Science to Patients: Talking ME, Exercise and the Mitochondria – with Dr Charles Shepherd

The latest video release from the Dutch group ME/cvs Vereniging, with Dr Charles Shepherd from the UK ME Association, and announcing a live chat session to be held Thursday, April 10, 2014…

MEcvs Vereniging
Dutch group ME/cvs Vereniging present their latest video followed by a chat session with Dr Charles Shepherd from the UK ME Association

ME/cvs Vereniging launched a series of broadcasts from expert clinicians and researchers in January 2013, as part of a government subsidized project called, “Science to Patients”.

Each expert has also taken part in Q & A sessions, enabling patients to ask questions on both theoretical and practical aspects of ME/CFS.

The sessions were not meant to be a consultation, but have proven to be a mine of knowledge to many a patient about his/her own condition.

These are all English subtitled broadcasts and have previously featured Dr Kenny De Meirlier, as well as the Dutch cardiologist, Dr Frans Visser.

Dutch international project: Science to Patients

This current year kicked off with a series of interviews from paediatrician Dr Nigel Speight, Medical Adviser to the 25% ME Group for severely affected patients and Honorary Paediatric Medical Adviser to the ME Association, who spoke in some detail about how the condition affects children.

Announcing the latest broadcast: Dr. Charles Shepherd on ME, Exercise and the Mitochondria

Shepherd Mitochondria and Exercise
Dr Charles Shepherd.
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Dr Charles Shepherd MB BS, is Honorary Medical Adviser of the ME Association, and a private physician with a longstanding personal interest in ME/CFS – having developed the condition following an episode of chickenpox encephalitis that he caught from one of his hospital patients.

He has been involved with all aspects of the illness – benefits, education, management, media, politics, research, services – for over 30 years and was a member of the Chief Medical Officer’s Working Group on ME/CFS and the Medical Research Council’s Expert Group on ME/CFS research.

He is currently a member of the Department of Work and Pensions Fluctuating Conditions Group, whose recommendations regarding changes to the way eligibility for work-related sickness benefits (ie ESA) are assessed has recently been tested in an evidence based review. 

Dr Shepherd is also involved with parliamentary work – including forming part of Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on ME at Westminster.

His research involvement includes supervising all the research that is currently being funded by the ME Association – in particular the establishment of an ME Biobank for blood samples at the Royal Free Hospital in London – and he is an executive board member of the UK ME/CFS Research Collaborative.

“…so we know there seems to be a problem with mitochondrial function in ME and this may play a very important part in explaining why people have this very characteristic symptom of exercise-induced muscle fatigue and sometimes pain in this illness.”

Research interests include the role of vaccines as trigger factors for ME/CFS, post-mortem tissue collection and analysis, and muscle/mitochondrial abnormalities in ME/CFS.

He has written a self-help guide for people with ME/CFS (‘Living with ME‘) and a 52-page guideline for health professionals (‘ME/CFS/PVFS: An Exploration of the Key Clinical Issues’), written with Consultant Neurologist, Dr Abhijit Chaudhuri; as well as having made numerous contributions to the medical literature.

Dr Shepherd is married with three children and lives in Gloucestershire.

The video broadcast – available to watch now – will be followed by a Q & A session in English, on Thursday 10 April, from 17:00-17:45 Central European Time. Please visit HERE on the day to watch, or to take part.

Please be advised that further interviews will be broadcast and chat sessions held over the summer and autumn with Professor Julia Newton and Professor Lenny Jason.

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