Entry: ME or CFS Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Is it Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

From: Margaret Williams 25th April 2005

It is noted that the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) Media Relations Office appears to have provided official confirmation that "CFS" (chronic fatigue syndrome) is not the same disorder as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) / ICD-classified chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) --- "CFS" here being synonymous with "ME" as classified in the International Classification of Diseases at ICD-10 G93.3. This clarification has been reported via the US Newswire (see Co-Cure, 26th April 2005).

This confirmation would seem to be an important breakthrough in the confusion that surrounds the heterogeneous label "CFS".

The CDC release states unequivocally: "First identified in the 1980s, CFS is characterized by a severe and debilitating fatigue that does not improve with rest."

If the disorder "CFS" was "first identified in the 1980s" (as opposed to being a new name given by Holmes et al of the CDC to the existing disorder myalgic encephalomyelitis), then "CFS" cannot possibly be the same disorder as Ramsay-described ME, since the latter has been documented in the medical literature since at least 1938 and was identified 50 years before "CFS" and was recognised by The Royal Society of Medicine in 1978.

This means that, as has been pointed out many times in the last fifteen years, the term "CFS" means different things to different people, and that the term "CFS/ME" that was constructed by the psychiatric lobby does not equate with "ME", despite the two terms "ME" and "CFS" being synonymous in the ICD-10 that was published in 1992.

Is this confirmation by the CDC that "CFS" was first identified only in the 1980s a careless mistake, or is it the first step in overcoming the constructed confusion perpetrated by the psychiatric lobby that is intent on claiming all "fatigue states" as behavioural and on classifying "CFS" (into which it has assiduously subsumed ME) as a somatisation disorder in the next revision of the ICD?

If it is not a mistake by the CDC, then it means that the MRC PACE and FINE trials and the new UK Government-funded Centres cannot possibly be looking at Ramsay-described, ICD-classified ME (which in any event is automatically excluded by virtue of using the Oxford case definition as the entry criteria, despite denial by the MRC), therefore when they appear, the results of the PACE and FINE trials cannot credibly be taken to apply to those with ME even though the trial purports to be studying what it calls "CFS/ME".

Once the outcome of the UK General Election is determined, Members of Parliament are invited to take note and act accordingly in the best interests of their constituents with ME.

ME International


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