Margarita Alegría

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Margarita Alegría, Ph.D., was a panel member and contributed her expertise to the February 2015, Institute of Medicine report, Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Redefining an Illness.

The following biographical sketch is from Appendix E of the Institute of Medicine report, Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness. [1]

"Margarita Alegría, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at Cambridge Health Alliance and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Alegría has an extensive publishing history, with more than 200 titles that include journal articles, book chapters, editorials, and research training manuals focused on services research, conceptual and methodological issues with minority populations, ways to bring the community’s perspective into the design and implementation of health services, and disparities in service delivery. She is also on the editorial board of Health Services Research and served as the guest editor of the June 2012 supplemental issue. In addition to her partnerships and collaborations, research work, and publishing, Dr. Alegría has continued her commitment to mentoring and training. She has mentored more than 50 pre- and postdoctoral faculty members, trainees, and junior investigators whose interests are in disparities and other emerging concerns in the mental health field, such as immigration, acculturation, and the role of culture and context in both illness and treatment. She has received several Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grants, which have greatly enabled her mentoring work to continue. She has been recognized for her mentoring leadership with the 2011 Excellence in Hispanic Mental Health Research Advocacy and Leadership award by the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health and the 2011 Excellence in Mentorship award by the National Hispanic Science Network. Dr. Alegría has been honored nationally with the 2003 Mental Health Section Award of the American Public Health Association, the 2006 Greenwood Award for Research Excellence from the Research Centers in Minority Institutions Program Directors Association, and the 2008 American Psychological Association’s Presidential Recognition Award. She received international recognition when she was appointed as a member of the IOM in 2011."[2]

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myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

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