Microbiology:Written question - 221646

Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 14 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the use of microbiota assessments in the diagnosis of (a) ME/ CFS and (b) fibromyalgia.
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 19 February 2019

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including diagnosis for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Diagnosing both ME/CFS and fibromyalgia can be difficult as there is no specific diagnostic test that can be used, and the symptoms can vary from person to person. Diagnosis is usually made by taking a medical history, checking symptoms and carrying out a physical examination. Other tests may be used to rule out medical conditions with similar symptoms. The NIHR has funded projects on ME/CFS and fibromyalgia totalling £4.3 million in the last five years (£2.5 million for ME/CFS and £1.8 million for fibromyalgia) some of which relate to educating general practitioners about diagnosis.

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