Rainbow at shoreline

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, a 501(c)3 founded in 1985, exists to meet the needs of patients with CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or FM (Fibromyalgia), their families and loved ones. The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association works to educate health-care providers and the general public regarding these severely-disabling physical illnesses. We also support patients and their families and advocate for more effective treatment and research.

February 2011 ended with considerable buzz in the media regarding the discovery of distinctive proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) subjects.

CFS patients were compared to healthy controls and to individuals who had been previously treated for Lyme Disease (LD). LD was chosen for comparison due to two symptoms such patients share with CFS patients—fatigue and cognitive dysfunction—which, according to the study, has made it difficult to tell the two illnesses apart. The study was led by Dr. Steven Schutzer at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the combined efforts of researchers from multiple departments at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; State University of New York, NY; Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Bronx, NY; Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA; and Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Their collective research yielded an in-depth description of proteins which are distinct to CFS—actually, many hundreds of proteins were detected and determined as being clearly unique for each disease. This data may advance the science that will eventually be able to explain the pathogenesis of CFS. “Distinct Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteomes Differentiate Post-Treatment Lyme Disease from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” was released by Schutzer, et al, on an open-access journal, PLoS ONE, Vol. 6, Issue 2, e17287. 

Notice about names

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association would like to clarify the use of the various acronyms for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) on this site. When we generate our own articles on the illness, we will refer to it as ME/CFS, the term now generally used in the United States. When we are reporting on someone else’s report, we will use the term they use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently using ME/CFS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are calling the illness CFS.

Until there is consensus on a name for the illness, the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association name will not change.