Two north east universities have been awarded a grant to conduct new research into the condition ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, along with Sheffield University, have been given £61,000 by the charity Action for M.E for three pilot projects.
Researchers at Newcastle have been awarded more than £25,000 for a study looking at muscle dysfunction in ME. The team, led by Dr Phil Manning and Prof Julia Newton, also hope to develop a drug pre-testing system.
Prof Newton said: "This funding will allow us to more fully understand the muscle abnormalities that occur in people with ME and begin to develop treatments to reverse the abnormalities that we have already seen in our muscle MRI studies."
Northumbria University have been given £11,550 to research sleep patterns of people with ME.
Dr Jason Ellis, said: "Until now no one has studied the relationship between sleep and daytime fatigue from the patient's own perspective."
He added: "This is an exciting opportunity to examine sleep from several angle with our overall aim being to improve our understanding and treatment of this condition."
Symptoms of ME include muscle pain, sleep disturbance, and exhaustion. The illness affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK.
Action for M.E is the country's leading charity for people with ME and their carers.