I just received the following letter from Dr. Koroshetz:
Below is a letter from Dr. Walter Koroshetz
Dear members of the ME/CFS community,
I appreciate the concern of many in the ME/CFS community as expressed in Ms. Spotila’s blog post concerning the visit and lecture by a Professor of the History of Medicine at the NIH intramural research program. It is important to understand the NIH’s commitment to reduce the burden of illness for people suffering with any illness regardless of its cause or its manifestations. In fact the study of one condition not infrequently leads to clues to the treatment of another in totally unpredicted ways. The exchange of information and widely divergent scientific opinions followed by critical analysis is essential to moving any field forward. Investigators at NIH regularly invite individuals to conversations about their areas of interest. This inclusion in scientific conversation is not an endorsement. Rigorously collected data that enables causal inference is the foundation of science. This remains the foundation of the NIH, and as stated from the start the NIH intramural investigators will focus on post-infectious ME/CFS in order to closely examine the clinical and biological characteristics of the disorder and improve our understanding of its cause and progression.
I hope that the ME/CFS community can endorse this scientific enterprise as we at NIH try to direct it to the problems faced by those who suffer with ME/CFS, both here at intramural research program and at universities and medical centers across the country. We know so little about the biological causes and nature of the disease that inclusivity of scientific thought will be critical to our success. At this point sadly we don’t know where the scientific enterprise will lead us, how long it will take, or from what area of research effective treatments will come.
The Professor mentioned in your letter was initially incorrectly listed as part of the ME/CFS Special Interest Group, which was corrected. The speakers that have come to the ME/CFS investigators are listed on the website at (http://mecfs.ctss.nih.gov/sig.html) and 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
Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D.
Director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
On behalf of the Trans-NIH ME/CFS Working Group