Portal:History and People

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history
Jump to: navigation, search

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

The building that housed the Royal Free Hospital in 1955 when the outbreak occurred
In 1955 there was a cluster outbreak of myalgic encephalomyelitis amongst staff at the Royal Free Hospital in North London, in the United Kingdom. The outbreak led to the creation of the disease name Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, coined by Melvin Ramsay who was a consultant physician at the time of the outbreak. (more...)




Jennie Spotila has been living with ME/CFS since 1994 and is an advocate who previously practiced law. She blogs at Occupy M.E. She served on the Board of Directors of The CFIDS Association of America (now called Solve ME/CFS Initiative) from 2006 to 2011, and as Chairman in 2008 and 2009. She has testified before the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee on multiple occasions. (more...)


In the news

Newspaper color drawing.png
(read more)



Øystein Fluge, MD, is the Senior Consultant supervising the ME/CFS research group at the Department of Oncology and Medical Physics at the University of Bergen, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway. He works with Professor Olav Mella in the Norwegian Rituximab and cyclophosphamide trials employing the depletion of B cell lymphocytes in ME/CFS patients. (more...)


Books & Film




Lucinda Bateman (Cindy Bateman), MD, is an ME/CFS doctor and researcher. She founded and is Chief Medical Officer of the Bateman Horne Center of Excellence for ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Bateman was one of the authors of the 2011 case definition, International Consensus Criteria, and was one of the experts on the "Committee on the Diagnostic Criteria for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" that was convened for the 2015 Institute of Medicine report. (more...)


Selected picture

A shoe display at the 2015 Millions Missing protest in Washington, DC.



Related portals

  What are portals?    ·    List of portals  

Purge server cache

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.