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ME - Syndrome or Disease?

Discussion in 'Diagnostic Guidelines and Laboratory Testing' started by nanonug, May 6, 2012.

  1. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    Yep, just like CFS people.

    By the way ME is not a disease, it is a collection of symptoms. That's how it is defined, after all.
  2. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    So ME is not an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism?


    Definition disease http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disease
    garcia likes this.
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi lansbergen, the point is that ME, in a similar fashion to the diagnosis of CFS, may be several different diseases or disorders producing similar symptoms - its diagnostic classification procedure is similar to other syndromes. Until we know more about precise mechanisms/causes (and we may already know enough, things are happening right now, and several major papers may be due out soon) its only tentatively a disease at best. What we do know is it covers multiple systems, including neurological and immune - but that doesn't automatically make it a disease. We don't know until the science is done. That is one reason why its so important to get more dedicated ME research funding.

    How many of the different epidemics were induced by the same pathogen? If they were different pathogens then is it the same syndrome - the same triggered disorder? Or is it several similar diseases? Not enough research was done on the epidemics, and the last one was in the 90s I think - so a great opportunity was missed as epidemic cases are as pure as you could hope for. Also, why did the epidemics apparently stop? Did they stop? Did every person who is likely to get ME get it sporadically so its now widely present which prevents epidemics? These are just some of the open questions.

    Bye, Alex
  4. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    Calling coal stone white does not make ik less black.


    The S in AIDS stands for syndrome. AIDS is not a disease?

    http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/disorder

    Lymphoproliferative disorders; a group of malignant neoplasms arising from cells related to the common multipotential lymphoreticular cell, including lymphocytic, histiocytic, and monocytic leukemias, multiple myeloma, plasmacytoma, and Hodgkin's disease.

    Cancer is not a disease?


    Discussion on disorder/disease distracts from the topic of this thread.
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  5. hixxy

    hixxy Woof woof

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    HIV Infection is a disease, AIDS is a syndrome related to this disease's progress.

    Cancer is really a classification of a group diseases as opposed to a disease itself.
  6. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

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    Actually AIDS is the disease caused by HIV infection. You can be HIV positive but asymptomatic (does happen, e.g. in people with a rare mutation). In which case you have an infection but no disease.

    I think the point lansbergen was trying to make re: Alex's post was that we don't know what causes most cancers, but we still refer to cancer (or cancers) as a disease. Not knowing the cause does not denigrate a disease into a syndrome, otherwise MS, ALS, Parkinsons, Alzheimer's etc. wouldn't be diseases either.
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  7. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    AIDS is not a disease. It's an aquired immune deficiency syndrome, hence the name. Once the immune deficiency has been aquired, a range of infections and diseases can then affect the host.

    I would argue though, that ME is classified as a disease, whereas CFS is classified as a syndrome. I believe that is the reason why the ICC uses ME as a descriptor. ME might well turn out to be a range of diseases, though, so I'm not sure that the current classification will stand.
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  8. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I cant remember who said it but its like cancer, theres more then 1 type of cancer and causes, this is probably going to be the same with cfs/me.
    Instead of a disease or a syndrome, lets call it an illness, that covers the lot.

    cheers!!!
  9. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS
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  10. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    What Is AIDS?

    To understand what AIDS is, lets break it down:

    A Acquired AIDS is not something you inherit from your parents. You acquire AIDS after birth.

    I Immuno Your body's immune system includes all the organs and cells that work to fight off infection or disease.

    D Deficiency You get AIDS when your immune system is "deficient," or isn't working the way it should.

    S Syndrome A syndrome is a collection of symptoms and signs of disease. AIDS is a syndrome, rather than a single disease, because it is a complex illness with a wide range of complications and symptoms.

    http://m.aids.gov/touch/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/overview/what-is-hiv-aids/index.html#home
  11. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Common guys, you will end up with forum rage
  12. mellster

    mellster Marco

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    Again I think that we are missing the point if we try to differentiate and argue about something being a syndrome vs disease so that it will be more or less accepted by doctors, insurances and institutions. There is no difference if either patient needs help/awareness.
  13. hixxy

    hixxy Woof woof

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    Forum rage. Nice one. LOL :D
  14. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    personally, i think ME and CFS are one and the same. and I also think all the different tirggers of CFS - Q fever, mono, etc etc - will end up being meaningless. I think we will all have some pathogen in common aside from whatever triggered this. i still think its gotta be a retrovirus! it just fits so well!
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  15. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    No, it is a syndrome.

    This is important!

    Calling ME a disease will make people look for a single cause of the disease. However, because ME is not disease, no single cause will ever be found. People with ME will end up in the hands of psychiatrists as a consequence.
  16. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    "Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also referred to in the literature as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), is a complex disease involving profound dysregulation of the central nervous system (CNS) [13] and immune system [48], dysfunction of cellular energy metabolism and ion transport [911] and cardiovascular abnormalities [1214]" (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02428.x/full).
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  17. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    Yes, and they then proceed by characterizing ME as a collection of symptoms.

    Doctors are a sloppy bunch even within their areas of expertise. I know because I am a patient! I would not expect them to be any less sloppy when it comes to the English language. The problem is that, as I pointed out in a previous post, not making this distinction is bad for us.

    By the way, here's an about.com article about the disease versus syndrome thing: What's the Difference Between a Disease and a Syndrome?
  18. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

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    In the universe we live, everything has a cause. Diseases, syndromes, and everything else. CFS also does have a cause.
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  19. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    It is very easy to be sloppy with language. I have corrected my post from "cause" to "single cause" to address your valid criticism. That's why I prefer sciences that rely heavily on math!
  20. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    justy and Enid like this.

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