Research Topic

Advances in ME/CFS Research and Clinical Care

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About this Research Topic

In 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services contracted with the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now the National Academy of Medicine, to author a report on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). Despite having come to the attention of the United States Centers for ...

In 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services contracted with the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now the National Academy of Medicine, to author a report on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). Despite having come to the attention of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the 1930s, little progress had been made in understanding the illness, identifying its cause, developing one or more effective treatment strategies for the disease, finding a cure, or implementing method of prevention. The independent, status review of ME/CFS by the IOM has spurred interest in, and acceptance of, the disease as never before. Does the IOM report point the U.S. government, the nation, and the world, in appropriate directions to deal with ME/CFS? The IOM report found the federal response to ME/CFS insufficient: research progress, both clinical and medical, was judged to be lagging, and availability and quality of patient care was found to be unsatisfactory. The IOM report went so far as to declare the illness, previously characterized as a syndrome, a real disease, and suggested that it be renamed to emphasize the primary characteristic of the disease - intolerance of exertion, whether physical, mental, or both. The report also urged more attention be paid to the characterization of the disease, its cause, and its treatment by the government, the research community and the private sector.

The federal government, research community and the private sector have begun to respond to the IOM report and its findings. This Research Topic in Frontiers in Pediatrics is devoted to that upsurge in research:
-What are the new areas of research?
-What are the rejuvenated areas of research?
-Are there improvements in clinical care as evidenced by reports from clinicians or in the clinical literature with regard to ME/CFS?


Keywords: ME/CFS, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Systemic Exertional Intolerance Disease, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS)


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