Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS; also known as ME) is an incredibly controversial field, not just in terms of public perception, diagnosis and treatment but even for the very researchers trying to help, who have experienced campaigns of harassment from some patients.
The disease affects over 600,000 people in the UK with a quarter of those cases unable to perform even basic activities or look after themselves. There is currently no cure and the disease is poorly understood.
However, the new UK CFS/ME Research Collaborative is being launched to bring together many of the best researchers in a bid to understand and, ultimately, find treatments for this debilitating disease. The group will be investigating every aspect of the disease and we brought some of the key players to the SMC to discuss the areas that are really making progress.
Dr Esther Crawley, Reader in Child Health, University of Bristol
Prof Stephen Holgate, MRC Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology, University of Southampton
Prof Julia Newton, Dean for Clinical Medicine and Clinical Professor of Ageing and Medicine, Newcastle University
Prof Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry, King’s College London
Dr Jade Thai, Senior Research Fellow and Centre Manager, Clinical Research and Imaging Centre, University of Bristol