HC Deb 20 December 1995 vol 268 cc1209-10W
Mr. Nigel Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what is his Department's estimate of the number of sufferers from myalgic encephalomyelitis in the United Kingdom in the last five years for which figures are available; [6897]

(2) how much his Department has spent on funding research into myalgic encephalomyelitis in each of the last five years; and how much is planned to be spent in each of the next five years. [6898]

Mr. Horam

The nature of myalgic encephalomyelitis—which is increasingly being referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome—is not fully understood or defined. Until this is resolved, it will not be possible to determine the number of sufferers from chronic fatigue syndrome nor commission research into the prevalence of the condition.

The main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council, which receives its grant in aid from the office of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. During the past five years, the MRC funded a study at the Institute of Psychiatry at an estimated cost of £91,000 to investigate chronic fatigue in general practice attenders. The MRC is always willing to consider high-quality research proposals.

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