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We are crowd-sourcing a knowledge base on the history, science and medicine of ME and CFS around the world. MEpedia is a patient community project being built by patients, founded by #MEAction. Read more about MEpedia and its principles.

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Choose a Primer to learn about the disease Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

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Five minute tasks

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Priority pages for expansion

Science: Citric acid cycle, Mitochondria, Exercise, Natural killer cell, Central nervous system, Nitric oxide hypothesis, Brain, Brain imaging, Microbiome hypothesis, Primer for journalists (Prognosis section), PACE trial

A note on ME v. CFS

We have separate pages for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, ME/CFS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well as SEID. The convention is that the terminology used in an ME-pedia article should match the terminology used in the underlying source. Where there is a tension between the term used in the source and the definition (e.g., ME defined by the Oxford criteria or CFS defined by the Canadian Consensus Criteria), it may be useful for clarity to mention the definition used.

The Disease

Infectious agents: Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella, Borna Disease Virus, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Coxsackie A, Coxsackie B, Cytomegalovirus, Ebola virus, Echovirus, Enterovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, H1N1, Herpesvirus, HHV-6, HHV-7, HSV-1, HSV-2, Influenza, Parvovirus B19, Q fever, Ross River Virus, Mycoplasma, Streptococcus, Fungal infection

Triggers and risk factors: Blood donation, Candidiasis, Causes of death, Epidemiology, Genetics, Menstrual cycle*, Mold, Pediatric*, Pregnancy, Stress*, Toxic exposure*, Trauma, Vaccine, Viral onset, Bacterial disease onset, Fungal disease onset

Signs and symptoms: Ataxia, Attention deficit, Auditory sequencing problems, Balance problems, Cognitive dysfunction, Chronic pain, Chronic fatigue, Concentration problems, Difficulty comprehending social cues, Dyslexia, Executive function problems, Fatigue, Food intolerance, Hypermobility, Irritable bowel syndrome, Low motivation, Migraine, Multi-tasking problems, Muscle fatigability, Neurally mediated hypotension, Nonepileptic seizure, Optical dysfunction, Orientation in space problems, Orthostatic intolerance, Planning problems, Post-exertional malaise, Postural orthostatic tachycardia, Receptive language problems, Seizure, Sleep disturbance, Slowed thought, Telomere shortening, Unrefreshing sleep, Word-finding problems*

Medical hypotheses: Amygdala hypothesis*, Autoimmune hypothesis, Encephalitis, Autoimmune encephalitis, Cell danger response, Fatty acid hypothesis, Hygiene hypothesis*, Immune exhaustion hypothesis*, Infectious disease hypothesis, Ken Lassesen's model, Methylation cycle hypothesis, Microbiome hypothesis, Mold hypothesis*, Patricia Kane protocol, Vagus nerve hypothesis, Viral onset hypothesis, Hypercoagulation hypothesis, Acquired immune and mitochondrial dysfunction hypothesis

Body systems: Antibody, Autoantibody, Blood, Brain, B cell, Central sensitization, Cytokine, Chemokine, Cardiovascular system, Gastrointestinal system, Glutamate excitotoxicity, HPA axis*, Immune system, IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-16, IL-17, IL-18, Interferon, Leaky brain, Leaky gut, Macrophage, Microglia, Microbiome, Mucosal immune system, Nervous system, Natural killer cell, Neuroinflammation, Ribonuclease L, Spinal cord, Tumor necrosis factors, VEGF, T cell

Tests: Brain imaging, Cardiopulmonary exercise testing, CellTrend diagnostic test, C reactive protein*, qEEG/LORETA, Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, Exercise, NCNED Griffith University diagnostic test, MRI, Orosomucoid, qEEG, SF-36, SPECT, Tilt table test, Two day exercise test, Natural Killer Cell (NKC) Function, Arginine vasopressin, MTHFR and other methylation mutations, infectious diseases

Citizen science: 23andMe, American Gut, Any Treatment, Mendus, Phoenix Rising, UBiome, Know Your Genetics: Dr. Amy Yasko, WellnessFX, CH3Nutrigenomics; Dr. Amy Yasko,, Genetic Genie, LiveWello

Biochemistry and cell biology: ATP, Cellular respiration, Citric acid cycle, D lactate*, Endocannabinoid, Glucocorticoid, Glutathione*, Histamine, Methylation cycle, Mitochondria, Nitric oxide, Oxidative phosphorylation, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine

Nutrients: Copper, Deadlock quartet, Folate, L-carnitine, Magnesium, Sam-e, TMG, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12*, Vitamin C*, Vitamin D, Zinc

Neurotransmitters and hormones: Acetylcholine, Alpha-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone, Calicitriol, Calcidiol, Cortisol, Dopamine, Endorphin, Estriadol, Epinephrine, Estrogen, Glucocorticoid, Glutamate, Histamine, Hormones, Leptin, Melatonin, Neurotransmitters, Norepinephrine, Oxytocin, Progesterone, Prolactin, Prostaglandins, Serotonin, Testosterone, Vasopressin, Thyroid, MSH, HGH

Blood donation

Disease Names & Definitions



Research initiatives

Studies, biobanks, registries, mailing lists

Disclaimer: The following is a range of some of the interventions (including anecdotal) that have been used by patients to try to treat both individual symptoms and the disease as a whole, some of which have been researched and many which have not. The vast majority lack ANY reliable evidence of efficacy. Many carry significant side-effects and risks. This content is provided for information ONLY. MEpedia is not to be used to diagnose or treat any illness. Patients must consult a clinician before embarking on treatment.


Anti-fungal drugs: Fluconazole, Itraconazole

Other drug treatments: Chelation, Cyclophosphamide, Prednisone, Trazodone, Tramadol

B-cell depletion: Rituximab

Immunomodulators and immunostimulants: Ampligen, Low dose naltrexone, Intravenous immunoglobulin, Staphylococcal vaccine, Interferon

Antivirals: Valganciclovir, Famciclovir, Valaciclovir, Acyclovir

Anti-inflammatory drugs: Sulfasalazine

Herbs, Supplements and Nutraceuticals

Supplements: Probiotics, AHCC, CoQ10, L-carnitine, MitoQ, NADH, PrescriptAssist, Mutaflor, GcMAF, Colostrum, Transfer factors, Fish oil, EPA, DHA, Taurine, L-Glutamine, Glutathione, Niacinamide, B Vitamin Complex, Adaptogens (Eleuthro, Ginseng, Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, Licorice), Mangosteen, Vegan/non-whey Protein Powders with Amino Acid Complex, Greens Powders, D-Ribose, Quercetin, Nexavir, 5-Hydroxytryptophan, Melatonin, L-arginine, L-citrulline, n-acetylcysteine

Supplement sources: Pure Formulas, Be Well By Dr Frank Lipman, Seeking Health, MITOQ, Aloha, ProHealth, Thrive Marketplace, HolisticHeal,

Herbs: Medical marijuana, Kampo, Equilibrant

Immunovir, Medicinal mushrooms

Alternative interventions

Diets: GAPS diet, Ketogenic diet, Low FODMAP Diet, Low Histamine Diet, Paleo diet, RPAH Elimination Diet, Specific carbohydrate diet, Vegan diet, Vegetarian diet, Fasting

Foods: Cocoa (Dark chocolate)

Uncategorized interventions: Traditional Chinese medicine, Cold immersion, Fecal matter transplant/Faecal bacteriotherapy, Helminthic therapy, Pacing, Energy envelope, Hyperbaric oxygen, Exercise, Vagus nerve stimulation, Exercise based on 2-day CPET

Category page: Potential treatments


Australia: Rashmi Cabena (VIC), Donald P Lewis (VIC), Richard Schloeffel (NSW), John Whiting

Canada: Alison Bested, Byron Hyde

Belgium: Kenny de Meirleir, Annemie Uyttersprot (GP)

Germany: Anna Dorothea Hoeck, Carmen Scheibenbogen

Italy: Lorenzo Lorusso, Eligio Pizzigallo, Umberto Tirelli

New Zealand: Rosamund Vallings

South Africa: Cecile Jadin

Sweden: Carl-Gerhard Gottfries

United Kingdom: Amolak Bansal, Peter Behan, Breakspear Medical, Abhijit Chaudhuri, Gabrielle Murphy, Sarah Myhill, Julia Newton, Vinod Patel, Raymond Perrin, Basant Puri, Charles Shepherd, Nigel Speight, William Weir, Andrew Wright

United States:

Benjamin Natelson, Derek Enlander, Gudrun Lange, Julian Stewart, Maureen Hanson, Patricia Fennell, Peter Manu, Susan Levine

Management guides: Taming the Gorilla (Action for ME), Notes for Carers (Greg Crowhurst), The Purple Booklet (ME Association), Spoon theory, Dental Leaflet for ME Sufferers (The Grace Charity for M.E.), CFS - A Roadmap for Testing and Treatment, Information for Patients and Hospital Staff Regarding Treatment of Patients with M.E. (The Grace Charity for M.E.)

Psychological Paradigm

Psychological paradigm, mind-body approaches and related interventions: FINE trial, PACE trial, Graded Exercise Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Biopsychosocial model, Deconditioning, Mickel therapy, Lightning Process, Reverse therapy, Gupta programme, Psychoneuroimmunology, Meditation, Bodily distress syndrome, Functional somatic syndrome, Psychosomatic illness, Neurasthenia, Medically unexplained symptoms

Psychological paradigm proponents: Simon Wessely, Michael Sharpe, Peter White, Trudie Chalder, Rona Moss-Morris, Jessica Bavinton, Esther Crawley, Anthony Cleare, Ben Goldacre, Peter Manu, Brian Walitt, Edward Shorter, Per Fink

Psychological paradigm critics: James Coyne, Keith Laws, David Tuller, Ronald Davis, Bruce Levin, Arthur Reingold, Jonathan Edwards, Leonard Jason, Ellen Goudsmit, Angela Kennedy, Mark Zinn, Marcie Zinn

Patient mental health

By country: Diagnosis, treatments, insurance, disability, etc.

  • Africa:

Kenya, Nigeria, Category:Kenya, Category:Nigeria, Category:South Africa

  • Asia:

China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Category:China, Category:India, Category:Indonesia, Category:Iran, Category:Israel, Category:Japan, Category:Philippines, Category:Russia, Category:South Korea

  • Europe:

Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Category:Austria, Category:Belarus, Category:Belgium, Category:Bulgaria, Category:Croatia, Category:Czech Republic, Category:Denmark, Category:European research initiatives, Category:Finland, Category:France, Category:Germany, Category:Hungary, Category:Iceland, Category:Ireland, Category:Italy, Category:Latvia, Category:Netherlands, Category:Norway, Category:Poland, Category:Portugal, Category:Romania, Category:Russia, Category:Serbia, Category:Slovakia, Category:Slovenia, Category:Spain, Category:Sweden, Category:Ukraine, Category:United Kingdom

  • Oceania:

Australia, New Zealand, Category:Australia, Category:New Zealand

  • North America:

Canada, Mexico, United States, Category:Canada, Category:Mexico, Category:United States

  • South America:

Argentina, Brazil, Category:Argentina, Category:Brazil, Category:Chile


Important events timeline

Historical records: Osler's Web, Thirty Years of Disdain

Outbreaks: Outbreaks: Incline Village 1984, Lyndonville 1985, Akureyri, Los Angeles 1934, Royal Free Hospital 1955, Dalston 1955, Adelaide 1949, Ayrshire 1980, Sacramento 1975, Bergen Norway 2004

Deceased patients: Sophia Mirza, Thomas Hennessy, Jr., Vanessa Li, Lynn Gilderdale, Emily Collingridge, Chardale Dotson Irvine, Oliver Coles, Brynmor John, Victoria Elsbury-Legg, Roger Cicero, Jodi Bassett, Memorial Lists

Major developments/controversies: PACE trial, XMRV

ME and CFS in popular culture

Patient Advocacy

Patient groups

How To Advocate: Community and System Change

Advocacy/Fundraising Initiatives: Chilli ME Challenge, ME Foggy Dog, Mike's EU Marathons

Famous people with ME, CFS, and/or FMS: Michelle Akers, Glenn Beck, Roger Cicero, Neil Codling, Shirley Conran, Michael Crawford, Charles Darwin, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Blake Edwards, Laura Hillenbrand, Keith Jarrett, Martine McCutcheon, Stuart Murdoch, Florence Nightingale

Notable people with ME, CFS, and/or FMS: Karina Hansen, Joanne, Sophia Mirza, Thomas Hennessy, Jr., Vanessa Li, Lynn Gilderdale, Emily Collingridge, Whitney Dafoe, Tom Kindlon, Graham McPhee, Jennie Spotila, Naomi Whittingham, Jane Colby, Countess of Mar, Margaret Williams, Brian Vastag, Jennifer Brea, Ryan Prior, Hillary Johnson, Julie Rehmeyer, Leonard Jason, Charles Shepherd, Nasim Marie Jafry, Ken Lassesen, Cort Johnson, Valerie Eliot Smith, Doctor Speedy, Tanya Marlow, Deborah Waroff, Catherine Hale, Mary Schweitzer, Toni Bernhard, Guido den Broeder, Frank Twisk, Steven Lubet, Giada Da Ros, Roberta Pelletta, Carol Head, Ean Proctor, Jessica Taylor, Clark Ellis, Alem Matthees, Peter Kemp, Mindy Kitei, Jeannette Burmeister, Giles Meehan, Erik Johnson, Lisa Petrison, Mary Ann Kindel, Gabby Klein, Eileen Holderman, Susan Kreutzer, Maryann Spurgin, Wendy Boutilier, L.A. Cooper, Donna M. Pearson, Mary Gelpi, James David Chapman

Notable advocates: Angela Kennedy, Mary Dimmock, Greg Crowhurst, Malcolm Hooper, Nicole Castillo, Llewellyn King, Erica Verrillo, Tom Whittingham, Mike Harley, Ian Gibson, Scott Ludlam, Linda Tannenbaum, Don Tannenbaum, Jon Campling, Charmian Proskauer

Notable Quotes: List of Quotes, Individual Quotes

Illuminated landmarks

Journals, TV, Articles, Books, Film, Interviews, Blogs, Discussion Forums

Journals: Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior, Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, PLOS ONE, The BMJ, The Lancet, The Lancet Psychiatry, Category:Journal editors

TV: Chronic Fatigue: Missing Millions (Carte Blanche DSTV), House, I Remember Me, Inside Out: Six years in bed, List of television segments on ME and CFS, Sick and Tired, Sick and Tired - BBC, Susan Harris, The Golden Girls, The Middle, Toxic Tiredness, Unrest

Articles: List of news articles on ME and CFS, In the Expectation of Recovery

Books (Deutsch): ME - Myalgische Enzephalomyelitis vs. Chronic Fatigue Syndrom - Fakten Hintergründe Forschung

Books (English): 101 Tips For Coping With M.E., 150 Tips for Everyday Living with ME/CFS, A Beginner's Guide to ME/CFS, A Beginner's Guide to Mold Avoidance, A Companion Volume to Dr. Jay A. Goldstein's Betrayal by the Brain: A Guide for Patients and Their Physicians, A Year Lost and Found, All My Test Results are Normal: A Smart Guide to Testing for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, America Exhausted: Breakthrough Treatments of Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, America's Biggest Cover-Up, An Introduction to the Lightning Process, Authors of our Own Misfortune? The Problems with Psychogenic Explanations for Physical Illnesses, Back from the Edge, Beating Chronic Fatigue: Your step-by-step guide to complete recovery, Betrayal by the Brain, Body by Science, Can I tell you about ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?, Caring For The M.E. Patient, CFS Unravelled: Get Well By Treating The Cause Not Just The Symptoms Of CFS, Fibromyalgia, POTS And Related Syndromes, Chronic Fatigue and its Syndromes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (1994 book), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (1997 book), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (The Facts), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome M.E.: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Management, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME and Fibromyalgia - The Long Awaited Cure, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME: Support for Family and Friends, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Biological Approach, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Guide to the Homeopathic Treatment of CFS/M.E., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide, 2nd Edition, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: What You Need To Know About CFS/ME, Ciba Foundation Symposium 173 - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Clinician's Guide To Controversial Illnesses: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: It's Mitochondria, Not Hypochondria, Encounters with the Invisible, Enteroviral and Toxin Mediated Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Other Organ Pathologies, Exhaustion: A History, Explaining "Unexplained Illnesses", Finding M.E.: An Alternative Guide to Healing M.E./CFS, From ME to You, With Love, Get Well Soon: Adventures in Alternative Healthcare, Haworth Research Series on Malaise, Fatigue, and Debilitation, How To Be Sick, How To Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness, Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, It's All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness, Life with ME: Words of Warriors, Lighting Up a Hidden World, Living with ME, Love and Fatigue in America, M.E. and Me: A Doctor's Struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia - The Reverse Therapy Approach, M.E., Myself and I, Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: Feel Better, Take Charge, Regain Hope, Managing ME/CFS: A guide for young people, ME - The New Plague, Missed Diagnoses: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, My A-Z of M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), My Teenage Son Had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Mother's Tale of ME/CFS, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Postviral Fatigue States: The Saga of Royal Free Disease, Myalgic, Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: History, Diagnostic Criteria and Prevalence, One Last Goodbye, Osler's Web, Overcoming Chronic Fatigue, Plague, Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome (book), Ramsay's Disease - Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and the Unfortunate Creation of 'CFS', Recovery from CFS: 50 Personal Stories, Reviving the Broken Marionette, Running On Empty: The Complete Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS), Science, Politics, .......and ME: A health scandal in our generation, Severe ME - Featuring: "Justice for Karina Hansen", Severe ME/CFS: A Guide to Living, Severe ME: Notes for Carers, Shattered: A Champion's Fight Against a Mystery Illness, Shattered: Life with M.E., SICK: A Long Short Story About M.E., Stranger and stranger, Stricken, Supinely Sublimely, The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic Cover-up: How a Little Newspaper Solved the Biggest Scientific and Political Mystery of Our Time, The Clinical and Scientific Basis of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, The Handbook of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, The LDN Book, The Perrin Technique: How to Beat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, The Pocket Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME: Key Facts and Tips for Improved Health, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, The State of Me, The Unpredictable Journey: A Survivor's Success Story, Thirty Years of Disdain, Thorsons Health - M.E.: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Practical Guide, Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand, Tickle ME - Stories Of A Brain Fogged Girl, Understanding M.E. - A Guide For Friends, Family & Carers, What Is M.E.?, What Is M.E.? A Guide For Children, What Is Wrong with ME, Why ME, Zoe's Win

Books (Italiano): Stanchi: Vivere con la Sindrome da Fatica Cronica

Books (Nederlands): Heden ik

Books (Norsk): De Bortgjemte

Books (Suomi): CFS:n ja fibromyalgian hoito

Books (Svenska): Trött är fel ord: Om att leva med den osynliga sjukdomen ME/CFS

Film: Forgotten Plague, I Remember Me, Invisible Illness - Stories of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Living with M.E., M.E. and Me, ME The Hidden Truth, Perversely Dark, The Last Great Medical Cover Up, Unrest, Voices from the Shadows, What About ME, Wild Horses

Interviews: ME/CFS Alert, Science for Patients

Blogs: 25pillsaday, A Dream Deferred, A Journey Through The Fog, Aroga Yoga, Blonde Voyage, Cell Fatigue, CFS Central, CFS Patient Advocate, CFS Remission, CFSGraphics, Chronic Fatigue Survivor's Blog, Chronically Hopeful, ChronicallyME, Constant F****** S***, Courtney Craig, Disabled in Tory Britain, Get Well From ME, Health Rising, Holistic Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Intelligent Medicine, JayTay, Just ME, Limited Capability, Living With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME Advocacy, ME Association, ME/CFS Alert, ME/CFS Ghost, My World, Nice Guidelines, Occupy M.E., Onward Through the Fog, Paolo Maccallini, Phoenix Rising, Quixotic My ME Blog, Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: E.M. and M.E., Science for Patients, Shoutout About ME, Spoonie Radio, Spoonseekerdotcom, Stonebird, The Blue Ribbon Fellowship, The Blue Ribbon Foundation, The MEAction Network, The Self-Taught Author, The World of One Room, Thoughts About M.E., Trial By Error, Utting-Wolff Spouts, Valerie Eliot Smith Blog, Verywell FMS/CFS, Virology blog

Discussion forums: CFS Reddit, Health Rising, MDJunction, ME/CFS Forums, MEAction Reddit, Phoenix Rising, ProHealth, Science for ME

Open Letters

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

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