"This dysfunction affects the brain, the spinal cord, the pancreas, which is why there are so many different manifestations of the illness - sometimes patients will suffer from cardiac symptoms, sometimes it will be symptoms in the gut."

It's something that's confused doctors for decades, and has lead to much of the misdiagnosis of the condition - but the new research suggests that all of the common CFS/ME symptoms can be explained by these faulty calcium ion channels.

"We now know that this is a dysfunction of a very critical receptor and the critical role that this has, which causes severe problems to cells in the body," said Staines.

To be clear, the research was - and still remains - in its early phases; all we know is that these dysfunctional TRMP3 receptors are involved in the disease, and there's a lot more work to be done.

But Staines suggested that the involvement of TRPM3 receptors could explain why so many patients appear to experience CFS/ME following a traumatic event or serious infection.

The class of receptors TRPM3 belongs to are also known as 'threat receptors', because they're upregulated when the body is under any kind of threat, such as infection, trauma, or even childbirth.  {Let's see, the year I came down with the beginnings of CFIDS, my mother was dying, my husband was straying, I was full-time staff at Co$ and undergoing plenty of physical/mental abuse (including copious amounts of lack of sleep), in a smoke-filled environment with an allergy to tobacco smoke, and finally ended up with mononucleosis, which became chronic mono, which became chronic Epstein Barr virus (CEBV), later renamed CFS and then CFIDS.  Hmm.}

Staines and his colleagues have predicted that it's this upregulation that causes the faulty genetic receptors to get over-expressed and then take over, messing up the calcium transfer in a range of cells.

For now, that's just a hypothesis. But it's a much-needed starting point for researchers to look into further.

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