Timeline for ME and CFS

Origin
When did it begin?

Nobody is certain of the exact date and origin of this disease, but stories of people exhibiting ME-like symptoms date back centuries.  

1956
Royal Free Hospital
The medieval Heilig-Geist-Spital (Holy Spirit Hospital), circa 1332, in Nuremberg’s Old Town on the Pegnitz River.

The disease causing the Royal Free Hospital outbreak was given the name ‘Benign Myalgic Encephalomyelitis' by Acheson

1988
CFS Label

CFS label, proposed by US CDC, appeared in the medical literature replacing chronic Epstein-Barr syndrome.

1994
CFS Fukuda

CFS-Fukuda used broader term ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ replacing ‘ME’ and lumped in other conditions. Does not require PEM.  CFS-Fukuda is a clinical and research criteria. 

2003
Canadian Consensus Criteria

ME/CFS - Canadian Consensus Criteria (CCC) redefined CFS  patient group to require post-exertional malaise.

2011
Critères de consensus international
Image of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.

International Consensus Criteria (ICC) developed to advance the CCC’s strategy of grouping patterns of symptom clusters and add biological testing. ME-ICC is a clinical and research criteria.

2015
Beyond ME/CFS

United States report, “Beyond ME/CFS”, combined ME and CFS into the umbrella term ME/CFS for conditions presenting with post-exertional malaise (PEM), unrefreshing sleep, plus cognitive impairment and/or orthostatic intolerance. ME/CFS-IOM is a clinical criteria.

2021
NICE Updated

NICE guidelines (UK) updated to confirm ME/CFS as biological (not psychological) and removed harmful practice of dangerous graded exercise therapy (GET) and stopped promoting cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as a cure.