Those who do not believe that M.E. is a serious neurological disorder (it has officially been classed as such by the World Health Organisation since 1969, reference ICD-10 G93.3) would do well to take note of the following quotes about the illness; I could have included many more.
“In my experience, (M.E.) is one of the most disabling diseases that I care for, far exceeding H.I.V. disease except for the terminal stages”. 1
“The disabling weakness and exhaustion a patient with M.E. experiences is so profound that “fatigue” is probably an insult”. 2
“There may be significant and permanent damage to the skeletal or cardiac muscle as well as to other end organs including the liver, pancreas, endocrine glands and lymphoid tissues”. 3
“In nearly every patient there are signs of disease of the central nervous system”. 4
“There is now considerable evidence of an underlying biological process in most patients (which) is inconsistent with the hypothesis that (the condition) involves symptoms that are only imagined or amplified because of underlying psychiatric distress. It is time to put that hypothesis to rest”. 5
“M.E. in adults is associated with measurable changes in the central nervous system and autonomic function and injury to the cardiovascular, endocrine and other organs and systems. The patient with the diagnosis of M.E./C.F.S. is chronically and potentially seriously ill. These M.E./C.F.S. patients require a total investigation and a total body mapping to understand the pathophysiology of their illness and to discover what other physicians have missed. A patient with M.E. is a patient whose primary disease is central nervous system change, and this is measurable. The belief that M.E./C.F.S. is a psychological illness is the error of our time”. 6
When the Chief Medical Officer’s Report on M.E. was released in January 2002, the C.M.O. Professor Sir Liam Donaldson said that M.E. “should be classed as a chronic condition with long term effects on health, alongside other illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease”. 7
1. Introduction to Research and Clinical Conference. Daniel L Peterson. Journal of CFS 1995: 1:3-4:123-125.
2. Chronic Fatigue. Cuozzo J. JAMA 1989:261:5:697.
3. Entroviral and Toxin Mediated Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Other Organ Pathologies. John Richardson. The Haworth Press Inc. New York, 2001.
4. A new clinical entity? Editorial: Lancet 26 May 1956
5. The Biology of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Anthony L Komaroff Am J Med 2000:108:99-105.
6. The Complexities of Diagnosis. Byron Hyde. In: Handbook of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Leonard A Jason et al. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2003.
7. Professor Sir Liam Donaldson’s comment from the 11th January 2002 can be found on the BBC News website at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1755070.stm