Studies leading to a better understanding of the 240,000 Australians suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome will now be of greater focus, thanks to a $3 million investment from the Liberal National Government.
Funding will be provided through the Governments National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to help researchers develop a better understanding of the cause and condition of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).
ME/CFS is a complex condition that leaves patients with persistent disabling fatigue, particularly after general activity. Other symptoms that range from mild to severe, include muscle and joint pain, as well as headaches.
Symptoms last at least six months but often persist for many years, stopping people from living active and productive lives.
Research shows that people with severe ME/CFS can have a quality of life similar to those with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The condition is not well understood by doctors and health practitioners, and little is known about its causes.
What makes this worse is that diagnosis of ME/CFS is difficult, with no diagnostic test and a diverse range of symptoms, there is no generally accepted way to treat and manage it.
Research will drive a better understanding of the condition along with its causes and the mechanisms that lead to its debilitating symptoms.
There is a lot more to be done to help Australians living with ME/CFS.
This will be the second call for research into ME/CFS funded by the Liberal National Government in 2019.
The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) has already opened a funding opportunity for a health economics study of the impacts and costs associated with ME/CFS, closing on 10 April.
Health and medical research is one of the four pillars of the Government’s Long-Term National Health Plan.
The 2018–19 Federal Budget provided a record total of $6 billion to Australia’s health and medical research sector, including $1.3 billion for a health and medical industry growth plan to drive a new era of better health care and fuel jobs and growth.