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Fifty Years

In medicine, healthcare, technology and science the last fifty years have seen some dramatic developments which are nowadays taken for granted.

Antibiotics dramatically reduced death rates due to infection and today even new classes of antibiotics are being produced – even synthesised versions – to tackle superbugs

Organ transplants have become commonplace - with thousands of transplants being performed every year. Artifical organs have been developed.

Anti-viral therapy for HIV has transformed the prospects of patients from a fatal to a managed condition.

Vaccinations developed against many infectious diseases have changed society.

Imaging technology such as CT, MRI, PET has revolutionised the detection of disease.

Anti-TB therapy practically eradicated tuberculosis, until recently.

Major advances in knowledge of the genetic code has laid foundations for the -omics braches of science.

Kidney dialysis, endoscopy and laparoscopic surgery, inhaled therapy, cataract treatment, statins,, etc.

Revolutionary developments now in everyday use, improving lives of patients.

Technologies too have changed the world

Computing power and development has turned the future into the present with technologies such as artificial intelligence.

With the rapid pace of development in science and technology then this overflows into medicine.

Unbelievable changes are being developed and tested - such as 3D printed body parts, new complex and even remote surgical procedures , gene therapy , gut bacteria treatments, cancer immunotherapy, synthetic cells, reprogrammed cells , mitochondrial replacement therapy goes on and on.

If one can dream one can think the future. It all seems possible.

And myalgic encephalomyelitis?

Well, all of the above have had great effects on society and even people with ME will have benefited from some of these developments.

However, what of ME itself?


Fifty years ago this amazing photograph showed earth as seen from the moon for the first time.

How amazing, even today, to see this image and imagine that this could be achieved with computing power less than is available in a mobile phone, and with technology that seems ancient by today’s norms.

Who would have thought that fifty years would go by and people with ME would still have no specialist services, no treatments, no funding for fundamental biomedical research.

For ME we are still discussing the criteria.
We are still discussing the name.
We are still frustrated that there is no adequate research funding.
We still suffer – at least since the beginning of this decade – of the evil that is the biopsychosocial (BPS) doctrine.

We should have made far more progress than has been the case in fifty years.

Yet ME has failed to achieve the progress that other areas of medicine and science have enjoyed.
ME has been forced into a retarded development due to the malign forces which keep a few in positions of influence and power in order to support policies which have long been known to be damaging.

Patients have been played.

And who benefits from this continued stalling of progress?

Progress with ME may well depend on some of the above mentioned developments in science, technology and medicine.

The view regarding ME fifty years had seemed to be, until recent years, as bleak as the moon must have appeared to the crew of Apollo 8.

Yet we feel hopeful that even the most entrenched of establishment policies will finally be swept away.

Fifty years ago we were amazed to see our world from another celestial body in all its splendour.

Another fifty years cannot pass without seeing solutions to ME being realised.

Further Reading:

  1. Status of ME 2018

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