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IACFS/ME challenges to Dr Unger

Saturday 8 January 2011

IACFS/MEFrom the IACFS/ME Newsletter (via ME/CFS Forums):


IACFS/ME Challenges to Dr. Unger

Permission has been obtained to post the following excerpt which appeared in the current IACFS/ME Newsletter.

A number of groups and individuals from the ME/CFS community are in the process of writing letters to Dr. Unger, and it is helpful to be aware of the concerns of the IACFS/ME when preparing our letters.

CFS/ME Program Head Appointed at US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Elizabeth Unger has just been appointed Chief of the CFS research program at CDC. She was previously the acting chief. I would like to thank everyone who wrote letters to the CDC expressing their concerns about maintaining the previous leadership of this critically important program. Frankly we're disappointed in this selection and present these challenges to the new chief:

  • Will you continue to use the empiric definition of CFS, which is only used by the CDC? This overly broad definition folds in many non-CFS cases, particularly major depression. CFS is a complex and heterogeneous condition when utilizing strict criteria. Thus studies based on the empiric definition are more difficult to interpret and are unlikely to advance the science for well-characterized cases.
  • Will you conduct new biomedical studies? The absence of well-designed biomedical studies on CFS particularly in the domains of virology, immunology and molecular biology at CDC do not support your public assertions that CFS is a biological illness.
  • Will you engage the external scientific and professional communities? Over the past year you have been dismissive of their input. A good faith gesture would be to hold the meeting of scientists and clinicians at CDC which was promised in the 5 year plan issued more than 18 months ago.

The IACFS/ME will keep a close watch on the CDC program.


The above, including comments, originally appeared here.



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