Annual General Meeting 2017 Wellington Region ME/CFS Support Group Incorporated (WellMe)

To be held on: Tuesday 5th December 2017 

Commencing at 12.30pm – Meeting Room 2, Level One, Anvil House, 138 – 140 Wakefield Street, Wellington

 Afternoon tea will be provided followed by Guest Speaker: Phillida  Bunkle 

Phillida will talk about the personal and family impacts of ME: deficits in care, the importance of family care for the sick, and its impacts on the other members.

I would like to touch on the practical difficulties of nursing the severely affected because they are barely acknowledged.

Phillida will also talk about attending the Invest in ME conference earlier this year and the importance to her personally. She will talk about the shifts taking place in the research community leading to better public attitudes and the importance of maintaining a healing environment not really addressed in scientific research.

Throughout her career, Phillida has been involved with many aspects of patient protection including patient advocacy, health consumer representation and policy development particularly concerning women’s health, and the care of people with ME/CFS and cancer. On four occasions she has been a delegate to WHO world summits on Women’s Health.

Most noted for co-writing ‘An Unfortunate Experiment at National Womens’ with Sandra Coney leading to a Commission of Inquiry headed by Dame Silvia Cartwright that helped strengthen patients’ rights and saw the establishment of a national cervical screening programme, Phillida has published widely and won a number of awards recognizing her contribution to health consumer protection. These include the New Zealand Health Industry Distinguished Public Service Award, and the New Zealand Governor General’s Special Award of Excellence in Journalism, and being made a life member of the National Distribution Workers Union (NZ).

Phillida Bunkle is qualified in many branches of massage and bodywork and is a former patron of the New Zealand Massage Institute. She also holds practice certificates in reflexology, foot care, cancer care and health coaching and currently divides her time between caring for family members with ME in New Zealand, and running a small private health coaching practice in nutrition and bodywork in Central London.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Breaking News: NICE decides to Fully Update its guideline on ME/CFS!

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) announced yesterday  they are  to begin a review of its 2010 guideline on the diagnosis and management of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) following a recent public consultation with patient and professional groups.

According to the ME Association in the UK, ‘they will now commence a FULL REVIEW of the guideline for ME/CFS, effectively overturning previous expert advice not to update it’.

Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE Chief Executive, said: “The strong message from stakeholders was that the continuing debate about the causes of this condition and the best approach to treatment argued for a review of the current guideline.”

“We will now recruit a guideline committee which will include people with the condition and their carers, the healthcare professionals who treat them and the organisations which commission that treatment. As with all the guidance we produce, we will also ensure that stakeholders have the opportunity to provide evidence and insights throughout the development of the guideline.”

Further details about the review, including a scope outlining what it will cover and information about recruitment to the guideline committee, will be published on the NICE website as they become available.  

To view the full article go to :

https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-to-begin-review-of-its-guidance-on-the-diagnosis-and-treatment-of-cfs-me

For the ME Association announcement go to

http://www.meassociation.org.uk/2017/09/breaking-news-nice-decides-to-fully-update-its-guideline-on-mecfs-20-september-2017/

This is excellent news for people with ME/CFS both in the UK and in New Zealand. This review comes at a time when research is yielding promising results. Most relevant to the NICE guidelines review, is the research into the impact of exercise on the disease being conducted here at our own Massey University and in the US.  Our Ministry of Health very much looks to the UK for clinical models and guidelines, so we hope that this review will result in better outcomes for people diagnosed with ME/CFS.

Open Medicine Foundation Community Symposium on the Molecular Basis of ME/CFS

On August 12, 2017, the Community Symposium on the Molecular Basis of ME/CFS convened ~300 researchers, clinicians, patients, caregivers, families, and advocates at Stanford University – and nearly 3000 more via livestream. Here’s what happened.

The symposium was chaired by genomics and biotech giant Dr. Ron Davis, Professor of Biochemistry and of Genetics at Stanford University. Ron is Director of: 1) the Stanford Genome Technology Center, 2) the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Center at Stanford University, and 3) the Open Medicine Foundation Scientific Advisory BoardRecognized as one of the greatest living inventors, Ron is credited with helping to launch the field of recombinant DNA, facilitating the Human Genome Project, and creating technologies that have shaped modern genetics.

“The Human Genome Project taught us that we can take on a large project like this and succeed,” said Ron.  His approach to ME/CFS research reflects his lessons from the Human Genome Project: think big, try new technologies, and bring together interdisciplinary experts.

The week’s events were focused on a molecular perspective of ME/CFS. Why is this exciting? Because it means we can study ME/CFS with a powerful array of molecular and omics techniques now reaching maturity, and it means we can look for molecular therapies. In short, a molecular approach opens up the possibilities for this disease as it has for so many others. With a major issue in ME/CFS being a massive depletion of energy, it stands to reason that mitochondria, the centers of cellular energy metabolism, are a great place to look.

Ron reminded the audience of the goal behind all of this work. “Our holy grail is a cure, but we’ll take treatment,” he said. “When we see a result, we always ask, ‘what does this mean for treatment?'”

The theme of collaboration was evident throughout. The willingness of researchers to share unpublished data in a public symposium speaks to their dedication to moving the field forward by working together. What was especially exciting to see, as Capecchi noted, is how many researchers in different fields are being drawn to ME/CFS. “This is not a disease that can be solved by one person. It needs a community, and lots of expertise,” said Ron. “I will work with anybody to do this.”The collaborations in ME/CFS extend in a unique way to the patients.

“The patient community has been phenomenal in participating in our research,” said Ron. He noted how valuable partnering with patient organizations, communities, and individuals has been for our efforts in advocacy, fundraising, and research.

For more on the Symposium go to:  https://storify.com/raekaaiyar/2017-community-symposium-mecfs

For Cort Johnson’s (patient advocate and author of Health Rising website) summary go to:  https://www.healthrising.org/forums/threads/omf-symposium-to-provide-first-look-at-metabolomic-immune-results-in-me-cfs.5521/

If really up for it, follow the live streamed conference below:

 

Major Stanford Study Indicates Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is an Inflammatory Disorder

http://simmaronresearch.com/2017/08/major-stanford-study-indicates-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-mecfs-is-inflammatory-disorder/

Conclusion (copied from the link above)

lighthouse

This study, as did the Lipkin/Hornig study, suggested you have to approach ME/CFS differently than other diseases to be successful.

One of the things that emerged from this study is that ME/CFS really, really is different and woe to any researcher who assumes that it’s not. The regular rules of the road do not apply – you can’t just measure cytokine levels and expect to get anything. You have to dig deeper, and what this study and the large Lipkin/Hornig study before it demonstrated was that if you do dig deeper, you might stumble on something extraordinary.

The study’s excellent pedigree – it’s size, the lab it took place in and the journal it was published in – guarantees it will get noticed and that’s a good thing. The most important aspect of the study may be the legitimization it confers on the illness. Hopefully the study will introduce new researchers intrigued by what could be a new type of inflammatory disorder to the field.  While more work is needed, the study also points to possible future effective treatment options. Lastly, the study indicates, as did the Lipkin/Hornig study, that bigger really is much, much better in ME/CFS research. Hopefully funders will take a cue from these large studies, and support the bigger and more definitive studies this disease needs to move forward

Street Appeal Collection Thursday 15 June 2017 Wellington CBD

 

Empowering People with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia & Related Conditions

 

We are having an Street Appeal on

Thursday 15 June 2017

10am – 2pm

We need your help

Can you hold a collection bucket for an hour or more? 

Can you ask a family member or friend to hold a bucket on the way to work or during their lunch hour?

Four locations in Wellington CBD

To assist please email

information@wellme.org.nz

Professor Anne La Flamme to speak on ‘When the Body’s Immune system changes from Friend to Foe’ at St Johns in the City Tuesday 9 May: 6:00pm

WellMe is pleased to announce Professor Anne La Flamme as our keynote speaker at its Keynote Speaker Wellington meeting to be held at 6 pm, Tuesday, 9 May at St Johns in the City conference room, Ground Floor, corner of Willis Street, Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011.

Professor La Flamme has been in New Zealand for eleven years, and is a Professor in Cell and Immunobiology at the School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington. She is also Head of the MS Research Programme at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research. Professor La Flamme is one of New Zealand’s leading Multiple Sclerosis (MS) researchers and is focused on finding a cure for this immune mediated disease, and in particular aims to find a treatment that will benefit the sub-set of MS patients that do not respond to any existing treatment.

Professor La Flamme received her BSc in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Masters in Molecular Parasitology and PhD in Immunoparasitology from the University of Washington, Seattle. After receiving her doctorate, Professor La Flamme spent several years at Cornell University studying how parasites alter the host’s immune response and cause immune-mediated pathology.

Recently, Professor La Flamme’s laboratory found that a commonly used anti-psychotic drug is effective at modifying MS in an experimental model of the disease. Through a Neurological Foundation-funded project, she is investigating the potential of this drug to treat MS and the findings will guide future trials of the drug in MS patients. If this drug is effective for the treatment of MS, new insights into immune dysfunction and its contribution to disease pathogenesis will emerge.

Professor La Flamme will talk on ‘When the Body’s Immune System Changes from Friend to Foe and its impact on our health’.