The 25% ME Group is a unique nationwide charitable organisation managed entirely by volunteers (most of whom are severely affected by ME) and was set up to offer support services to those severely affected by ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), and their carers. The group is also supported by one full and one part-time members of staff. We provide a wide range of services to people affected by severe ME, many of whom are virtually housebound and/or bedbound. (Please refer to the "About Us" section for more service details and how to join the group).
ME has been classified by the World Health Organisation (ICD 10 G 93.3) as a neurological illness affecting approximately 250,000 individuals within the UK. Of this number, approximately 25% of those affected will go on to develop severe ME which is an extremely debilitating illness. Sometimes it lasts for years and in some cases, even decades, often rendering the sufferer completely housebound, wheelchair & bedbound and dependent upon carers for their everyday needs. The Chief Medical Officer's Report on the subject of CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) issued in January 2002 recognises that "CFS/ME should be classed as a chronic condition with long term effects on health, alongside other illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease."
To date there is no known specific medical diagnostic test to determine or confirm a correct diagnosis, nor is there any specific treatment for this condition.
general chronic weakness of limbs
cognitive problems such as memory
loss & concentration difficulties
problems with balance and fine motor control
sleep & temperature disturbance
There has been much research into this condition, and a variety of causes have been suggested (immunological, endocrine, muscoskeletal, neurological etc), but no single factor has been identified as the cause of this condition (which is known to affect all social classes, ages and ethnic groups) although there is often a viral trigger, probably associated with an enterovirus.
The condition affects the central nervous system and the immune system, varying greatly in both severity and duration of the illness for the sufferer. Since the symptoms experienced by ME sufferers are similar to other illnesses, such as gastric disorders, MS, and fibromyalgia, this can delay a formal diagnosis being given.
The 25% ME Group do not offer specific medical advice to individuals on what treatment(s) may or may not be suitable to meet individual(s) needs. We as a group accept and recognise that what works for some does not work for others.
We would also stress that any advice or information which we are able to provide, should not be considered or interpreted to mean that we support any one form of treatment, nor do we advocate that any advice or information provided be substituted for information and/or guidance provided by your GP or any other medical specialist.