Sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are set to benefit with the dual launch of a specialist Griffith University clinic and smartphone app, both aimed to manage their illness and improve health outcomes.
Otherwise known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), CFS is a highly debilitating disorder characterised by profound fatigue, muscle and joint pain, cerebral symptoms of impaired memory and concentration, impaired cardiovascular function, gut disorder and sensory dysfunction such as noise intolerance and balance disturbance. Many cases can continue for months or years. It is believed to affect around 460,000 Australians.
The new CFS/ME specialised Clinic - set to be launched Tuesday July 29 by the Honourable Ian Walker MP - is based within the Griffith Health Centre and will work in conjunction with patients' existing GPs to provide individualised care to patients.
The Griffith Health Centre is home to the National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases (NCNED), which is dedicated to research on the interaction between the nervous system and the immune system and is led by one of Australia's foremost authorities on CFS, Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik.
"We now have the capacity, not only for advanced research but also the potential to provide a clinical service to people who have been unable to find appropriate care in the past," says Professor Marshall-Gradisnik.
"Our research is leading the way internationally to uncover the causes of this illness based on our unique immunological discoveries."
Meanwhile, the NCNED is also launching an app to further improve management of the condition for both the clinician and the patient.
The first app of its kind, CliniHelp is available from the App Store and will help users track their symptoms on a weekly basis, as well as monitor changes in their condition and share information with their physician.
"A major advantage of CliniHelp is that it will allow physicians to be more informed of their patients' symptoms when cognition can be a major impediment for patients with CFS," says Professor Marshall-Gradisnik.
The dedicated CFS/ME Specialised Clinic at the National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases will receive patients in October 2014.