Invest in ME Research
Christmas Fund Appeal Advent Calendar

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, beta-blockers....etc., 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 and robotics allowing many things to be automated.

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 these amazing photographs were taken when an impossible situation was resolved by a sense of urgency, resolution, collaboration, innovation, determination and team work, and people were rescued from a dire set of events - the same facets that need to be applied to treating ME.

How amazing, even today, to see these images and imagine that this rescue could be achieved when the resolve is there to achieve the impossible.

If only the resolve had been there to tackle ME.

Who would have thought that fifty years ago so much could be achieved - yet in 2020 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, the name of the disease, the lack of adequate research funding.
Patients are still chasing after a magic silver bullet for recovery, clutching at any hyped-up "cure".
Patients are still disappointed.
We still suffer – at least since the beginning of this decade – of the effects from 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 malign forces that kept 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 continue to be played.

And who benefits from this continued stalling of progress?

The changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic brought forth the same necessary resolve as was applied to rescue Apollo 13 fifty years ago.

Yet the response to COVID-19 has shown up the excuses for the lack of progress for ME as apathetic, ignorant and self-serving falsehoods perpetrated by establishment entities that cared nothing for the lives of a segment of the community.

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

The view regarding ME may still feel as bleak as the chances of rescuing the Apollo 13 astronauts seemed fifty years ago.

Yet we feel hopeful that even the most entrenched of establishment policies will finally be swept away - helped on their way by the realisations generated by COVID-19.

Some of the things Invest in ME Research has been trying to do, as mentioned in our advent calendar pages, are overturning years of neglect.

The urgency of treating ME is something we always have in mind.

Fifty years ago we were amazed to see humans being able to be rescued from another celestial body.

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

Further Reading:

  1. Status of ME 2018

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