Journal of IiME Volume 5 Issue 1 (May 2011) The Media and ME continued such lability being the easily confirmed hall-mark of classic ME/CFS that was identified many years ago by Dr Melvin Ramsay ). Bell explains that these symptoms are caused by elevation of adrenaline levels that are released in an attempt to compensate for impaired blood flow to the brain due to blood volume deficits and to problems in the blood vessels themselves, which result in the wellknown (post-adrenaline-surge) exhaustion: “(The blood vessels) must be constricted so tight in the brain that little blood gets through. Perhaps it is one of the hormones that constricts blood vessels. Perhaps an infection of the blood vessels. Perhaps it is an excessive sensitivity of the blood vessels to adrenaline….CFS is a devastating physiologic process that undermines the body‟s energy and the brain‟s cognitive ability….CFS is not…an illness behaviour for lazy people. The consequences of this illness weigh heavily not only on the victim, but also on family, community and society”. ME/CFS is an inflammatory disease (Pasi A et al. Mol Med Report 2011:4(3):535-540). Kennedy et al from the Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases Research Unit at the University of Dundee have reported a whole raft of abnormalities in adults (and subsequently in children) with ME/CFS that are consistent with vascular instability and dysautonomia. These findings include an increase in apoptosis of white blood cells; raised levels of oxidative stress which can damage blood vessels and other organs; increased markers of inflammation, and abnormalities in blood vessel function (Co-Cure RES, MED: 17th May 2010). Another pressing question must be why the media so frequently fail to report such serious pathology in ME/CFS patients and to rely so unquestioningly on the Science Media Centre to do their work for them. Where is their own intellectual judgment and journalistic skill? Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) Following the NIH State of the Knowledge Workshop in April 2011, Professor Leonard Jason from DePaul University, Chicago, took part in a televised discussion hosted by Llewellyn King transmitted on 8th April 2011 (The Voice of America, episode #3012) in which Jason said that patients with ME/CFS “get thrown to the psychiatrists….These are patients who are victimised by an illness and then the media further victimises them, and then the medical community also does it”. Another contributor, author Deborah Waroff from New York, made the point that “UK patients (with ME/CFS) are probably the most unfortunate in the entire world”. Victimisation by the media is well illustrated in the article on the PACE Trial by Adam Morris in The Edinburgh Evening News published on 15th April 2011: “If implemented, it means patients would be placed on recovery schemes, with thousands benefitting from a new regime of exercise and a „positive mental attitude‟ ”. This statement should be compared with the comment by Professor Paul Cheney from the US on graded exercise (made in the UK at the Invest in ME conference in May 2010, proceedings of which are available on DVD from IiME – (http://www.investinme.org/IiME%20International %20ME%20Conference%202010%20%20DVD%20Order.htm): “The whole idea that you can take a disease like this and exercise your way to health is foolishness. It is insane ”. Continued page 16 www.investinme.org Page 15/58

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