Thursday, 21 July 2011

Will adopting the Canadian criteria improve the diagnosis of ME?

All of us with ME - the neuro-immune illness myalgic encephalomyelitis - want the Canadian Clinical Guidelines to be universally adopted, so that when our illness is being diagnosed/researched,  we know it is our illness and not less complex, nebulous, 'fatigue syndromes'. It's hardly rocket science. The current chaos of criteria is why we have people all over the Internet claiming to have recovered from ME, touting nonsense about how 'believing they can get better, got them better'. It's because of hopelessly flawed criteria that these people have been told they have ME in the first place, or, more worryingly, may have diagnosed themselves. This is why we are so angry about the PACE trial, almost £5 million being spent on, well, nothing. (PACE used the Oxford criteria, devised by UK psychiatrists, which actually exclude neurological disorders, so that people who are burnt out/depressed/deconditioned can actually be diagnosed with ME. Yes, you couldn't make it up.) Dr Esther Crawley and others have revived the recent BMJ thread on ME and posed the question: Will adopting the Canadian criteria improve the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome? The answer is, of course it will! Dr Crawley and her colleagues are - unsurprisingly - dragging their heels. Responses including my own here. I love how Dr Enlander, an ME specialist who practices in New York, subtley disses the Oxford criteria.

Thanks to Dr Speedy for the link to the Canadian Guidelines above.

***And here we have the recent 'International Consensus Criteria for ME' from the Journal of Internal Medicine, which highlights the ludicrousness of the term chronic fatigue syndrome. And furthermore suggests 'post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion' as the key symptom instead of 'post-exertional malaise'. Hallelujah! They have my vote!

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