AN OXFORDSHIRE woman who has spent most of the past 28 years in bed has welcomed the conclusion that a controversial study recommending she exercise more was 'unreliable'.

ME sufferer Zoë Williams was among hundreds who celebrated the new report finding that the conclusions of the widely-criticised PACE study may not be useful.

The governmented-funded trial, the results of which were published in 2011, claimed that 250,000 sufferers of ME, or chronic fatigue syndrome, should get psychotherapy or exercise more.

Ms Williams, who lives with her parents in Stanford in the Vale, said: “This flawed study has caused a lot of distress to patients, because it led the public, and even doctors, to think that exercise would help people with ME.

"On the contrary, patient experiences often show the complete opposite, with attempts to exercise exacerbating the disease.

"We badly need proper research looking at the biological mechanisms of the illness, such as the brilliant work being done in Oxford by Dr Karl Morten."

Acording to the ME Association, ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) or chronic fatigue syndrome, causes 'unrelenting fatigue and profound pain' and is made worse by exertion.

Sufferers are often confined to their beds, unable to walk, and need help even to shower – an action that could then lay them low for hours, days, weeks or longer.

There are currently an estimated 2,600 people living with ME in Oxfordshire.

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