The ME/CFS community seems to be all agog over the Rituximab in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research. Published here.
Before we all get too carried away, there’s one vitally important fact to bear in mind – the positively minute test population. Thirty individuals, 15 test, 15 control, are totally inadequate, and cannot possibly yield results that are anything but statistically insignificant.
We keep seeing this in ME/CFS – research carried out with an insanely small test population – it’s not as if there’s any bloody shortage of people with ME/CFS. Use us, FFS!
While the research is interesting, that’s all it is so far, and an indication that very much more research is required before it can yield any meaningful results – which, in fact, the researchers themselves strongly suggest, so can we all please just lighten up, and get this thing in perspective?
Hopefully, with this research pointing the way, funding will become available for further research with a vastly increased test population – it takes at least 1,000 to yield statistically significant results (the reason why so much market research is based on responses from 1,001 people). As with shampoo, so it is in medicine – more people, greater significance and, of course, greater accuracy.
Then we’ll see what this really means.
NB: I use the term ME/CFS because in the UK many people with a diagnosis of ME, including me, have had it classified as CFS. The team that diagnosed me called it ME, we discussed ME for a couple of hours, I was even enrolled in the ME research programme, but in their report to my GP, and in all the literature I was given, it’s referred to as CFS. Whatever, I’ve had it for 26 years, so I would welcome anything that would improve my lot. But, sorry, this ain’t it. Not yet, maybe never – time and much more research will tell.