Skip to main content Deutsch

International webinar on ME/CFS

Department of Primary Care Medicine

International webinar on neurological aspects of ME/CFS

Date: 1st of March 2024

Time: 15.00 - 18.40 pm (CET)/ 9.00 – 12.40 am (ET)

Language: English

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex, chronic illness. The Canadian Consensus Criteria outline specific diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS, emphasizing post-exertional malaise, sleep dysfunction, pain, neurological/cognitive manifestations, as well as autonomic, immunological, and neuro-endocrinological symptoms for a comprehensive assessment of the syndrome. The neurological and autonomic aspects of ME/CFS are crucial because many patients experience significant impairments, including difficulties with memory, concentration, and processing information, suggesting a central, peripheral, and autonomous nervous system involvement. Understanding the neurological underpinnings of ME/CFS is essential for developing targeted treatments. This webinar on ME/CFS's neurological aspects highlights emerging research, fosters an understanding of its complex pathology, and catalyzes advancements in targeted treatments, improving patient care and outcomes in this underexplored field.

This webinar is sponsored by the WE&ME Foundation and organized in cooperation with Dr. Michael Stingl and the ÖG ME/CFS

The webinar was a great success

The webinar was a complete success. 602 participants from 24 countries took part in this important webinar. Many different healthcare professions were represented like nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychotherapists, psychologists, biologists, physicists, patient-organizations and pharmacists. However, the majority were doctors from a wide range of disciplines.

The presentations impressively showed the existing neurological manifestations in ME/CFS, especially with regard to neuroinflammation, small fiber neuropathy and dysautonomia, but also concerning the special approaches that are necessary in rehabilitation and differential diagnosis in psychology and psychiatry. Focus has to be on post-exertional malaise as most specific syndrom.

Knowledge of these physical manifestations such as neuroinflammation, small fiber neuropathy and dysautonomia and a careful differential diagnosis in this regard are imperative in relation to ME/CFS.

Below we show you a few impressions from the webinar. Here is the link to the related on-demand webinar, which is also accredited and where you can look up the contributions:


15.00 – 15.05 pm (CET)/ 9 – 9.05 am (ET): Welcome

Kathryn Hoffmann, Department of Primary Care Medicine, Center for Public Health, MedUni Vienna, Austria

15.05 – 15.25 pm (CET)/ 9.05 – 9.25 am (ET): Introduction into ME/CFS

Michael Stingl, Facharztzentrum Votivpark Vienna, Austria

15.30 – 15.55 pm (CET)/ 9.30 – 9.55 am (ET): Neuroinflammation

Michael VanElzakker, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Tufts University, U.S.

16.00 – 16.25 pm (CET)/ 10.00 – 10.25 am (ET): Rehabilitation

David Putrino, Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, U.S.

16.30 – 16.55 pm (CET)/ 10.30 – 10.55 am (ET): Adapted psychiatric approach to people with ME/CFS

Florian Buchmayer, Department of Psychiatry at the hospital Barmherzige Brüder in Eisenstadt, Austria

17.00 – 17.25 pm (CET)/ 11.00 – 11.25 am (ET): Neuropsychological evaluation

Markus Gole, clinical psychologist and philosopher in his private practice in Linz, Austria, and remote lecturer for Biological Psychology at the University of Applied Science in Hamburg, Germany

17.30 – 17.55 pm (CET)/ 11.30 – 11.55 am (ET): Small-Fiber Neuropathy

Lindsay McAlpine, Department of Neurological Infections and Global Neurology, Yale School of Medicine and NeuroCOVID & Neuro-Infectious Disease Clinic, Boston, U.S.

18.00 – 18.25 pm (CET)/ 12.00 – 12.25 am (ET): Dysautonomia in ME/CFS

Svetlana Blitshteyn, Department of Neurology at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Dysautonomia Clinic, Buffalo, U.S.

18.30 pm (CET)/ 12.30 am (ET): Summary and closing

Kathryn Hoffmann and Michael Stingl


Please register by informal e-mail with your full name and (if you are a physician from Austria) your ÖÄK-number at:

After the registration, you will be sent the WebEx-link for the online webinar (one week before the event and as a reminder the day before again).

Participation at this event is accredited with 3 CME from the Vienna Medical Chamber.


Svetlana Blitshteyn, MD is the Director and Founder of Dysautonomia Clinic in New York. She is the Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and is the Clinical Lead for the Autonomic Section of the long-COVID Collaborative at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Her research focuses are on dysautonomia, hypermobility spectrum disorders, mast cell activation syndrome and post-COVID autonomic dysfunction.

Florian Buchmayer, MD is the head of the Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Department at Barmherzigen Brüder Hospital in Eisenstadt, Austria, and founder of the LEBEN PSYCHE Center in Vienna. He integrates interdisciplinary approaches to mental health. His academic enhancements in psychoanalysis and medical law reflect a dedication to clinical excellence and ethical practice. Dr. Buchmayer's significant research in psychopharmacology and the biological bases of psychiatric disorders underscores his contribution to psychiatric innovation and education.

Markus Gole, PhD, PhD, is a board-certified clinical psychologist and philosopher in his private practice in Linz/Austria, and a remote lecturer for Biological Psychology at the University of Applied Science Hamburg. He is an author of several scientific papers (e.g., philosophy of mind, clinical and health psychology, affective neuroscience) and a book at the intersection between psychology and philosophy. In his clinical work, he is specialized in the (neuro-)psychological evaluation and treatment of post-COVID syndrome and ME/CFS.

Kathryn Hoffmann, MD, MPH is a Professor of Primary Care Medicine, GP and a Public Health scientist. She chairs the Department of Primary Care Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna. As a physician, lecturer, and researcher she is very much involved in the care of patients with post-acute infection syndromes including ME/CFS as well as in related teaching and research.

Dr. Lindsay McAlpine is a neuroimmunologist and an Instructor in Division of Neurological Infections and Global Neurology at the Yale University School of Medicine. She started a NeuroCOVID Clinic at Yale in October 2020 and sees patients with neurologic issues related to Long COVID. She is an investigator in the COVID Mind Study at Yale, and her research interests are related to the pathophysiology of cognitive impairment after COVID-19 using several modalities, including MRI.

David Putrino is a physiotherapist with a PhD in Neuroscience. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, David has been recognized globally as a leading expert in the assessment, treatment and underlying pathophysiology of long-COVID. His team has managed the care of over 3000 people with Long COVID and published multiple peer-reviewed scientific papers on the topic. In 2019, he was named "Global Australian of the Year" for his contributions to healthcare.   

Michael Stingl, MD is a Neurologist and pioneer regarding ME/CFS in Austria. He has plenty of years of experience seeing patients with ME/CFS and now, additionally, post-COVID. He is involved in related studies and publications as well as teaching activities worldwide.

Michael VanElzakker, PhD in an Instructor in the Neurotherapeutics Division of Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Instructor in the Tufts University Psychology Department. He is also co-founder of the nonprofit PolyBio Research Foundation. His research program is focused on neuroimmunology and the long-term consequences from environmental insults.

About the sponsor: WE&ME Foundation

Together we are fighting for those who can’t anymore.

The WE&ME Foundation (formerly TEMPI Foundation) was established in 2020 by the Ströck family and is situated in Vienna, Austria, where the family is renowned for their "Ströck" bakeries, which have delighted generations with their baked goods.

Initially self-funded, the foundation now strives to raise funds and awareness for research to improve the situation for patients and their loved ones.

The Ströck family and the dedicated WE&ME team are committed to funding groundbreaking research that unveils the complexities of ME/CFS, moving closer to effective treatments and a cure. Our unwavering commitment, we hope, is reflected in every initiative we undertake, as we strive to alleviate the burdens imposed by ME/CFS.

About the cooperation partners