The recommended new name is systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID); the IOM committee that prepared the report believes this designation more accurately captures the central characteristics of this illness, which affects up to 2.5 million people but is frequently misdiagnosed or overlooked.
These central symptoms noted by the committee as diagnostic criteria are a substantial and persistent impairment in the ability to engage in pre-illness activity levels, unrefreshing sleep, and post-exertion malaise, where the effort of even a mild activity can trigger a collapse that can last for days. Besides these three characteristics, a patient must also have cognitive impairment and/or orthostatic intolerance for an SEID diagnosis.
The 15-member IOM expert committee developed the new report--Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness--after a comprehensive literature review and input from patient, advocacy, and research communities.
To read about other recent IOM reports of relevance to the psychiatric community, see the Psychiatric News articles “Mixed Reviews Follow IOM Report on Future of GME Financing” and “IOM Report Critical of Substance Abuse Care for Troops.”