An article by Miriam E Tucker
People who suffer from the condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome are accustomed to being dismissed by health care professionals and to only occasional mentions of their condition in the media. These past few weeks have been a notable exception, but with quite different conversations going on in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Last week, the National Institutes of Health announced that it is “strengthening its efforts to advance research” on the illness, which has been known as chronic fatigue syndrome in the United States and myalgic encephalomyelitis in the UK. It’s increasingly referred to as ME/CFS.
Starting early next year, the NIH will launch an in-house study of about 40 people who fell ill suddenly after a flu-like illness and never returned to normal. This is a common, though not universal, history among patients with ME/CFS. The illness is characterized by disabling fatigue, pain, flu-like symptoms, unrefreshing sleep and other symptoms, all of which tend to worsen following even mild exertion and typically require days to weeks of recovery.
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