Research

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OVERVIEW


The ME Association has always regarded the promotion and funding of medical research to be a key priority.

We fund research through The MEA Ramsay Research Fund (RRF) which was named after Dr Melvin Ramsay who brought this disease to the attention of the medical profession following an outbreak at London’s Royal Free Hospital in 1955.

Dr Ramsay also helped establish the ME Association which was founded in 1978 and he remained closely involved with the charity until he died in 1990.


WHAT SORT OF RESEARCH DO WE SUPPORT AND FUND?


We invest only in biomedical research studies and infrastructure projects that will help lead to:

▪ a better understanding of underlying disease mechanisms
▪ the development of reliable diagnostic tests for use in clinics
▪ safe and effective forms of treatment

ME/CFS is a complex illness with symptoms that cut across several medical boundaries – genetics, endocrinology, immunology, muscle pathology, and neurology in particular – so research into the underlying cause of ME/CFS is rather like piecing together a complex medical jigsaw puzzle.

We actively seek researchers who will examine these underlying disease mechanisms. This must be our top priority if we are to obtain a better understanding of this disease and discover effective forms of treatment.

Further information relating to the kind of research we believe should be supported can be read for free in ‘What do we know about the causes of ME/CFS?’ written by ME Association medical advisor, Dr Charles Shepherd.

For a more comprehensive and fully referenced review of medical and research knowledge to date, we strongly recommend ‘ME/CFS/PVFS: An Exploration of the Key Clinical Issues’ written by Dr Charles Shepherd and consultant neurologist Dr Abhijit Chaudhuri and now in its ninth edition.

This extensive booklet provides summaries and references for all the key research findings in relation to epidemiology, infection, immunology, muscle and mitochondrial abnormalities, neurology, neuroendocrinology, and sleep disturbance etc.

We are very happy to provide free copies to GPs and interested researchers – please contact our head office on the telephone number below.


WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT THAT WE RAISE MONEY FOR ME/CFS RESEARCH?


The ME Association was set up to support people with ME/CFS. We believe that a key part of our role is to offer hope to the estimated 250,000 people with M.E. in the UK who desperately want to return to a normal way of life. They want to get better.

Research into ME/CFS is appallingly underfunded when compared to other serious conditions. So we want to do more. Much more.

Medical research is very expensive – so finding the underlying cause of ME/CFS and effective forms of treatment isn’t going to be easy.  But that is not going to stop us trying!


HOW YOU CAN HELP


Please help us to build on our success and continue to expand our vital work. One day we will find the cause of ME/CFS and have an effective form of treatment. And with your help, that day could come much sooner.

If you would like to help The Ramsay Research Fund support even more biomedical research, please donate now:

  • with either a single online donation
  • by cheque (made payable to: The ME Association Ramsay Research Fund) to: The ME Association, 7 Apollo Office Court, Radclive Road, Gawcott, Bucks MK18 4DF.
  • by card donation over the phone to our head office (01280 818964)

Or, if you would like to fundraise for The Ramsay Research Fund, please start your online giving page, here.


HOW MUCH DO WE SPEND ON ADMINISTRATION?


We make no administration charge. We are very aware that people who give money to research want to see it spent on research – and not swallowed up by administration expenses.

The Ramsay Research Fund is a restricted fund which means that all donations are used exclusively for research activity.

We do not employ any extra staff to deal with routine administration or the research we are funding, and any support that is required is done so voluntarily or is met out of our general funds.


WHAT IS OUR POSITION ON ANIMAL TESTING?


The MEA Ramsay Research Fund is not funding any research that involves the use of animals nor do we have any plans (or applications) to fund research that involves the use of animals.

We would not completely rule out the use of animal research if we were convinced that information from this could lead to an effective form of treatment for ME/CFS and that there was no other way in which this research could be carried out.

But this is clearly a hypothetical situation that is very unlikely to occur because research into the treatment of ME/CFS is being conducted through clinical trials involving human volunteers.


HOW DO YOU APPLY FOR RESEARCH FUNDING?


We would encourage any researcher to first contact our medical adviser Dr Charles Shepherd (via admin@meassociation.org.uk) for an informal discussion.

If you would like to submit a proposal for consideration, please do so by providing the necessary information on our research proposition and returning it to us as soon as possible.

The next stage in the process will require submission of a formal grant application, but this should not be completed until your proposition has received approval. We aim to reply to all propositions within four weeks of receipt.

Grant decisions are based on the guidelines produced by the Association of Medical Research Charities and we will normally include both an internal and external peer review of all formal grant applications.


VISIT OUR OTHER PAGES IN THIS SECTION


Current Research (including PACE Trial critques, and ‘patient evidence’ research)

Published Research (from 2000 to present)

Volunteering for Research (studies requiring volunteers)

CFS/ME Research Collaborative (including the MEGA project)