Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What is M.E.? - M.E. is a neurological disease and stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

What is M.E.? - M.E. is a neurological disease and stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.: "M.E. is a neurological disease(1) and stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

My = muscle
Algic = pain
Encephalo = brain
Mye = spinal chord
Itis = inflammation
It is an injury to the Central Nervous System(2). usually triggered by an infectious disease process, e.g. a virus, or by chemicals over stimulating the immune system(3). It is a multi-system disease, affecting not only the neurological system but also the immune, musculoskeletal, endocrine (hormonal) and cardiovascular systems(4).

Prognosis is variable depending on how much and which part of the brain has been damaged(5). Complete pre-illness recovery is rare but possible (around 6% of cases.)(6) Some improvement, even marked improvement (different from full remission) is more likely than complete recovery, although relapses can occur several years after remission(7). Most cases stabilise at varying degrees of disability(8). Around 30% of cases are progressive and degenerative and degeneration of end organs may result in death(9). (One quote of early death rate in M.E. is 10%.This figure includes suicides(10). Early death from cardiac pathology is put at 2%(11). Pancreatic failure can also contribute to early death(12).)

Symptoms can be multiple and vary from person to person but common symptoms include post-exertional malaise, cognitive problems (such as short-term memory loss and concentration difficulties), muscle and nerve pain, muscle weakness, noise and light sensitivity, sleep and temperature disturbance, orthostatic intolerance (inability to sustain upright activity e.g. standing, sitting or walking) and sensitivity to food, alcohol, chemicals and medicines."

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