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...)


Selected historical articles

The 1934 Los Angeles atypical polio outbreak is the first recorded outbreak of myalgic encephalomyelitis. 134 nurses, doctors and staff became ill with a disease resembling polio but that resulted in muscle fatiguability rather than permanent paralysis. (more...)






Erica Verrillo is a prolific writer and activist for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), having written two well-received books on ME/CFS, a popular blog, Onward Through the Fog, and serving as the ME/CFS editor for ProHealth. She has lived with ME/CFS since 1987. She is the founder of the American ME and CFS Society (AMMES). (more...)


In the news

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Olav Mella is an Adjunct Professor in 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 Dr. Øystein Fluge in the Norwegian Rituximab and cyclophosphamide trials for the depletion of B cell lymphocytes in ME/CFS patients. (more...)

Books & Film



Source: www.openmedicinefoundation.org

Andreas M. Kogelnik, ("Andy") MD, PhD., is an Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases specialist, the director of the Open Medicine Institute, Mountain View, California, USA, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Open Medicine Foundation, Agoura Hills, CA. His interests are in the bioinformatics and genomic revolution in medicine and is committed to the study of and treatment of ME/CFS and other chronic illnesses. (more...)


Selected picture

Countess of Mar speaking to members of Parliament at an October 2017 screening of Unrest



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