The Canadian government investment will support researchers hunting for explanations and treatments
The perplexing condition long-known as chronic fatigue syndrome is frustrating for both the approximately 580,000 Canadians who live with it and the doctors who want to help them. Now known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), the condition has no known cure and there are no diagnostic tests for it.
To help investigate and identify the causes of ME, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is injecting $1.4 million into ME-related research. CIHR is funded by the Government of Canada.
Those suffering from ME experience persistent fatigue that fails to improve with rest, muscle and joint pain, poor sleep, and unexpected drops in blood pressure that can make it hard to stand. The disease can hit people of any age or background. Many remain bedridden for long periods of time.
The new funding, expected to be spread out over five years, is intended to explore possible genetic and viral links, support graduate research, and help researchers share data, samples, and methods. A new research network looking into the cause and treatment of the disease will be based at Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Centre in Montreal. Researchers will also be working in collaboration with researchers and patients taking part in studies in the United States.
“Our government is proud to support the work of researchers pursuing improved quality of life for people living with myalgic encephalomyelitis,” said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, the Minister of Health, in a statement. “With this investment, we will advance research into ME, work towards developing testing and treatment options, better medical education and, ultimately, better help for patients.”