The long-awaited results of the PACE Trial have now been published. They are very disappointing as far as people with ME – as opposed to those with “fatigue” – are concerned. The patients studied in the Trial were chosen using the “Oxford Criteria”, criteria which exclude those with neurological signs (ME is listed by the World Health Organisation as a neurological condition, ref ICD-10 G93.3), yet the results will, tragically, no doubt be applied to those with ME. Responses have already been published by the ME Association, Invest in ME and Prof Malcolm Hooper – see links below.
My own thoughts on the matter are that numerous physical abnormalities have been found in patients suffering from ME and that these abnormalities include evidence of central nervous system dysfunction, evidence that ME is a serious, multi-system autoimmune disorder, evidence of cardiac insufficiency, evidence of neuroendocrine dysfunction, evidence of respiratory dysfunction, evidence of autonomic dysfunction, and so on. Therefore, whatever the claims made in favour of GET / CBT / APT as “treatments” for ME, surely the first question that should be asked is: can these interventions fix any of the physical abnormalities which have been found to be present in ME sufferers? If the answer is no - and it is no - then they should not be offered as first-line / only treatment options for people with ME. Doing so would be seen as an insult to those with other neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Motor Neurone Disease, and rightly so; it should be the same with ME. Anyone helped by these kind of psycho-social interventions may have “fatigue”, but I would say that, in my opinion, they almost certainly do not have ME.
For a summary of some of the physical abnormalities that have been found in ME patients, see “Some of the abnormalities that have been demonstrated in ME/CFS” - http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/MECFS_peer-reviewed_research_data.htm
Response from the ME Association - http://www.meassociation.org.uk/?p=4607
Response from Invest in ME - http://www.investinme.org/IIME%20Statement%202011-02-01.htm
Response from Prof Malcolm Hooper - http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/Hooper-response-to-PACE-Trial-Press-Release.htm
For further details and background reading regarding the PACE Trial, please see “Magical Medicine: How To Make A Disease Disappear” at http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/magical-medicine.htm, and in particular the Report of the same name at http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/magical-medicine.pdf (6mb).
Finally, for a Christian, Biblical view of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), please see “Christ or Therapy?” by Dr E S Williams, published by the Wakeman Trust and Belmont House Publishing; chapter 10 is entitled “The Folly of Cognitive Therapy”. Further details, see -