When Disease Research Gets Personal

By Claire Concannon in RNZ.

Looking for answers

Warren Tate hadn’t heard of the disease that would become such a big part of his life until his 14 year-old daughter, got glandular fever. Instead of recovering normally from this viral infection, her fatigue, pain and noise sensitivity symptoms worsened, and, months later, after ruling out everything else, she was given the diagnosis – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

Other scientists in Warren’s lab also have a deeply personal connection to the research topic. Anna Blair, who is interning at lab, has ME/CFS herself. Jemma Ellie, who is investigating cellular changes during the post exertional malaise response (a term for a type of exhaustion ME/CFS sufferers feel after doing strenuous exercise or thought), has first-hand experience of what the disease can mean for families.

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