The 2019 Edition of the ME Association Clinical and Research Guide for ME/CFS/PVFS | 27 February 2019


Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association.

We are pleased to announce that the 2019 edition of the ME Association’s authoritative Clinical and Research Guide (The ‘Purple Book’) has now been published and it’s easier to access than ever before!

The guide covers symptoms, assessment, diagnosis, illness management, pharmacological treatments and much, much, more. It informs, educates and helps raise awareness of this all too often misunderstood disease.

It directs readers to more detailed ME Association leaflets from our extensive online library, and summarises all relevant published research. And, it also includes over 600 references to key research papers and clinical trial results.

How to buy your 2019 edition of the MEA Purple Book:

  • A Kindle e-Book version is now available at Amazon or Amazon Smile.
  • Hard-copies can be ordered from the ME Association:
    • using the on-line order form which you return to us in the post with payment,
    • by phone to head office (telephone: 01280 818964 weekdays, between 9.30am and 3.00pm) where we can take card payment,
    • or direct from the website shop, which takes either PayPal or card payments,
      ….and your book will be sent to you in the post.

Additions, updates and changes contained in the 2019 edition include:

  • An enlarged section covering the management of severe ME/CFS
  • Summaries of all the key research findings relating to genome wide association studies, immune system activation, metabolomics, neuroimaging and red blood cell morphology that have been published during the past year.
  • Details of all the important research papers that have been published since the 2018 edition was prepared have also been added to the reference section.
  • Coverage of current ‘hot topics’ – including medical education initiatives being actioned by the Forward ME group, the NICE guideline review and the parliamentary debates on ME/CFS
  • An index – for the first time!

This 152-page authoritative publication represents the most comprehensive, evidence-based summary currently available and contains everything that health professionals and patients need to know about this devastating neurological disease.

Kindle Review received from Paul R. Fleischmann, M.D.:


“I want to thank you for the outstanding Kindle book: ME/CFS/PVFS, 2019 edition. I appreciated the way that almost every sentence in the book is referenced to an authoritative text.”


“The prose was economical, created to convey the highest density information in the briefest time with the busy professional reader in mind.” 


“The range of knowledge was astounding and enviable. You walked me around the topic from more angles than I would have expected. Every sentence was carefully toned to avoid conclusion or endorsement that is not justified by the literature.” 


“Best of all, the definitive tone backed up by the hundreds of references, makes your eBook simultaneously a perfect vehicle for educating doctors, and a powerful brief against anyone undermining the reality of the diagnosis of ME/CFS.”


“Therefore, your cool scientific text clearly reveals itself to be a passion for compassion.” 

Free Purple Book for health professionals!

We have funds in the ME Association education budget to continue providing free copies of the Purple Book to any health professional who would like one or who is nominated to receive one by a patient.

We just need to know the name(s) and surgery/hospital address:

  • Contact ME Association Head Office via email,
  • Please title the email: ‘MEA Purple Book 2018’, or,
  • Telephone: 01280 818964 weekdays, between 9.30am and 3.00pm.

When the Purple Book is sent to health professionals, it is accompanied by a covering letter from me and a copy of a letter from the Workwell Foundation in America which points out the dangers of inappropriate graded exercise therapy (GET).

The new edition, with its updates and new index, is a weightier book than previously, and unfortunately postage charges for and from the UK will be increasing from April this year. So, it has been necessary for us to increase the cost from £8.00 to £9.00 for UK orders (and similarly for orders to Europe and the ROW) and we have done similarly for the Kindle version to keep things fair.

As a relatively small charity it is necessary I am afraid for us to charge for this extensive guide which incurs the time-costs relating to research, preparation, printing/collation and distribution. And much of what we receive in payment is spent on providing free copies to health professionals which we do almost daily via post and at medical and research conferences and parliamentary events etc.

We are always happy to receive feedback from people with ME/CFS and from health professionals and if you would like to do so, then please get in touch.

More information:

  • You can read extracts from the ‘Purple Book’ on our website in the ‘What is ME?’ section which we will be updating shortly.
  • However, to read the full content, including the latest updates and the extensive research section, you will need to order the full guide.
  • You might also be interested in the Index of ME/CFS Published Research which we update monthly, and is available as a free download,
  • And our Research Summaries that are produced when particularly interesting and important research is published and are also available for free as a download.