Quackery in the 21st Century: Unproven Treatments for Unexplained Symptoms
Alastair Miller MA FRCP DTM&H
When: Thu, Nov 19, 2009 8:00 – 11:00 PM
Where: Crown Hotel, 43 Lime Street, Liverpool.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) otherwise called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a medically unexplained syndrome. That is, it is a well defined complex of symptoms that add up to this diagnosis but with no biomedical explanation at a physiological, anatomical, biochemical or molecular level to give a basis for these symptoms. However, there are well established therapeutic approaches (Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Graded Activity programmes) that are evidence based and approved by NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence). Regrettably, because these approaches are behavioural rather than pharmacologic there is much dissatisfaction with them in the patient community which therefore spends considerable time and money on unproven therapies exploited by well meaning or less well meaning practitioners.
Alastair Miller read medical sciences and law at St Johns College, Cambridge and completed clinical training at Westminster Hospital where he also worked as a house physician and surgeon. He then spent some time in the Royal Naval Medical Service including service with the Royal Marine Commadoes. He specialized as a physician in Naval Hospitals and trained in Infectious Disease at Birmingham and London. He held various consultant posts in Navy hospitals and was Naval Professor of Medicine in his last post.
He then spent nearly 10 years as a consultant physician in West Midlands with NHS appointments at Kidderminster and Worcester and an Honorary Senior Lecturer post at the Dept of Infection in Birmingham Medical School.
Since 2004 he has been consultant in the department of medicine and the Tropical & Infectious Disease Unit at Royal Liverpool University Hospital and an honorary Fellow at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. He is lead for Bone infection and chronic fatigue services and also has major interests in blood borne virus infection. He chairs the Specialist Advisory Cttee on Infectious Disease at the London Royal College of Physicians and is Director of the Clinical Research Facility at Liverpool. His outside interests are mountaineering, sailing and adventure sports.