Portal:History and People

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History and People

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), a disease that occurs both sporadically and as cluster outbreaks, was first documented in Los Angeles in 1934. Since, there have been dozens of outbreaks recorded in the medical literature, most notably the 1948-49 Akureyri, Iceland outbreak, 1955 Royal Free Hospital Outbreak in London and the 1984 outbreak in Incline Village, Nevada. The disease's existence almost certainly predates 1934, and may have been unrecognized for centuries or misdiagnosed as hysteria, neurasthenia, and later, conversion disorder.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis was first known as atypical polio and later called "Icelandic disease" until it was officially named myalgic encephalomyelitis following the 1955 London outbreak. ME was recognized as a neurological disease by the World Health Organization in 1969. Following the 1984 outbreak in Nevada, it was renamed and recharacterized by the Centers for Disease Control as "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome."

In 2015, the US Institute of Medicine, based on a review of several decades of research, created a new definition of the disease and proposed a new name: Systemic exertion intolerance disease. Patient advocacy and a renewed interest in the disease among clinicians and scientists have led many new research groups to join the field in recent years, prompting several new discoveries and promising treatments to be tested via clinical trials. (more...)


Selected historical articles

In 1984, there was an outbreak of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) (then thought to be Chronic Epstein-Barr virus) at Incline Village, Nevada, United States. An estimated 160 residents of Incline Village became ill in the winter of 1985. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was the name coined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in response to an outbreak of "chronic flu-like illness" at Incline Village. (more...)





Source: www.me-net.combidom.com

Tom Kindlon is known for his extensive analysis, publications and correspondence with ME/CFS researchers, particularly in relation to the PACE trial. He became ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in February 1989, when he was just 16 years old. Kindlon is Assistant Chairperson of the Irish ME/CFS Association. (more...)


In the news

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Source: tufts.edu

Michael VanElzakker, Phd, is a neuroscientist affiliated at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Tufts University. He has two primary research interests: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He has proposed a Vagus nerve infection hypothesis for ME/CFS. (more...)


Books & Film

Unrest is a 2017 documentary by Jennifer Brea


Charles Bernard Shepherd, MB, BS, is the Honorary Medical Adviser to the ME Association, a patient charity in London, United Kingdom and the co-author with Dr Abhijit Chaudhuri of ME/CFS/PVFS: An Exploration of Key Clinical Issues, a health professional's guidebook published by the ME Association. He was on the Steering Committee of the National ME Observatory, a collaborative research project in the UK. His special interest in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) stems from having developed the illness after a bout of chickenpox. (more...)


Selected picture

BedFest is a virtual art and music festival by people with ME.



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From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.