The latest research funded by FORME was conducted by the University of Lancashire in conjunction with three NHS Trusts examining the accuracy of a physical technique for the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
At present, within the NHS, there is no accepted means of diagnosis for CFS/ME using tests such as blood or urine analysis. The standard way of diagnosing is one of exclusion. In other words a patient will only be diagnosed as suffering from CFS/ME when all other possible diagnostic tests have proved negative. This means that for many patients the diagnosis of CFS/ME can be a very lengthy process.
The research project evaluated the validity of the use of the major diagnostic principles behind the Perrin Technique. The Perrin Technique™ is based on the theory that CFS/ME is a disorder of the lymphatic drainage system. This disorder can be caused by different many factors including: allergies, stress and infections, which can lead to a build-up of toxins in the fluid around the brain and spinal cord.
The physical diagnostic process used in The Perrin Technique™ centres around the presence of five physical symptoms: postural defects, tender points around the spine, chest and lymph nodes, skin rashes or eruptions and abnormal breast tenderness and varicosities.
The study, published in the BMJ Open on 14 November 2017 has demonstrated that a simple physical examination centred around these five symptoms is quicker and more accurate at aiding the diagnosis of CFS/ME than current methods.
These findings are really promising. ME sufferers often have to endure months of unexplained symptoms before being given a diagnosis and this technique has the potential to speed up the process and thus facilitate quicker treatment. We hope that the research helps raise awareness amongst both patients and medical professionals.