Names of myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome

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The name myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) was coined by Dr. Melvin Ramsay following the 1955 Royal Free Hospital outbreak[1] and is a portmanteau of several of the key signs and symptoms of the disease: myalgic (muscle pain), encephalo (brain), myel (spinal cord), itis (inflammation).[2]

Several other names have been used or proposed throughout the history of the disease, including atypical polio, Icelandic disease, benign myalgic encephalomyelitis, epidemic neuromyasthenia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). This has lead to much confusion as a variety of names have been used at different times to describe discrete outbreaks, a wider and potentially more heterogenous population of sporadic cases, and with a wide variety of case definitions.

A survey by The MEAction Network in 2016 found that the majority of patients prefer the name myalgic encephalomyelitis to other names including chronic fatigue syndrome.[3] Most government agencies and researchers around the world now use the term ME/CFS.[citation needed]

Criterion defining ME, CFS, and ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

Patients that meet the International Consensus Criteria (ICC) defining ME are usually more severely impaired than patients that meet the Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC) defining ME/CFS, or the minimum symptoms defined in the criteria for patients with SEID which also defines ME/CFS. Researchers believe all patients meeting these criteria, including Fukuda criteria (with post-exertional malaise) defining CFS, are experiencing brain inflammation.[citation needed]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "An Outbreak of Encephalomyelitis in the Royal Free Hospital Group, London, in 1955". British Medical Journal. 2 (5050): 895–904. October 19, 1957. ISSN 0007-1447. PMID 13472002.
  2. Hooper, Malcolm (February 2005). "Invest in ME Research - The Terminology of ME & CFS". Invest in ME Research. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  3. "#MEAction RFI Poll Report (Part 1 of 3) | #MEAction". The MEAction Network. August 7, 2016. Retrieved August 13, 2018.

systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) - A term for ME/CFS that aims to avoid the stigma associated with the term "chronic fatigue syndrome", while emphasizing the defining characteristic of post-exertional malaise (PEM). SEID was defined as part of the diagnostic criteria put together by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report of 10 February 2015.

International Consensus Criteria (ICC) - A set of diagnostic criteria, based on the Canadian Consensus Criteria, that argued for the abandonment of the term "chronic fatigue syndrome" and encouraged the sole use of the term "myalgic encephalomyelitis".

Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC) - A set of diagnostic criteria used to diagnose ME/CFS, developed by a group of practicing ME/CFS clinicians in 2003. The CCC is often considered to be the most complex criteria, but possibly the most accurate, with the lowest number of patients meeting the criteria. Led to the development of the International Consensus Criteria (ICC) in 2011.

BMJ The BMJ (previously the British Medical Journal) is a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal.

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