March 29, 2002
Belgian MS Society
The Medical Advisory Board of the Belgian national and regional MS Societies express serious reserves with regard to comments made by a Belgian laboratory and published in the press regarding the identification of the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and of multiple sclerosis.
The Medical Advisory Board deeply regrets these comments, which declare that a final cure will be available within the next five years, especially since this information might give false hope to a group of persons who can be very vulnerable. The opinion of the Medical Advisory Board of the Belgian societies is confirmed by statements made earlier by medical colleagues from other countries.
The Medical Advisory Board deeply regrets that Chronic Fatigue Syndrom and multiple sclerosis have been associated in the same article. There is no relation between Chronic Fatigue Syndrom and multiple sclerosis, even if fatigue if a very common symptom of the latter.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system. The damage to myelin in MS may be due to an abnormal response of the body’s immune system, which becomes self-aggressive. MS is thus an “auto-immune” disease amongst others that display this phenomenon. Researchers try to understand what deregulates the immune system in the case of MS in order to be able to look for preventive treatment.
The MS Societies and their Medical Advisory Board continue to believe in, and thus to sustain, scientific research, by asking that all the ethic and deontologic rules be respected.