Should we be debating

ProfG and his chums have been in Edinburgh for their Debating Society, whilst we were stuck with the mouse muck.

Not so long ago I was asked if I would like to Debate the Motion that "We should not be funding animal experiments?" 

If you want to debate the merits of animal work there are less aggressive/inflammatory ways of doing it.

Why? You are asking me to judge whether others should be leaving science or moving on.

That the person posing the question was on grant panels and so deciding peoples fates, does not bode well. 

I said they should first approach some mechanistic immunologist who thinks MS is EAE, so they can defend their corner:-). 

This is surely where the debate is at, at the moment. 

Let them hang themselves (or not). However there are a number of people that voice this opinion...They are generally medics, but not always.

In the interests of balance I suggested that they should then run the feature on: 

"We should not be funding further imaging studies" 

"We should not be funding academic-led clinical trials" 

If we did this as a burining debate ast ECTRIMS, it would end up as a love-in.  Fund it all

Indeed these aspects are things that you have been asked to fund, especially as in many cases you want the trials to be undertaken.

Sure imaging has been also been instrumental in developing diagnostic measures, but has it really shown us the structural biology that we want?

At the population level, we have had prognostic features reported left, right and centre, but at the individual level they seem to mean nothing from a predictive stand point. I cringe at an r=0.05.

Don't understand r.  click below

Imaging has generally failed to match to the pathology and it misses alot because it lacks resolution. 

A good example of this would be the fact that MRIers and the pathologists missed grey matter lesions for years. 

How can the animal models model when they are being told duff info in the first place :-(

Am I going to debate this....No

I'll let others do it.

Characterizing Clinical and MRI Dissociation in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Healy BC, Buckle GJ, Ali EN, Egorova S, Khalid F, Tauhid S, Glanz BI, Chitnis T, Guttmann CR, Weiner HL, Bakshi R. J Neuroimaging. 2017 Mar 6. doi: 10.1111/jon.12433. [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Two common approaches for measuring disease severity in multiple sclerosis (MS) are the clinical exam and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Although most patients show similar disease severity on both measures, some patients have clinical/MRI dissociation.
METHODS: Subjects from a comprehensive care MS center who had a concurrent brain MRI, spinal cord MRI, clinical examination, and patient reported outcomes were classified into three groups based on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and cerebral T2 hyperintense lesion volume (T2LV). The first group was the low lesion load/high disability group (LL/HD) with T2LV < 2 ml and EDSS ≥ 3. The second group was the high lesion load/low disability group (HL/LD) with T2LV > 6 ml and EDSS ≤ 1.5. All remaining subjects were classified as not dissociated. The three groups were compared using regression techniques for unadjusted analyses and to adjust for age, disease duration, and gender.
RESULTS: Twenty-two subjects were classified as LL/HD (4.1%; 95% CI: 2.6%, 6.2%), and 50 subjects were classified as HL/LD (9.4%; 95% CI: 7.0%, 12.2%). Subjects in the LL/HD group were more likely to have a progressive form of MS and had significantly lower physical quality of life in adjusted and unadjusted analysis. Subjects in HL/LD had significantly more gadolinium-enhancing lesions, and subjects in the LL/HD group had significantly more cervical spinal cord lesions.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that dissociation may occur between physical disability and cerebral lesion volume in either direction in patients with MS. Type of MS, brain atrophy, and spinal cord lesions may help to bridge this dissociation.

So a dissociation between clinical and imaging. Is the imaging fit for purpose?

What do you think?