MEA response to a letter in the Daily Mail about the Lightning Process | 21 November 2008

The letter appeared yesterday (November 20) under the headline  ‘I believe there is a cure for ME: I’ve tested it’ 

The Lightning Process – Another miracle cure for ME?
Zena Gibson (letters 20 November) believes that ME is caused by raised levels of the stress hormone adrenaline and that it can be cured by an expensive 3 day training programme known as the Lightning Process – discoveries that are worthy of a Nobel Prize.  She is also convinced that ME is a disease of ‘yuppies’ – hence her use of the derogatory term ‘yuppie flu’.

What we do know about ME is that there are numerous abnormalities involving the brain, muscle, immune and endocrine (hormonal) systems.  However, there is no firm scientific evidence of raised adrenaline and no results from proper clinical trials to show that the Lightning Process actually works.  ME has no social class bias – so it cannot be termed ‘yuppie flu’.

The ME Association has been monitoring a succession of miracle ‘cures’ from the alternative health sector for the past twenty years.  They are expensive. They are nearly always based on unproven or highly speculative scientific theories.  And they are seldom subjected to any form of objective clinical assessment.  So no Nobel Prizes so far.
Consequently, we prefer to campaign and raise funds for research into the real physical cause of this illness – rather than giving false hope about unproven cures to desperate and vulnerable people.
 Dr Charles Shepherd
Honorary Medical Adviser


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