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.

This article is reprinted with the permission of the author, Dr. Charles Lapp. Editorial notes are the author's.

By Charles W. Lapp, M.D. Director
Hunter-Hopkins Center, P.A., Charlotte, North Carolina
October 7, 2011

The biennial meeting of the IACFS [International Association for CFS/ME] was held in Ottawa, Ontario, this year. Those who expected Fall leaves and falling temperatures were greeted instead with temperatures in the high 70’s and sticky humidity. The theme of the conference could have been “Not What You Expected,” instead of “Translating Evidence Into Practice”!

While well attended, there was a notable absence of the “Old Guard” such as David Bell, Jacob Teitelbaum, Ritchie Shoemaker, Suzanne Vernon, Rich Podell, Pat Fennell, and many others. The large support groups (AFSA, NFA, CFIDS Association, CFS Knowledge) were not represented. We missed you all, but I have to say that this meeting attracted a large number of new and active participants. Overall about 200 patients and 200 providers attended, representing over 20 different countries.

Although the theme was “Translating Evidence Into Practice,” there was a dearth of papers on treatment. Nevertheless, there were a lot of new researchers and no dearth of new ideas!

This conference was kindly hosted by Lydia Nelson and the ME/CFS Action Network of Canada.

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.