ME/CFS Special Interest Group

"Of the many mysterious human illnesses that science has yet to unravel, ME/CFS has proven to be one of the most challenging,"

- NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

In October 2015, the NIH announced new intramural and extramural initiatives to determine the cause of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and identify clinically meaningful treatments. Recent efforts to describe ME/CFS have identified 'post-exertional malaise' as the key defining symptom of ME/CFS. While the serious, debilitating impact of ME/CFS symptoms have on the estimated one million afflicted Americans is self-evident, there remains much controversy over its potential cause. To date, there is no experimental evidence proving causality that has withstood scientific scrutiny.

The ME/CFS SIG seeks to provide a forum in which to disseminate and discuss clinical and scientific information about ME/CFS. It is open to all interested intramural and extramural investigators seeking to learn more about ME/CFS and hopes to foster new research collaborations across the NIH campus. The SIG is led by Avi Nath, the NINDS Clinical Director and Primary Investigator of the Intramural ME/CFS initiative, and is moderated by his Lead Associate Investigator, Brian Walitt. The ME/CFS SIG will present a bimonthly seminar series with internal and outside experts and may include additional lectures, seminars, panel discussions, journal discussions, poster sessions, and other opportunities to facilitate discussion and collaboration.

In May 2016, the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke initiated the ME/CFS Special Interest Group (SIG) at the National Institutes of Health. Speakers to date include:

June 15th, 2016: Anthony Komaroff, M.D.: An Overview of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

July 18th, 2016: Leonard Jason, Ph.D.: Diagnostic Challenges and Case Definitions for CFS and ME

August 24th, 2016: Daniel Peterson, M.D.: CFS/ME: Perspectives from a Local Epidemic 1984-2016

September 21st, 2016: Staci Stevens, M.A. and Mark Van Ness, Ph.D.: Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in ME/CFS

November 9th, 2016: Edward Shorter, Ph.D.: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Historical Perspective

March 8th, 2017: Paul Levine, M.D.: Infections and Cancer Epidemiology in ME/CFS

April 12th, 2017: Nancy Klimas, M.D.: Immunological Alterations in ME/CFS

July 12th, 2017: Sonya Marshall Gradisnik and Donald Stains: Progress in Discovering the Pathomechanism of CFS/ME

November 15th, 2017: Xinnan Wang, M.D., Ph.D.: Mitochondria and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

December 12th, 2017: Pater Norsk, M.D., Andrea Hanson, Ph.D., and Brian Crucian, Ph.D.: NASA Bed Rest Study Team

January 18th, 2018: Luigi Ferrucci, M.D., Ph.D.: Energetics and Aging