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What is ME?

What does ME stand for?

When first recognised in 1956 it was called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, but this name is widely considered to be scientifically incorrect.  Since then, researchers and the medical fraternity have coined various names and descriptions, but the one most widely used is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – CFS.  Others you will see are Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS), and Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS).  The latter is mainly used in America.

The important thing to remember is that these terms all refer to the same illness – whatever it is, as no-one yet knows what causes it – and these are all attempts to provide a descriptive label.  Some may claim that ME and CFS are different, but that is a misapprehension.  The ME Association favours Myalgic Encephalopathy as a more accurate description of ME, and most patients and the media use ME.  As the medical profession and the NHS prefer CFS, we refer to the condition as CFS/ME on this website.