Perhaps Canada will soon no longer be referred to as the "Dark North" with respect to ME. This morning, I received an encouraging email from the National ME/FM Action Network -- text as follows. So far, I haven't been able to locate the Nov/Dec 2016 IMHA newsletter by following the link. I'll keep trying, and will update when the statement has been posted on the CIHR website. "CIHR Has Positive Words for ME/CFS National ME/FM Action Network [email@example.com] This morning, the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) released a statement on ME/CFS. IMHA is the institute designated by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to focus on ME/CFS and FM. The statement can be found in the Nov/Dec 2016 IMHA newsletter which has been distributed by email and should be posted on the CIHR website soon: http://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/12218.html The statement is extremely supportive. It affirms the biological basis of ME/CFS, it encourages researchers to enter this field of study, and it affirms CIHR's commitment to supporting research. Fibromyalgia is also recognized in a positive way. We would like to express great appreciation to Dr El-Gabalawy, Scientific Director of IMHA, and others at CIHR for speaking so strongly in support of ME/FM research. Margaret Margaret Parlor President National ME/FM Action Network __________ With regards to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), CIHR – IMHA is committed to supporting high-calibre research that will contribute to the evidence base and develop capacity in this field. ME/CFS is a chronic, complex, multisystem illness. Preliminary research has linked it with disturbances in energy metabolism, immunology, brain and nervous system functioning, cardiovascular functioning, epigenetics, and the microbiome. More research is needed to determine the underlying pathology of ME/CFS, advance understandings of its relationship with overlapping conditions such as Fibromyalgia, and establish effective treatments. An estimated 800,000 Canadians are affected by ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, or both. The National Institutes of Health(NIH) in the United States and the Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation in Australia are ramping up investment in biomarker discovery, diagnostic testing, and patient subgrouping for ME/CFS. You will see in this newsletter that CIHR-IMHA recently launched a series of Catalyst Grants, with two dedicated to ME/CFS. These grants are intended to serve as seed money to support research activities that represent a first step towards the pursuit of more comprehensive funding opportunities. We are also seeking to engage in partnerships with other funding agencies to advance the ME/CFS research agenda. This is a fascinating area of research in which investigators from many disciplines have the potential to make groundbreaking contributions." Bolded emphasis above is mine. This is a remarkable statement, especially considering the CIHR's recent denial of research funding because ME is "not a disease".