From IrishHealth.com, 18 May 2015.
A leading international expert on the condition ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), is to give two talks to members of the public later this month.
ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) affects around 12,000 people in Ireland and symptoms can include overwhelming exhaustion, joint pain, muscle pain, disturbed sleep, impaired concentration and headaches.
Symptoms can vary greatly from day to day, or even within the same day. There is no known cure.
According to Vera Kindlon, chairperson of the Irish ME/CFS Association, ‘there are few doctors in Ireland who have a specialist interest in this illness, which can be frustrating for patients'.
Dr Abhijit Chaudhuri is a consultant neurologist at the Essex Centre of Neurological Science. He has a major interest in ME and even did his PhD thesis on the condition. He is due to give two talks in Ireland – one in Galway and one in Dublin – at the end of this month. These will be followed by a questions and answers session.
“These meetings will give patients an opportunity to hear the views of someone who has over 15 years' experience of ME/CFS in his medical practice.
“In the past, we have noticed that those attending our meetings particularly relish the questions and answers session. Often these have gone on longer than the talk itself. Given Dr Chaudhuri's experience and his background in neurological practice and research, I think that there will be a very interesting discussion at these meetings,” Ms Kindlon noted.
She pointed out that while there have been some improvements in services for people affected in the last 10 years, ‘many people still experience a considerable delay in obtaining a firm diagnosis'.
“More research has been published recently which again showed that an early diagnosis greatly improves the prognosis. Without a diagnosis, relations with family and friends can be strained and arrangements with employers or schools become very difficult.
“Having a name for what is wrong with them allows patients to better manage their condition. They can also then get in touch with other sufferers, learning how others have dealt with similar problems and gaining support and empathy from those who know exactly what it is like,” Ms Kindlon said.
Dr Chaudhuri will speak at the Connacht Hotel in Renmore, Galway, on Saturday, May 30, at 2.45pm. He will then speak in the Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport in Cloghran, Co Dublin, on Sunday, May 31, at 11am. Admission is €5.
For more information, call the Irish ME/CFS Association on (01) 235 0965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org