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Funding of research on ME/CFS

Question for written answer E-006901-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Alex Mayer (S&D)

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) affects more than one million people within the EU. This illness is characterised by persistent and excessive fatigue, post-exertional malaise, flu-like symptoms and cognitive impairments. Most sufferers are unable to lead a normal life. Those affected are predominately women.

Many of the symptoms of ME/CFS overlap with those of Lyme disease and fibromyalgia.

There are no established biological diagnostic tests for ME/CFS, nor are there any treatments.

Scientists from Newcastle and Cornell Universities have recently published data showing that mitochondrial energy production is impaired in ME/CFS, while mental health remains normal. Scientists at Stanford University have also recently published data showing activation of immune cells (clonal expansion) in ME/CFS, which is similar to that found in Lyme disease.

These studies highlight the need for biological research into ME/CFS. Recently, the American National Institute for Health (NIH) allocated funding to biological ME/CFS Research Centres and single ME/CFS projects.

1. Will the Commission review the recently published biological ME/CFS studies and fund expanded studies which include Lyme disease and fibromyalgia?

2. Will the Commission review the recent allocation of NIH funding for biological ME/CFS research and set out how it proposes to fund ME/CFS research?