University awarded project to examine chronic illness that wrecks lives
The University of Sheffield is taking part in a pioneering £61,000 project, awarded by Action for M.E. - the UK's leading charity for people with M.E.- to help sufferers affected by the chronic illness which wrecks lives.
The award, which will fund three pilot research projects at the University of Sheffield, Newcastle University and Northumbria University, has been announced today (Tuesday 8 May 2012) to coincide with the start of international M.E. Awareness Week.
M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is a chronic fluctuating condition, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) which affects 250,000 adults and children in the UK.
Common symptoms of the long term illness include muscle pain, persistent exhaustion, poor concentration, memory problems, headaches and digestive problems. The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recognises that the physical symptoms of M.E. can be as disabling as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure and other chronic conditions.
Professor Annalena Venneri, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Sheffield has been granted £24,832 for her research: Uncovering the biological correlates of cognitive impairment associated with fatigue in M.E./ CFS: a pilot study of cognition and functional connectivity pre and post-exertional malaise.
Professor Venneri said: "By studying how cognitive symptoms and brain processes change when patients suffering from M.E. experience different levels of fatigue, we aim to uncover possible links with brain physiology and function that may be associated with this condition. This could potentially help in finding and directing new forms of treatment that may be beneficial to M.E. sufferers."
The charity's initial call for research proposals, issued last October, announced that, thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous private donor, a research fund of £50,000 would be available. However, following independent scientific review, Action for M.E. decided to fund three projects at a total cost of more than £61,000.
Sir Peter Spencer, Chief Executive, Action for M.E., said: "These high-quality projects will examine muscle dysfunction, disturbed sleep and cognitive impairment, three key symptoms of M.E. All will extend our understanding of this chronic long-term illness that wrecks the lives of so many men, women and children in the UK."
Action for M.E
Action for M.E
The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK's leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen's Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom's intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world.
The University's research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.
The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.