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News Archives 5441-5460
Number Title Post Date
5441 BREAKNG: Senior NI Execs Arrested for Conspiracy Coverup. James Murdoch Next? 13/03/2012 14:45:04
5442 List of Top Prescription Drugs Linked to Brain-Related Side Effects 13/03/2012 14:47:52
5443 Only trusted research will quell vaccine fears 13/03/2012 14:49:28
5444 Poverty warning amid welfare reform 14/03/2012 13:59:53
5445 Sir Richard Branson to speak in Washngton DC on failed drugs war 14/03/2012 14:01:40
5446 70% of DSM Psychiatrists Financially Tied to Drug Companies 14/03/2012 14:03:11
5447 Takeda Actos Judge Names Lead Attorneys in Cancer Suits 14/03/2012 14:04:48
5448 Hormone replacement therapy - HRT is not safe 14/03/2012 14:05:47
5449 Vaccination: The inside story 14/03/2012 14:07:52
5450 ME is often dismissed but sufferers like Emily Collingridge are dying 01/04/2012 13:21:08
5451 The War on the Poor 01/04/2012 13:23:20
5452 French ATOS staff speak out against mainstream media omerta 01/04/2012 13:25:59
5453 Bent Britain police corruption alleged in secret new report 01/04/2012 13:31:43
5454 Most internet pharmacies are safe after all 01/04/2012 13:32:43
5455 Recalls Threaten Public Confidence In Vaccines And Immunoglobulins 01/04/2012 13:34:05
5456 Year's first case of vaccine-caused polio reported in Bengal 01/04/2012 13:35:06
5457 Increased Incidence and Clinical Picture of Childhood Narcolepsy after 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Vaccination Campaign in Finland 01/04/2012 13:36:15
5458 One Click Stats, March 2012 01/04/2012 13:38:40
5459 Anonymous media briefings to soften us up for even more Internet Snooping in the Queens Speech next month 02/04/2012 14:15:57
5460 UK voter backlash will change the political landscape at next General Election 02/04/2012 14:18:21

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ME is often dismissed but sufferers like Emily Collingridge are dying
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ME is often dismissed – but sufferers like Emily Collingridge are dying

How many young people have to die before 'chronic fatigue syndrome' merits properly funded biomedical research?


ME sufferers such as Lynn Gilderdale, pictured, and Emily Collingridge have died as a result of the disease

On Sunday 18 March, Emily Collingridge, a beautiful 30-year-old activist and author, died after she was apparently no longer able to struggle against the chronic illness that had afflicted her since she was six. Major news organisations have all but ignored her death – the death of a noteworthy campaigner while suffering from the very condition she tried to persuade the world actually existed – just as they continually ignore so many important stories about the illness she had.

That illness is a neurological condition called myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME. There are many who think it is not real and many others, even within the medical profession, who think it is a psychological condition best treated with enforced exercise, which only worsens its effects. Even those doctors and lay people who acknowledge the illness often refer to it by the ridiculous name "chronic fatigue syndrome", which is almost as damaging to ME sufferers as the symptoms we suffer.

Fatigue is what a person feels after a hard work day or an intense session at the gym. It is a gentle tiredness that makes the back ache slightly and the eyelids a little heavy. It is cured by a nap or a reviving espresso. Collingridge was beyond bedridden. She was crippled by incessant agony and dependent on morphine. She was fed through a tube and her body couldn't cope with noise, light or movement. She was doubly incontinent and experienced periods of both blindness and paralysis.

Around a year ago, she wrote, "I have come very close to dying on more than one occasion. If you met me you may well think I was about to die now." She is now dead. To call the illness that savaged her "chronic fatigue syndrome" is like calling stomach cancer "chronic upset tummy".

Remarkably, she was – in her healthier periods – able to write a book called Severe ME/CFS: A Guide to Living, which is an invaluable text for many ME sufferers. It is published by AYME, the Association for Young People with ME, of which Collingridge was a prominent member. Her most important work, though, was her appeal for adequate biomedical research into ME.

I recently wrote a piece for the website of the Chicago Sun-Times, discussing both my history of ME and my reactions to the new documentary Voices from the Shadows. For anyone who wishes to understand the agony ME can inflict, and the dangerous ignorance endured by many who have it, the film is a must-see. One of the ME sufferers it profiles is Sophia Mirza, the first person in Britain whose death was officially listed as being caused by chronic fatigue syndrome. Another is my late friend, Lynn Gilderdale, whose mother assisted in her suicide after Lynn's condition became unendurable.

Both Mirza and Gilderdale suffered – and perhaps died – because of the unforgivable actions, and also the unforgivable inaction, of members of the medical profession. Mirza was committed to a mental institution to treat an illness that was purely physical and never recovered from the damage that did. Gilderdale, too, was referred to a psychiatrist when she needed physicians working from the results of cutting-edge studies. The question we must ask is obvious: how many young people like them, and like Collingridge, have to die before their illness is taken seriously and huge, well-focused efforts are made to cure it through properly funded biomedical research?

Collingridge was a great light for thousands of victims of severe ME whose lives pass in almost total darkness. It is essential that her tragedy is not overlooked. We must all understand that the cause she championed in life – the urgent need for proper recognition of, and research into, ME – is made even more urgent by her death.

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Related Links:
* Mobilising ME/CFS Charities To Smash Flawed PACE Trial Results
Lara, Health Advocate
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