A link-heavy and very helpful account of this research can be found here on the ME Research UK site.
A team from Dundee University lead by Professor Jill Belch has found clear abnormalities in the white blood cells of children with ME - and is saying so loud and clear. And being allowed to do so by national press! These reports were clearly not filtered through the Science Media Centre - I suspect the SMC have lost all credibility on the subject on ME after their recent clumsy attempt to kill news coverage of the Lo/Alter paper.
How encouraging it is to read on the BBC site that the study has found 'further evidence that ME...could be caused by a virus' (my emphasis). As in, this is the generally accepted position (except by certain flatearth-ing psychologists!) and we are now watching more evidence appear and moving onto 'how can it help devise treatments?'
As a friend pointed out when she sent me the link, the reporter introduces the subject of the study, and of ME itself, in such a sensible and matter-of-fact way that when it is later mentioned that some have said ME is a mental disorder, a reader will think 'how ridiculous'. Quite. Only those with vested interests or the delusional think (or claim to think) that ME can possibly be a mental condition these days.
You can listen to Professor Jill Belch being interviewed on this morning's 'Today Programme' on BBC radio.
Perhaps in the light of these results, the NHS and University of Bristol might like to call a halt to their plans to test the Lightning Process on children as young as eight which has been so strongly condemned by patient advocate groups.
How depressing that in Scotland we have this marvelous, serious research going on, and in England we have this sick joke of a study, based on the vastly outdated assertion that ME is all in the mind and can be effectively treated or even 'cured' by altering the way you think. Thanks a bunch for making English science a laughing stock, guys. Please read the reports from Scotland, and ask yourselves what the hell you think you are doing.
I have blogged before about the horrible situation in which children with ME and their parents find themselves - how a nightmare of disbelief and the threat to split up families is cruelly and unnecessarily added to the horrible burden of the disease. It's time - and more than time - for this cruelty to stop. Anyone in any doubt of that should read the Dundee reports and then the speech made by TYMES Trust's Young Advocate in 2009. No child should ever have to say, as the Young Advocate does "I’m used to pain. I’m used to rejection. I expect nothing from the professionals." Not in our 'civilised' society. No parent should be threatened with the loss of their child when they insist said child is ill not crazy as happened with both Sophia Mirza and Ean Proctor. Not in any society we are proud to live in.
Article from the BBC News site: