By Ian Swales MP - 2nd February 2011:
The government must act to ensure that ME is no longer misdiagnosed and that patients receive the treatment they need, says Ian Swales MP.
Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is a condition that affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK. Onset commonly occurs during the 20s to 40s in adults, and between 11 and 14 in children. The term myalgic means muscle pain, while encephalomyelitis means inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
I decided to call for a Westminster Hall debate on ME because I feel that this is an issue which has been under researched, and that the lack of understanding and stigma surrounding ME has meant that patients have had to live with this condition without recourse to the sort of treatments and research that they deserve.
The fact that the Department of Health now accepts ME as a genuine medical condition is a huge step forward. However, it is clear from talking to sufferers and medical professionals that diagnosis can still pose a problem because ME symptoms are similar to those present in a number of other medical conditions.
I recognise that one of the main obstacles to the adequate treatment of ME is the lack of knowledge and consensus about the disease. I believe that both funding and research must be focused on the bio-medical factors involved and not just simply managing the psychological symptoms. Read more>>