By National Alliance for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis:
A Baffling Syndrome With a Tragic Aftermath
by A. Melvin Ramsay M.D., Hon Consultant Physician
Infectious Diseases Dept., Royal Free Hospital
The syndrome which is currently known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in the UK and Epidemic Neuromyasthenia in the USA leaves a chronic aftermath of debility in a large number of cases.
The degree of physical incapacity varies greatly, but the dominant clinical feature of profound fatigue is directly related to the length of time the patient persists in physical effort after its onset; put in another way, those patients who are given a period of enforced rest from the onset have the best prognosis.
Although the onset of the disease may be sudden and without apparent cause, as in those whose first intimation of illness is an alarming attack of acute vertigo, there is practically always a history of recent virus infection associated with upper respiratory tract symptoms though occasionally there is gastro-intestinal upset with nausea and vomiting.
Instead of making a normal recovery, the patient is dogged by persistent profound fatigue accompanied by a medley of symptoms such as headache, attacks of giddiness, neck pain, muscle weakness, parasthesiae, frequency of micturition or retention, blurred vision and/or diplopia and a general sense of 'feeling awful'.
Many patients report the occurence of fainting attacks which abate after a small meal or even a biscuit, and in an outbreak in Finchley, London, in 1964 three patients were admitted to hospital in an unconscious state presumably as a result of acute hypoglycaemia.
There is usually ... Read more>>