DEVASTATING SYMPTOMS

The debilitating and often disabling symptoms of M.E. are unrelenting exhaustion, sensory sensitivity, cognitive impairments, and muscle and joint pain. An exacerbation of all symptoms can follow even trivial amounts of physical or cognitive exertion. M.E. leaves 25% of patients housebound or bedbound. For moderate to severe patients, living with ME is like living with late-stage cancer, advanced stage AIDS, or congestive heart failure for decades.

UNKNOWN CAUSE

The cause of the disease is unknown, although in many cases ME/CFS is preceded by a viral illness from which the patient never recovers. Research suggests the illness is the result of an abnormal immune response to a triggering event. 

NO TREATMENTS

There are no FDA-approved treatments , although some medications may be able to help symptoms. Experimental therapies have helped some patients, including antivirals and immunomodulatory drugs. 

MILLIONS AFFECTED

ME/CFS affects between 1 to 2.5 million Americans. The disease is more prevalent in women than men, affects all races and has been seen in children as young as five.

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POOR PROGNOSIS

Sufferers have a lower quality of life than patients with many chronic illnesses. 75-85% of patients are not able to work and 25% are bedbound or housebound. Recovery is rare, estimated at just 5%, leaving patients sick for years, even decades. 

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LARGE DISEASE BURDEN

ME/CFS has a large personal and societal cost, estimated at $17 to $24 billion in medical expenses and lost productivity due to patients’ inability to work.