What happens when you have a disease doctors can't diagnose - TED Talk (2016)

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In this poignant talk, Brea describes the obstacles she's encountered in seeking treatment for her condition, whose root causes and physical effects we don't fully understand, as well as her mission to document through film the lives of patients that medicine struggles to treat. By TED

What happens when you have a disease doctors can't diagnose - TED Talk (2016) is about Jennifer Brea's experience of her disease onset, a psychiatric misdiagnosis of conversion disorder, becoming bedbound and wheelchair bound due to a walk home from her neurologist's office, her correct diagnosis of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and her pursuit for accurate knowledge about her disease.


Summary[edit | edit source]

"Five years ago, TED Fellow Jennifer Brea became progressively ill with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating illness that severely impairs normal activities and on bad days makes even the rustling of bed sheets unbearable. In this poignant talk, Brea describes the obstacles she's encountered in seeking treatment for her condition, whose root causes and physical effects we don't fully understand, as well as her mission to document through film the lives of patients that medicine struggles to treat."[1]

Viewing options[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Unrest (2017) Documentary by Jennifer Brea

References[edit | edit source]

Conversion disorder - A psychiatric term to describe an alleged condition whereby a person's thoughts somehow cause physical symptoms. The actual existence of such a condition is highly controversial, due to a lack of scientific evidence. It is related to other psychiatric terms, such as "neurasthenia" and "hysteria". A more modern term is "Somatic Symptom Disorder".

Accuracy - The "closeness of an observation to the true clinical state". With respect to diagnostic tests, "accuracy" means how specific and sensitive the test is.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - 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.

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.