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Neurotoxic Metabolite Test (NMT) Hot

Neurotoxic Metabolite Test (NMT)

The Neurotoxic Metabolite Test (NMT) was developed by Belgian scientist Professor Kenny de Meirleir and is produced and distributed by Protea biopharma. Currently (October 2009) it has not yet been approved as a clinical diagnostic test and is therefore considered for research purposes only. However, many physicians treating have shown much interest in the test and it is now available through some of these and other distributors such as ProHealth Inc.

The NMT aims to detect the presence of abnormal metabolites in the urine. These metabolites are related to the production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Low levels of H2S in the body are normal as this gas is used much like nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO) as a signaling molecule. It is involved in the the regulation of blood pressure, neurotransmission, muscle relaxation, and inflammation. It also controls blood flow to the brain ad modulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis - the stress control system. However in higher concentrations H2S becomes a potent toxin. Certain bacteria in the gut produce H2S which is then absorbed into the body. Therefore the NMT is designed to detect raised H2S concentrations associated with the growth of these gut bacteria.

Professor de Meirleir found that high urinary H2S metabolites are associated with overgrowth of Streptococcus, Enterococcus, and Pretovella bacteria in the gut. These bacteria ferment the food we eat to produce H2S. An overgrowth of such gut bacteria is termed 'gut dysbiosis'. Furthermore, Professor de Meirleir found that a significant proportion of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients have such dysbiosis and test positive with the NMT test. The test is therefore aimed primarily at ME/CFS patients, although presumably it may also be useful in related conditions such as fibromyalgia.

Abnormally high concentrations of H2S have many detrimental effects in the body. In animal studies they have been shown to produce a hibernation-like state with decreased core body temperature, sleep apnea, reduced heart and respiratory rates, and a marked metabolic drop; symptoms familiar to those with CFS/ME and fibromyalgia. H2S also acts as a mitochondrial poison by inhibiting many enzymes involved in the production of ATP (energy). It also interferes with oxygen transport in red blood cells and the use of oxygen by the mitochondria. Also important in ME/CFS is the fact that H2S inhibits immune cells such as natural killer (NK) cells and T-lymphocytes and disrupts the HPA-axis.

Professor de Meirlier points out that high H2S may also result from metabolic disorders so these must be ruled out but a positive result in ME/CFS patients is likely to be indicative of gut dysbiosis with the H2S-producing bacteria named previously. Appropriate treatment may help such patients and is likely to involve antibiotics (natural or pharmaceutical) along with probiotics to restore the beneficial gut microflora.

The test itself is carried out at home and simply involves collecting a sample of first morning urine and adding a small amount to a plastic vile containing a special chemical reactant. If high levels of H2S metabolites are present the solution will change colour within 3 minutes.

 

 

 

 

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Maff Reviewed by Maff    September 23, 2009
Last updated: September 23, 2009
#1 Reviewer   -   View all my reviews

Neurotoxic Metabolite Test (NMT)

Having suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for 18 years and had other tests strongly indicating gut dysbiosis I was intrigued to hear about Professor de Meirleir's work and very interested in taking the Neurotoxic Metabolite Test myself.

Living in the UK, I obtained the test from ME/CFS specialist Dr. Sarah Myhill, M.D., at a cost of a little over £20. You can also obtain the test directly from Protea biopharma or a handful of distributors in other countries.

The test itself was a very simple matter. I collected a sample of urine in the container provided the first time I visited the bathroom on waking. I then used the pipette type tool to take a smaller sample and add this to the vile containing a special chemical (known as a reagent) that reacts with hydrogen sulfide metabolites. I then turned the vile upside down a couple of times to mix the reagent and urine together and started timing for 3 minutes.

So the test itself was quick, simple, and relatively inexpensive. The tricky part I discovered is interpreting the results. The instruction sheet provides pictures which show viles with sample colours indicating negative, moderate positive, and strong positive results. The problem is that my sample showed a definite change of colour within the 3 minute period but did not match up to any of the pictures. My sample had more of a brown hue than any of the pictures show. Despite this, based on how dark my sample turned I believe my result to have been borderline moderate-strong positive.

After reading others' experiences with the test on various websites and forums it seems my experience is common. Perhaps it is simply a matter of the colour rendering when the instructions leaflet is printed but it is certainly something that Protea biopharma need to look at if the test is to become an approved diagnostic test I would have thought.

Still, I saw a definite colour change towards a darker colour so will take this as further evidence of gut dysbiosis in conjunction with various other tests I have had including CDSA and gut fermentation profile.

If you are a ME/CFS patient and have not had any testing regarding gut dysbiosis I'd certainly recommend the NMT as a cheap and easy home test which can be regarded as an initial screen. A positive looking result could then be followed up with further testing such as those I've mentioned.

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Reviewed by ronnie b    May 22, 2012

nmt

i got my kit for $60 from cfs discovery.com.au in melbourne australia
i was in a relapse at the time and my urine turned dark purple in 3 minutes or less. it did not change colour after. remained the same. so i am strong positive.
but i have heard from some friends that they had negative and yet they are severely ill.
i am looking at immune system problems - have had virus for 10 weeks - not making any energy
further testing is to be done

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