By Llewellyn King in Inside Sources.
For 10 long years, I’ve been writing and broadcasting about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, now called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).
Like all chronic diseases, it’s brutally unfair to the afflicted. But ME also can claim to have been unfairly treated by doctors and medical researchers, the pharmaceutical giants, and the politicians who control the flow of funding to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, the nation’s medical research and health protection agencies.
Research into ME has been grossly underfunded for years. By government standards for other diseases, research funding for ME has been microscopic: It’s received $16 million this year, doubling the 2016 funding. Lyme disease, for example, has received roughly three times the federal funding.
ME is a lifetime affliction. I’ve now spent enough time with clinicians, patients and their families to know just how cruel it is. I’m most pained by the young who will suffer so long, missing all the joys of youth and the fulfillment that is life’s expectation.
Estimates vary on the number of sufferers, starting at 1 million in the United States and 17 million worldwide. However many there are, I can tell you that they suffer terribly.
Getting the disease is a life sentence without parole, commutation or pardon. One of the leading research doctors told me he would rather get cancer than ME. “With cancer, you have a chance of a cure or you die. With ME, you’re hopelessly sick,” he said.
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