Dr Martin Scurr: "I admit it, I was wrong. For many years, I - like many of my medical colleagues - have blamed ME on psychological or behavioural causes.
Then, last month, I attended the 5th World Conference on ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome).
At the conference, a number of plausible ideas were advanced for the condition, including one from Professor Brigitte Huber, an immunologist from Boston. She explained that 8 per cent of all the DNANA in our bodies is basically a form of infection - it's become incorporated into the genetic code of our cells.
This infection 'gene' gets switched on whenever you catch a common viral illness - such as glandular fever or herpes simplex (the type that gives you cold sores). T his triggers the immune system to pour out vast quantities of chemicals which cause widespread effects such as muscle pain and exhaustion.
In most patients, this reaction stops after a week or two as they recover - the immune system puts the infection gene back to bed.
But in a small number of people this doesn't happen, so the immune cells continue to be activated, causing grief, and the illness becomes ME/CFS.
Knowing why this happens still needs to be explored. But it is an exciting time and some solace to those who have this awful illness and have never been believed. "