November 02, 2015
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NIH announces support of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research

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The NIH is increasing its research efforts on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, according to a press release.

The disease is estimated to affect more than 1 million Americans and "an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment have remained elusive," according to the NIH.

“Of the many mysterious human illnesses that science has yet to unravel, [Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)] has proven to be one of the most challenging,” Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, NIH director, said in the release. “I am hopeful that renewed research focus will lead us toward identifying the cause of this perplexing and debilitating disease so that new prevention and treatment strategies can be developed.”

Francis S. Collins

Francis S. Collins

The agency has launched a research protocol at the NIH Clinical Center. It plans to develop a clinical study of patients who have experienced fatigue after symptoms of an acute infection to better understand both cause and progression. The study will include researchers from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute of Nursing Research, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Additionally, the NIH is supporting research in the extramural community by "re-invigorating the efforts of the long-standing Trans-NIH ME/CFS Research Working Group with [NINDS] as the lead of a multi-institute research effort." The group will include 23 NIH institutes, offices and centers, according to the agency.