August 8th 2020
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a little-understood, female-biased  illness. It is estimated that up to 90% of people with the condition go diagnosed  and about 25% of sufferers are severely ill . In recognition of the profound physical and psychological impact this disease has on its victims, August 8th has been designated as a Severe ME Awareness Day.
What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)?
The disease is best known for a state of extreme and unremitting fatigue. A range of additional symptoms may suggest the presence of an infectious disease: myalgia, nausea, cognitive disturbance, “flu-like” symptoms, sore throat, palpitations, headache, and insomnia . In severe cases of ME, the patient may be bed-ridden and lose the ability to do the simplest of tasks, such as boil eggs for lunch  or feed themselves .
Although outbreaks of possible ME have been recorded since 1955 , and several studies have suggested a viral or bacterial etiology, a lack of coherent understanding of etiology and pathogenesis makes the diagnosis of ME particularly difficult. Symptoms may persist for years  and patients in general practice settings may be sent from one specialist to another until all other potential disorders (notably Lyme disease  ) are discounted. Since most patients with ME are ultimately referred to Infectious Diseases specialists, GIDEON lists the condition in its database, allowing clinicians to run a side-by-side comparison with similar diseases.
Treatment to improve the quality of life of ME patients demands significant changes in lifestyle, such as creating a quiet, environment to help reduce the effects of hypersensitivity [11, 12].
There is currently no known cure for this condition. A variety of drugs are currently under review, including Metformin and Momordica charantia extract . Newer diagnostic techniques include a nanoelectronics-blood-based diagnostic biomarker .
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- Price, N. (2020). [Image]. Retrieved 7 August 2020, from https://25megroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/N-Price-.jpg.
- Royal Free Hospital. (1957). An Outbreak of Encephalomyelitis in the Royal Free Hospital Group, London, in 1955. PubMed Central (PMC). Retrieved 7 August 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1962472/.
- Foggy Friends Where ME/CFS Sufferers Unite Forums – Members Stories. Foggyfriends.org. Retrieved 7 August 2020, from https://www.foggyfriends.org/forum/content.php/9-Member-Stories.
- Cottle, L., Mekonnen, E., Beadsworth, M., Miller, A., & Beeching, N. (2012). Lyme disease in a British referral clinic. QJM, 105(6), 537-543. https://doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/hcs003
- Patrick, D., Miller, R., Gardy, J., Parker, S., Morshed, M., & Steiner, T. et al. (2015). Lyme Disease Diagnosed by Alternative Methods: A Phenotype Similar to That of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 61(7), 1084-1091. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/civ470
- Comhaire, F., & Deslypere, J. (2020). News and views in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS): The role of co-morbidity and novel treatments. Medical Hypotheses, 134, 109444. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2019.109444
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- Severely Affected Patients | Clinical Care of Patients | Healthcare Providers | Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) | CDC. Cdc.gov. (2019). Retrieved 7 August 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/healthcare-providers/clinical-care-patients-mecfs/severely-affected-patients.html.
- Esfandyarpour, R., Kashi, A., Nemat-Gorgani, M., Wilhelmy, J., & Davis, R. (2019). A nanoelectronics-blood-based diagnostic biomarker for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences, 116(21), 10250-10257. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1901274116