Journal of IiME Volume 2 Issue 2 The Terminology of ME & CFS By Professor Malcolm Hooper The term BENIGN MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS was first introduced in the UK in 1956 by a former Chief Medical Officer (Sir Donald Acheson) and not by Dr Melvin Ramsay as is sometimes claimed. The word "benign" was used because it was thought at the time that the disorder was not fatal (as poliomyelitis could be, with which it had some similarity), but it was quickly realised by clinicians that ME was not a "benign" condition, as it has such high morbidity (i.e. such a lot of suffering and ill-health), so by 1988 clinicians had stopped using the word "benign" and referred to it as ME, the first to do so being Dr Ramsay. However, the ICD still uses the term "benign" in its classification. MYO relates to muscle MYOSITIS = inflammation of muscle MYALGIA = pain in muscles (pain that is called "myalgic") MYOPATHY = any disease or disorder of muscle MYEL (or MYELO) relates to the spinal cord (the main nerve in the body) MYELITIS = inflammation of the spinal cord (NB. Not to be confused with the other meaning of myelitis, which = inflammation of the bone marrow, as in osteomyelitis) MYELIN SHEATH = a layer of fatty white material that surrounds and insulates nerve fibres DEMYELINATION = the loss of this protective insulation round nerve fibres (as seen in multiple sclerosis and sometimes also in ME) ENCEPHALON = the brain Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) ENCEPHALO = relating to the brain "ITIS" on the end of a word = inflammation (e.g. hepatitis = inflammation of the liver) So, ENCEPHALOMYELITIS = inflammation of the brain and spinal cord BENIGN MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS therefore means a non-fatal disorder (inflammation) of the brain and spinal cord, with pain in the muscles ENCEPHALOPATHY = any non-inflammatory disorder affecting the brain Despite the claims of some psychiatrists, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF INFLAMMATION OF THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD IN ME: there is, but these psychiatrists ignore or deny that evidence. For example: 1988 In conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh, the US NIAID held a large research workshop called "Consideration of the Design Studies of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". There were participants from the Centres for Disease Control and from the National Institutes of Health. One of the presentations was by Dr Sandra Daugherty, who reported that MRI scans on patients demonstrated abnormalities consistent with demyelination and cerebral oedema in 57% of patients studied. (It was at this conference that it was recommended that the term "CFIDS" be used instead of the term "CFS" on the basis of the immune dysfunction that had been observed in the disorder). 1989 Detection of Viral-Related Sequences in CFS Patients using Polymerase Chain Reaction W.John Martin (Nightingale Research Foundation: 1989: 1-5 (continued on page 44) Page 43/74 www.investinme.org

44 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication