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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S6M-04275

ME Awareness Day 2022

Submitted by: Emma Harper, South Scotland, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: Friday, May 6, 2022

Supported by: Karen Adam, Clare Adamson, Jackie Baillie, Jeremy Balfour, Colin Beattie, Miles Briggs, Ariane Burgess, Stephanie Callaghan, Finlay Carson, Maggie Chapman, Bob Doris, Jackie Dunbar, Annabelle Ewing, Russell Findlay, Joe FitzPatrick, Murdo Fraser, Kenneth Gibson, Pam Gosal, Bill Kidd, Monica Lennon, Fulton MacGregor, Ruth Maguire, Gillian Martin, John Mason, Stuart McMillan, Jenni Minto, Audrey Nicoll, Emma Roddick, Paul Sweeney, Mercedes Villalba, Sue Webber, Annie Wells, Elena Whitham, Brian Whittle

That the Parliament notes that ME Awareness Day is 12 May 2022; notes that the date was chosen as it encompasses the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who was believed to have chronic fatigue syndrome; understands that ME, myalgic encephalomyelitis, which is commonly referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), shares characteristics with fibromyalgia, affects around 20,000 people in Scotland, and is defined by WHO as a neurological condition that can cause extreme tiredness and is often linked to depression, social isolation and loneliness; understands that ME affects each person differently, but that the main symptoms include post-exertional malaise, a period of intense exhaustion that lasts for more than 24 hours following exertion, chronic pain, sleep disturbance, as well as flu-like symptoms such as headache, sore throat, painful lymph nodes, dizziness, nausea and problems with memory and concentration; further understands that, while the causes of ME remain unclear, there is evidence that suggests that the condition is caused by a change in a person's immune system and the way in which it responds to infection or stress, and that ME shares some features of autoimmune illnesses, which are diseases in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body, like in rheumatoid arthritis; understands that continued research is currently underway across the globe into the link between COVID-19 infection and ME, with researchers, including at the University of the West of Scotland, examining whether long COVID shares similar characteristics with ME, and thanks the charity, Action for ME, as well as local ME support groups, including the Dumfries and Galloway ME, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Support Group, for all that they do to support and lobby for the interests of people living with ME.