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NICE must recognise M.E. is not functional

September 19, 2017

Action for M.E. has responded to a National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline on Suspected neurological conditions stating that M.E. must not be considered a functional disorder.

We have additionally submitted a joint response in collaboration with other members of Forward M.E., a group of M.E. voluntary organisations convened by the Countess of Mar. This response also emphasises the growing body of evidence that M.E. is neurological.

In draft recommendations on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), the guideline states that patients experience “functional symptoms that are not primarily based on physical or physiological abnormalities… they may mimic neurological disorders.”

Action for M.E.’s response highlights that the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases states that M.E. is a neurological condition, and that this classification is accepted by both the NHS and the UK Government.

Stating that M.E. is a functional disorder disregards the WHO classification, as well as the growing body of evidence that M.E. is neurological.

It is essential that NICE guidelines reflect this evidence so that both patients and doctors receive accurate information about the condition.