover”
In doing so, Ron Davis just might help millions of sufferers of long Covid too.

Read the full story here: thetimes.co.uk/article/could-…

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