Portal:History and People

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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...)

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Selected historical articles

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Doctor A. Melvin Ramsay was consultant physician in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Free Hospital in London, United Kingdom, where an outbreak of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) occurred in 1955. (more...)

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Advocates

Photo from ProHealth

Jennifer Brea is a filmmaker, activist and ME patient. Along with Beth Mazur, she co-founded #MEAction. Jennifer is also founder of MEpedia and director of Unrest, an award-wining documentary film about living with the illness. (more...)

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In the news

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Scientists

Source:SMCI

Christopher William Armstrong, is a post doctorate student in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Bio21 Molecular Science & Biotechnology Institute researcher at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia with an interest in the dysfunction of energy metabolism of people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). (more...)

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Books & Film

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Clinicians

Source: MECFS Alert

Dr. John K. S. Chia is an infectious disease doctor with a medical practice in Torrance, California. Dr. Chia became heavily involved in research and clinical care of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients after his son Andrew Chia became ill with CFS. He has published several papers on infectious causes of ME and CFS, including evidence of involvement of enteroviruses such as coxsackie B and echovirus, other viruses, such as parvovirus B19, as well as, bacteria, such as Chlamydia pneumoniae. In addition to his clinical work, he runs his own enterovirus research laboratory and is on the board of directors of the Enterovirus Foundation. (more...)

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