Dr. Judy Mikovits is not a "chronic fatigue researcher." The symptom of "chronic fatigue" accompanies a wide range of diseases including cancer, MS, and clinical depression. Dr. Mikovits is a former National Cancer Institute (NCI) scientist best known of late for her research on the virology of a devastating neuroimmune disease that often impacts the HPA axis. Following the well-publicized 1984-85 outbreak of this disease in and around Incline Village, Nevada, on the shore of Lake Tahoe, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to assign this disease the name Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) because many patients, afflicted with symptoms such as light-headedness, orthostatic hypotension, extreme weakness and overwhelming lack of energy, had complained of being "tired," for lack of a more ornate medical vocabulary. "Tired" ended up re-stated as the medicalese term "fatigued." Since patients were then deemed to have "fatigue" along with numerous symptoms the CDC came up with the name of "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome," I believe in 1988.
A number of medical professionals objected strenuously at the time to the naming on grounds that this was not a new disease, but rather a new outbreak of the more accurately (though not perfectly) namedÂ "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis" (ME) already listed by the World Health Organization. It had been so christened in the 1960s in England by Dr. Melvyn Ramsay, who had treated and studied the large and famous 1955 outbreak at London's Royal Free Hospital.
The name, so carelessly inflicted by CDC bureaucrats who themselves enjoy secure employment and ample health, pension and disability benefits, has proven an evil curse for the one million Americans inflicted with the disease. More than half are too feeble and disabled to work and as many as 25% may be among those too weak to leave their beds and homes. Medical professionals point out that the CFS sufferers are far worse off than their AIDs patients. Yet because the world has come to think that all that is wrong is that, as one good friend told me after 15 years of my sickness, "oh, I thought you were just a little tired" we are maligned even by family and friends as lazy good for nothings.Â The same misapprehension has prevailed when in comes to government research, which is close to zero, health insurers,who refuse to pay for diagnostic tests or possible remedies, and the press, which today lacks the resources to get to the bottom of things.
Truly this ill-used word "fatigue" has proven crueler than any sword.