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ME/CFS Australia Ltd
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South Australia 5092

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ME/CFS South Australia Inc supports the needs of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related illnesses. We do this by providing services and information to members.


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Solving The Mystery Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Sunday 3 March 2019


From The Jackson Laboratory:


The Jackson Laboratory


By Mark Wanner
Search Magazine
February 27, 2019


Video: Perspectives on ME/CFS
New video explores ME/CFS research at The Jackson Laboratory and digs into the issues that patients face on a daily basis. It also delves into the challenges faced by doctors and scientists alike.

For decades, no one has known what causes myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME, commonly called ME/CFS). As a result, this debilitating disease has been very difficult to diagnose and even harder to treat. Now a collaborative JAX research center led by Derya Unutmaz, M.D., is diving deep into the biology of ME/CFS patients to find a root cause, which may lie in their own immune systems. If successful, the work will provide patients with clear diagnoses and effective therapies.

Maybe it starts with a cold or case of the flu. It’s hard to know.

Patients with ME/CFS often report that their ordeal began with a bug or infection of some kind. But then their life gets disrupted. Severe, flu-like symptoms become constant, with muscle aches and trouble thinking clearly. Standing for any length of time is difficult, and exertion that they could previously handle without breaking a sweat, such as climbing a flight of stairs, becomes overwhelming and hard to recover from. Weeks turn to months, and still, the symptoms persist. Disease progression varies in severity, but the worst cases can leave patients bedridden or even unable to feed themselves.

But why? No one knows. And that’s a huge problem. There is no biomarker yet that positively identifies an ME/CFS patient. There’s also no ME/CFS specific treatment and no cure to help them. Indeed, doctors often misdiagnose patients or don’t diagnose them at all. They may prescribe exercise, a standard and helpful recommendation for patients with depression. For those with ME/CFS, however, exercise is intolerable, exacerbating rather than improving their condition. Or doctors may push patients to seek mental health treatment, again on the assumption that the symptoms are rooted in psychological, not physical, causes.


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