summary of the recent lecture presented by
Professor Malcolm Hooper
(Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Sunderland)
Contemporaneous notes made during the talk, “Engaging With M.E.”,
given by Professor Malcolm Hooper, Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry,
University of Sunderland, at Sparsholt College, Winchester, on Monday, 14
November 2005 for the Invest in M.E. (IiME) group. IiME organised this talk in
conjunction with the Eastleigh and Winchester M.E. Support Group.
Prof. Hooper got involved with M.E. through working with Gulf War
veterans. Garth Nicolson’s evidence in 1996 showed similarities
between Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and M.E. There are also links to
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined M.E. as an
“Organic Biomedical Neurological Disorder” under their International
Classification of Diseases, Volume 10, reference ICD-10-G93.3.
Definitions are critical:
“All physical symptoms and biochemistry markers have been gradually
removed and everything directed towards a psychiatric definition.”
M.E. is not Chronic Fatigue. We should call this illness M.E. and
strive for the use of the Canadian Guidelines definition.
Otherwise, we move quickly from ICD-10-G93.3 to the ICD-10-F48
mental and behavioural disorders,
and this is what the psychiatric lobby want.
illnesses and conditions are associated with significant fatigue, so
a confusing “Rag-Bag” of ill-defined patients have become
In M.E. patients, the “Routine Tests” are always
strikingly “Normal”, i.e. there is nothing wrong with you
! Psychiatrists have an explanation for this - in that you must
have a psychiatric illness.
Professor Simon Wessely claims that this is a “somatisation
disorder” which can be treated by Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
and Graded Exercise Treatment (GET).
For the 25% of M.E. sufferers that are severely affected, CBT has
been shown to be, at best, ineffective and GET can make people
worse. So the obvious question is “Why have all these millions of
pounds been spent on M.E. clinics that offer these therapies ?
The Canadian Guidelines
provide a clinician with clinical signs that
can be investigated.
Enteroviruses are implicated in M.E. and one particular suspect is
the Coxsackie B enterovirus identified
by Dr John Richardson and Irving Spurr
Toxins are introduced by viruses and chemical toxins which open up the “Blood-Brain
Barrier”. Dr Basant Puri has measured
the effects on the brain and noted that this can lead to
language and gut problems.
- There are three systems in the body:
the Nervous system;
the Immune system; and,
the Endocrine system.
All these three are interconnected, inter-communicating,
such that if one system is disrupted by some means,
then there are “knock-on effects” to the other two
There are tests that can show the effects of M.E. such as:
SPECT Scans and Blood Flow. Also, some
supplements have been shown to help in certain people,
e.g. NADH, Succinate and Co-Q10.
Dr Sarah Myhill
has been able to develop individual supplement / drug
regimes to help a number of patients. Also, certain
anti-viral drugs, such as Pleconaril, Ribavirin and
immunoglobulins can be effective
for some people.
not encephalopathy, is the correct term, which is
classified by the WHO. We should maintain the use
of the current definitions of M.E. and also the use
We need the Canadian Guidelines to be adopted to
provide a consistent tool for diagnosis.
M.E. is a serious neurological illness
People do die of M.E.
M.E. Centres, as currently defined by the Department
represent a very inefficient use of money that could
have been better spent on biomedical research and
Professor Malcolm Hooper,
Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Sunderland.
Bruce M. Carruthers et al. (2003).
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome : Clinical Working
Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols. Journal of
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Volume 11, No.1. See
here for the full paper.
‘Enteroviral Myalgic Encephalomyelitis’.
The Irving Spurr Annual Research Group Meeting, 18 October 2005.
Dr Sarah Myhill:
Books for Clinicians and Other References
Enteroviral and Toxin Mediated Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Other
The Haworth Medical Press, 2001,
Hardback ISBN: 0-7890-1127-1, Paperback ISBN:
Hyde, Dr Byron Marshall, Goldstein, Jay and Levine, Paul
The Clinical and Scientific Basis of Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The Nightingale Research Foundation, 1992, ISBN:
Walker, Martin J
SKEWED: Psychiatric Hegemony and the Manufacture
of Mental Illness in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Gulf
War Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic
Slingshot Publications, 2003, ISBN: 0-9519646-4X.
“Enteroviral Myalgic Encephalomyelitis”
The Irving Spurr Annual Research Group Meeting
18 October 2005
11. Internet References
One can download the slides from of Malcolm Hooper's
presentation via this link.
Invest in ME is extremely grateful to Professor Hooper
for his time and efforts in seeking justice in the debate on ME. One can
see more of Professor Hooper's articles via
Do you have any questions or comments regarding this article - please