casebash comments on On funding medical research - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: casebash 15 February 2018 10:56:06PM *  0 points [-]

One of the biggest challenges is trying to even figure out how likely it is caused by something physical vs. a psychological root cause. It is a very controversial topic, to say the least. I spent about an hour looking into this, but I wasn't really able to get anywhere, at least without any knowledge of the field or where to find reliable information.

Comment author: JanPaul123 16 February 2018 04:53:31PM 1 point [-]

That's fair, a lot of this are recent findings. Which is why I think it's interesting to EA, since there isn't much mainstream understanding and funding yet.

I would say if you're going to spend an hour researching, I'd look at the 2015 Institute of Medicine report, which contains most of the current state of the art (http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2015/ME-CFS.aspx). Which is very little. But they do cite quite a few studies on physical manifestations of the disease, in an attempt to establish diagnostic criteria (e.g. physical differences during exercise stress tests).

There obviously are some more findings since then, but since funding is so low there isn't that much progress since 2015. ;)

Comment author: JanPaul123 16 February 2018 05:13:12PM 1 point [-]

Also, what's great about EA is that we're not just individuals with an hour here and there to spare. We have entire organisations dedicated to researching causes and interventions. They could take a couple of controversial diseases like this (I only had time to look into this one) and properly research what's going on, and how much funding in the right places would help.

They might find that none of this is useful to spend money on. Or they might find some gems. I think it's worth finding out!

Comment author: Lila 16 February 2018 03:41:31AM 1 point [-]

It's not either/or. It's likely not to be a single disease - would probably be more accurate to call it a syndrome.

Comment author: ChristianKleineidam 27 February 2018 09:29:49PM 0 points [-]

Mind-Body dualism isn’t a productive framework. For many diseases you have a mix of “physical” and “psychological” effects.

Comment author: peace34 20 February 2018 03:50:07AM 0 points [-]

I think the general scientific consensus is that it's a physiological condition. But I don't think it matters whether it's psychological or not, anyway - it's just as disabling and underfunded either way.