The ME Factsheet – What you need to know about ME



M.E. (myalgic encephalopathy or encephalomyelitis) is a complex multisystem disease with a wide range of disabling symptoms. This leaflet provides information to help in the understanding of M.E, its symptoms and treatments.

  • M.E. is estimated to affect around 0.2-0.4% of the population (c.265,000 people in the UK) – including children and adolescents.
  • M.E. can cause greater functional impairment and poorer quality of life than many other serious medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis and cancer.
  • M.E. has a characteristic clinical feature known as post-exertional malaise – a delayed exacerbation of symptoms that can follow even minor physical or mental exertion.
  • M.E. research has determined significant abnormalities in the central nervous system, immune system, endocrine (hormone producing) system, and in muscle (causing energy metabolism impairment).
  • M.E. is classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a neurological disease. WHO classification is recognised by the Department of Health, the Medical Research Council and NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

Please use this Free Factsheet with any awareness-raising activity you might be planning or to help inform others about this neurological condition.

Please note this is a download. You can read it on-screen and save to your computer, phone or other device and can attach it to any email you might need to send. But you will need access to a printer if you wish it printed.

If you prefer you can download the leaflet here without registering via the website shop.


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