Perceptions of Progress?

Margaret Williams

26th March 2004

Psychiatrist Professor Simon Wessely is on record as stating  “Some illnesses are treated without knowledge of the cause; examples include multiple sclerosis (and) chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)”.  He wrote this in his Introduction to the second Linbury Trust booklet “New research ideas in Chronic Fatigue” published in 2000 by The Royal Society of Medicine  (which, together with Richard Frackowiak, Wessely edited).

In contrast, Rohit Bakshi MD, associate professor of neurology and founding director of the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Centre, takes a very different view.  Speaking about multiple sclerosis at the 2003 annual meeting of the American Neurological Association in San Francisco, Bakit said “If we’re going to treat this disease, we have to know where the damage is” (posted on Co-cure on 26th March 2004 on behalf of Kate Duprey).

Does this illustrate the fundamentally different perception concerning progress in medical science held by a UK professor of psychiatry and a US professor of neurology, and does such a difference of perception impact upon clinical care and management of patients with MS and with ME/CFS?