The Research Summary Factsheet – Understanding the Pathology of ME

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This Free Factsheet provides a summary of what biomedical research is telling us about M.E. It considers key symptoms, common triggers, and explains how various aspects of disease pathology could be linked to specific symptoms.

Description

M.E. (myalgic encephalopathy or encephalomyelitis) is a complex multisystem disease with a wide range of disabling symptoms.

“The most widely accepted model for M.E. is that it is a complex, multisystem disease which is triggered by an immune system stressor, commonly an infection, in a genetically predisposed individual.

“The illness is then perpetuated by interaction of various changes in the brain, muscles, immune and endocrine (hormone) systems. Until we have a better understanding of the underlying disease pathways, and the various clinical and pathological sub-groups, progress in developing a reliable diagnostic test and an effective form of drug treatment is likely to remain slow.

“However, important clues are emerging, and new types of drug treatment are being assessed on the basis of these abnormalities. And there is movement on the central
funding front with groups like the CFS/ME Research Collaborative (CMRC) working to advance the case for M.E. research investment.

“Research provides the best chance we have of improving the lives of people affected by this awful disease. There is good reason to hope that M.E. research will be taken seriously in the UK and that effective forms of treatment will eventually emerge.”

This leaflet provides a summary of what biomedical research is telling us about M.E. It considers key symptoms, common triggers, and explains how various aspects of disease pathology could be linked to specific symptoms.

All references for the research mentioned in this Free Factsheet, along with more detail, can be found in the ME Association’s Clinical and Research Guide and in the research reviews that are available free in the Research section of the website.

The ME Association telephone helpline – ME Connect – is available every day of the year, during the hours of 10am-12noon, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm. Please phone: 0344 576 5326 if you have any questions or would simply like to talk to someone who is there to listen.

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ME CONNECT HELPLINE

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