Journal of IiME Volume 4 Issue 1 www.investinme.org The 5th Invest in ME International ME/CFS 2010Conference 5th Invest in ME Conference “On the Front Foot – Back to the Future” Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry the University of Sunderland Professor Malcolm Hooper was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to the Gulf Veterans Association (GVA) and accepted by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as their nominee on the Independent Panel established to consider the possible interactions between Vaccines and NAPS tablets. His involvement with the GVA brought contact with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and related disorders. Gulf War Illness/Syndrome (GWI/S) has much in common with ME/CFS. By Professor Malcolm Hooper The ME community owes a great debt to Invest in ME for arranging a succession of International conferences that present the biomedical evidence for this debilitating complex, chronic multi-system illness which has devastating effects on the sufferer and imposes enormous strains on families and carers. For several years a galaxy of international speakers has comprehensively presented overwhelming evidence of the nature of ME its classification, aetiology, diagnosis, pathology and possible treatments. In the UK and other counties, Governments, the National Health Service, Medical Research Council, Department of Works and Pensions, and the Insurance industry have refused to engage with this evidence, refusing all invitations to attend, learn from, and contribute to these conferences. Instead they have espoused, despite all the evidence, an ideological position that seeks to establish ME/CFS as a mental and behavioural disorder in defiance of the international classification, WHO, ICD-10 G93.3, as a neurological disorder. This attitude compounded by widespread vested interests, particularly in the medical insurance industry, has resulted in limiting support and benefits for very sick people and their carers, repeated misdiagnoses of patients, and ultimately the abandonment and inhumane treatment of Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) Professor Hooper’s latest article describes the role of “Magical Medicine” in UK MRC strategy. See http://www.investinme.org/Article400%20Magica l%20Medicine.htm Professor Hooper is also assisting Invest in ME in current projects. patients who are very ill and suffer from a complex chronic illness that is dismissed without proper investigation and without regard to the very extensive published peer-reviewed literature. No research funding from official bodies has been made available leaving the ME community and individuals to find funding for vital studies. I believe that this conference marks the beginning of a significant reversal of these positions. We are in, cricketing parlance, “on the front foot” attacking the bowling. Today, our first speaker, Professor Leonard Jason, engages with the issues round case definition which bedevils ME. Confusion, prevarication, and downright deception have through a succession of advisors to Government and other bodies succeeded in stigmatising patients. The use of heterogeneous patient cohorts has led to flawed epidemiology and spurious conclusions. There is a desperate need for clarity in this area so that valid studies can be carried out. It is important that patient sub-groups are recognised for the purpose of research, treatment and care. Persistent viruses have been known for decades to play an important role in ME, particularly those of the coxsacchie family. Page 8/56

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