Book Reviews - Understanding Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Read the reviews from the world's M.E. experts here:

Understanding Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
M.E. and the Return of Polio to the USA.


United Kingdom

This, well referenced and comprehensive book, is “dynamite”- a must read for all doctors, health administrators, patients, carers and advocates for ME and the emerging “new polio”, AFP (Acute Flaccid Paralysis- myelitis) which are both enteroviral illnesses. Enteroviruses, EVs, are a large variable and flexible group of viruses that cause a wide variety of lethal illnesses, 25 are associated with paralysis that can lead to death.

Dr Hyde, from his long experience, provides extensive evidence that EVs fundamentally cause an autoimmune vasculitis of the brain and spinal cord that induces these illnesses. His use and advocacy of Segami SPECT scans provides incontrovertible evidence for his claims. This challenges and exposes the inadequacies of many official views, including the WHO, CDC, and several countries where EV identification and typing and Segami Technology are not routinely available; placing physicians at a distinct disadvantage that leads to distress and sometimes the death of patients.

Read it, ponder, weep and act.

Malcolm Hooper
Professor Emeritus of Medicinal Chemistry
University of Sunderland, UK. 

 A proper medical diagnosis is all about identifying the underlying pathologies which result in the clinical picture. Nowhere is this more needed than the management of M.E. Dr Hyde elegantly demonstrates that enteroviruses are centrally important. He presents convincing virology and epidemiology. Whilst we are familiar with the polio enteroviruses 1,2 and 3, there are many others which cause similarly severe disease – the “new polio”. We have to remember that viruses are intelligent and mutate faster than humans can vaccinate – polio has not gone away; it is alive and kicking in our M.E. patients. This is a clinical picture that our medical institutions have ignored because they do not want to admit to the failure of polio vaccination.

Congratulations Dr Hyde for flagging up this vital under-looked diagnosis. This is long overdue.

Dr. Sarah Myhill, Leading M.E. physician

Knighton, Powys, Wales, UK


 "Byron Hyde has long been a world leader in the field of ME and the role of enteroviruses in its causation. In Understanding Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.)  he re -emphasises the importance of this area and deplores the way research in this important area has been neglected"

“In his recent important book M.E. and the Return of Polio to the USA, Byron Hyde has brought together his extensive knowledge in the field of ME and linked it with a relatively new problem, the emergence of Acute Flaccid Paralysis, which with insight he names "The new Polio". This area is relatively unrecognised on both sides of the Atlantic and hopefully this book will receive widespread attention"

Nigel Speight MD, UK 




M.E. and the return of polio to the USA by Dr. Byron Hyde

In recent decades, I have seen over a hundred patients in my Ottawa and Toronto offices, all referred with various psychiatric diagnoses, from depression to hysteria. In the final analysis, all suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis. Undiagnosed, this illness is destroying the personal and professional lives of thousands of unsuspected sufferers. Psychiatrists, neurologists, and G.P.s who are puzzled by these patients would benefit greatly from M.E and The Return of Polio to the USA by Dr. Byron Hyde.

While paralytic polio seemingly disappeared from the Western world following immunization 60 years ago, the causal connection between M.E. and polio enteroviruses is missed. After dedicating nearly half a century to carefully investigating this seemingly mysterious condition, no author seems better equipped to explain the complex story. Applying a strikingly clear concept, Dr. Hyde explains that this condition has the same culprits as polio but primarily affects the brain and immune system.

 With his ability to synthesize volumes of historical details and tell rich stories, Dr. Hyde ably leads us on an exciting journey of discovery. He documents the destructive effects on the brain convincingly by brain imaging. Challenging and important book: challenging in its radically novel concept; very important because of the implications for clinical practice.


Paul Grof MD PhD FRCP,

Director of Mood Disorders Center of Ottawa

Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto



 The Salk and Sabin immunizations covered only polio, 1, 2 and 3 enteroviruses while in actual fact there are at least 25 different varieties of polio.  Until science rules out that they play a role in myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.}, they are not in a position to dispute Dr. Hyde’s findings based on some 2,000 patients where testing proved otherwise.

This book is a must read for moving forward in a much-neglected and misunderstood illness, myalgic encephalomyelitis.


Lydia E. Neilson, MSM

CEO and Founder





Understanding Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and M.E. And the Return of Polio to the USA

The deceit, obfuscation and resulting confusion about what myalgic encephalomyelitis is and who has it has endured for well over a century on several continents. Those who have followed the history of this unnecessarily controversial disease may consider the politically motivated gyrations surrounding ME worthy of the satirical talents of a Jonathan Swift. Sufferers, a large majority of whom are female, are victimized twice, first by the disease, which steals their ability to function, and secondly by the disability insurance industry, which illegally denies them even a poverty-line income. Governments of great nations unwilling to disburse grant funding for research and an ever-changing cast of pompous psychiatrists round out ME patients’ torment by stigmatizing them as malingerers, mentally ill, genetically inferior, or all three. It’s been a free for all that shows no signs of abating.

In contrast, science, when it has intruded upon—however inconveniently—the sloppy goings on in psychiatric and government circles, dictates that ME is a severely disabling infectious brain disease. One writer has called ME “the closest thing to an off-switch on life.”

Byron Hyde, a Canadian-born doctor and researcher, has been among the most inconvenient people alive when it comes to the wholesale misappropriation of ME by the poorly informed, the biased and the criminally greedy. He has long dismissed the “fatigue” crowd—especially the U.S. government scientists who successfully manufactured the “fatigue” theory of ME. He more recently abhors the absurd if enthusiastic conflation of ME with the new phenomenon “long Covid.”

I’ve always considered Hyde’s unflagging efforts to elucidate ME a profound humanitarian service.

Hyde’s sixth book on ME may be his most sophisticated review, but that shouldn’t discourage general readers. He notes that ME was first described in Sweden in 1905 as Superior Polio because it occurred “above the spine.” Hyde expands on his historical review of the literature, agreeing that ME is, simply put, polio of the brain and spinal cord. The pathogen? One or more enteroviruses, members of a family of viruses that also caused the more familiar polio of the 1930s to 1950s. Hyde also elucidates the relationship between ME and other polio diseases, including what the U.S. CDC calls “acute flaccid myelitis,” another paralytic polio. Drawing from World Health Organization statistics and other sources, Hyde makes his case that paralytic polio is having a resurgence.

For those willing to consider ME as something other than long-lasting fatigue that is too complicated for modern science to unravel, Hyde’s “ME and the Return of Polio to the United States” will be a refreshing blast of critical thinking.


Hillary Johnson, author, “Osler’s Web.”


I read the book with much interest since I am an American infectious disease physician/researcher interested in acute and chronic enterovirus infections.  Dr. Byron Hyde is a physician, researcher and medical historian who has been on a mission to document and to report the importance of acute and chronic enterovirus infections that are often under-diagnosed, misunderstood and dismissed by the medical and research community.

Based on some of the best works done around the world after the discovery of polioviruses, he stressed the importance of Polio as an enterovirus–induced paralytic diseases, which can be caused in major epidemic form by poliovirus 1, 2, 3, and also a number of other enteroviruses, including but not limited to enterovirus D68, enterovirus A71, coxsackieviruses A, B and echoviruses. These viruses are chronically endemic and sometimes causes smaller epidemics that are likely underreported and inadequately evaluated. He stressed poliovirus infection can cause manifestations other than paralytic diseases; and many other enteroviruses that can cause similar disease manifestations, but usually missed by physicians unfamiliar with enterovirus infections.  Myalgic encephalomyelitis fared even worse despite the excellent virologic works performed in several laboratories in the United Kingdom, which was not confirmed by the NIH lead investigator who was focusing on Epstein-Barr virus infection.  The lack of enterovirus investigation in1984 after the start of Incline Village outbreak of myalgic encephalomyelitis was clearly a missed opportunity, and the erroneous conclusion that “the disease has a major psychogenic overlay” in the 1988 New England Journal of Medicine report of  a randomized, placebo-controlled, IV acyclovir trial, has resulted in 36 years of "wandering in the desert" without any unifying etiology, and therefore no meaningful antiviral treatment to take the patients to the “promised land”.

Dr. Hyde repeatedly emphasized the lack of progress in these enterovirus related diseases are due to 1.  Lack of recognition of clinical diseases 2.  Lack of rapid, sensitive and specific virologic testing 3.  The endemic or epidemic diseases are often misinterpreted as other known entities or hysteria when there is no definite testing for the diseases. I fully agree with these points. I have seen patients with encephalitis over the years that were commonly misinterpreted by neurologists as cerebrovascular accident or just altered mental status without etiology since they are not trained to recognize viral infections of brain, and often the lives of these patients were totally changed without specific diagnosis and treatments. Even though knowledgeable physicians who work with viral encephalitis believe that enteroviruses are the most common causes, the California encephalitis project was only able to identified causes in about 10% of the CSF or blood samples, and that autoimmune mechanism, i.e. positive Anti-NMDA receptor antibody was more commonly found than enteroviruses. Ironically, CSF is not a good body fluid to look for enterovirus in the cases of encephalitis caused by EV 71 and EV D68 since the brain parenchyma is involved rather than the meninges. There have been no advances in the molecular  or other diagnostic test since these reports.

Although enterovirus RNA can be detected in some body fluids by commercially available nucleic acid amplification method (RT–PCR) within a few hours in some hospitals, sensitivity is no more than 50%, in my experience, even in major clusters of enterovirus meningitis occurring at the summertime. The yield is less than 5% in the cases of EV71 or EV68 encephalitis.  Detection of enterovirus RNA in nasopharyngeal secretion is quite helpful in acute respiratory infections but the sensitivity tends to be low for most enteroviruses, and clearly does not match that for SARS–COV-2.  The yield of viral RNA in stool and blood samples are quite low, when performed in commercial reference laboratory, which may be related to specimen processing and/or PCR inhibitors, and the quality control has never been carefully monitored by Federal agencies.  There is no commercially available testing for enteroviral RNA in tissue samples.

The point of the book is that enterovirus infections have been with us for centuries, and are still causing major disease morbidity and mortality around the world including the U.S. Canada and United Kingdom. Paralytic diseases have not disappeared since near-total eradication of Polioviruses; and many patients with acute, then followed by chronic diseases such as paralytic disease, myocarditis/dilated cardiomyopathy, myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic gastrointestinal diseases, myositis etc. are not properly diagnosed and still waiting for specific therapies. Many patients continue to suffer and even died, as the young boy did with enterovirus D68 that inspired the writing of this book.

In about 6 months of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple RNA based molecular diagnostic tests became available, clinical trials with specific antiviral drug were completed, mRNA vaccine development was on it’s way, and long Covid syndrome has already been described. As a physician working with patients who suffer with acute and chronic enterovirus infection, we wish our enterovirus experts would do the same for our patients.

Everyone needs to be familiar with human enterovirus infections, and reading this book will be of great help.

John Chia MD



 “Dr. Hyde is one of the most creative and original thinkers on this topic, and his ideas have helped shape the field.” 


Professor Leonard Jason

Leonard A. Jason, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology | DePaul University

Director, Center for Community Research

990 W. Fullerton Ave., Suite 3119

Chicago, Il. 60614


 In ME and The Return of Polio to the USA, Dr. Byron Hyde documents the neglect of an extremely important class of viruses, the enteroviruses, which mutate rapidly and are responsible for over 10 million infections each year in the USA alone.  The author provides convincing evidence that many cases of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) can be traced back to an inciting enteroviral infection.  This book represents a call to action to governments world-wide to start tracking and reporting such infections, to support more research on enteroviruses, and to stimulate production of assays and vaccines. Modern technology would make it a simple matter to identify the particular enterovirus causing an infection, provided samples are sent for testing not long after onset. Furthermore, knowledge gained from the rapid development of mRNA vaccines following the SARS-COV2 pandemic could readily be applied to produce vaccines against enteroviruses were they properly recognized for the danger they pose. 


Maureen Hanson

Professor, Cornell University


A long time has passed since my mentor Dr. Sidney Kibrick MD. PHD., was one of the first physicians to administer the first polio vaccinations in the East Coast of the United States.

 At that time, the number of species in the picornaviridae (enteroviruses) were less than 90, today the number is at least 158. There has been a continuous evolution and new knowledge about these RNA viruses.  Dr. Byron Hyde has dedicated himself to the research and development in this field and has presented his new knowledge in this recent book. He has made the effort to outline the worldwide changes and the clinical cases associated with these viruses and his work emphasizes the need to expand our diagnostic accument beyond polio 1,2 and 3 to other agents of this group.

Dr. Hyde’s book is essential to anyone working in this field.


Dr.  Roger M. Loria, Emeritus Professor

Microbiology, Immunology, Pathology and Emergency Medicine




As we press ever further into the 21st century, the experience of polio and its impact upon the world continues to fade in the memories of communities and governments alike. Hyde is one of the few clinicians remaining who has first-hand experience of the condition, whilst also exploring its many forms throughout the world. In this book he shares the depth and richness of that knowledge, and most significantly explores the connection between the equally enigmatic condition, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - a condition that remains neglected amongst the medical fraternity and governments alike.   Hyde raises questions that few have explored about the role of enteroviruses in ME and more recent conditions. This book is well worth exploring for those who wish to consider the knowledge acquired across a lifetime of practice, research and inquiry in a field where few remain to tell the story.

Geoffrey Hallmann

Chair - ME/CFS Australia


I am a bio-technology professional who has M.E. and has read hundreds of peer review publications over the last 6 years in an effort to understand this debilitating disease. 

Dr. Hyde’s book Understanding M.E. has been the most comprehensive piece of writing I've read on M.E.  It has been a fascinating and at times a shocking eye opener. I wish I could write a 10-page review because this book is ground-breaking, full of evidence and detailed accounts of outbreaks. It is a critical piece of the puzzle of which the majority of researchers are unaware. ME is not this 'mystery' disease of unknown cause. It is a disease that has been mismanaged and misdirected and too often dismissed. I would highly recommend this book to researchers, doctors and ME sufferers and their families.  I hope that this book will eventually find its way into the right people’s hands. With appropriate research ME along with dozens of other enterovirus-caused diseases could be eradicated and treatment could be available to present and future generations.  There would be no need for all this suffering. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Byron Hyde for his resilience and continuing dedication to understanding this misunderstood and complex disease.

Mirei Suzuki, Biotechnologist and Patient, Australia,


 Byron Hyde's extensive experience with severely ill Myalgic Encephalomyelitis patients and his frustration due to health systems with no answers for them or definitely denial, have prompted him to publish both, scientifically supported evidence of damage seen on neuro-SPECT images and the associated human dramas. His patients appreciate him and the open- minded medical world recognizes his effort.


Dr. Sonia Neubauer, Neuro Radiologist

(Associate Professor of the late Dr. Ismael Mena)

Las Condes Hospital

Santiago, Chile