Guest Post- Animal Studies Enough Already
In response to Yesterday's Post
The Wheelchair Kamikaze
Sunday, May 13, 2018 12:10:00 am
Enough with the mouse studies, already! In the 15 years since my diagnosis, I've read countless research reports involving EAE and other mouse models of multiple sclerosis. Only an infinitesimal amount of these reports have ever proven to have any real relevance to the human MS population.
The simple fact is this: mice don't get ms. You can inject them with myelin or other toxins and achieve something that kind of sort of looks like MS, but it's not ms. Then, it seems as if staring intently at the mice long enough or breathing on them shows some kind of benefit. Honestly, it's almost come to that level of ridiculousness.
We must come up with better models of the disease to work on. The amount of time and money wasted on mouse studies is – given the the enormity of the impact of MS on those humans it attacks – obscene.
Really, it's time to rethink our entire approach to MS research. Thus far the best we've come up with are treatments that profoundly suppress parts of the intricate human immune system, the long-term effects of which are a complete unknown. And these treatments do absolutely nothing towards effecting a cure.
Given modern laboratory techniques, the rapid advances in computational power, the emergence of AI, and the vast body of knowledge accumulated by ms researchers and clinicians, one would think a coordinated, concerted effort to finally identify the cause or causes of the disease might finally bear fruit. Time spent fixated on mice with induced conditions that sort of resemble MS is, at this point, time wasted. And those of us forced to watch ourselves disappear by inches don't have that time to waste.
Patients should be rising up against the status quo, but unfortunately most are too busy just trying to get through the day with some modicum of functionality and dignity left intact. MS has gone from medical backwater to one of the most profitable areas of medical practice in the last two decades. It's high time to cure the damn thing and send it back from whence it came. We now have the technology and basic understandings of the mechanisms to get this done, given the will. Coming up with an effective anti-EBV treatment would be a great first step…"
This was a comment made yesterday and is an opinion I am sure many people hold. Likewise, many neuros think the same. However, basic science is the basis of where treatments come from.
I was at a recent meeting about finding treatments, which may involve a bit of screening in animals and a very eminent scientist said (Paraphrased) I'm not going to do that as I'm not interested. All I am interested in doing is looking at mechanisms of biology.
However they are very happy to take money from disease-related charities.
What you do think?
The science publishing system has created a "mechanism is all mentaility" and disease can simply be a vehicle to get research support.
However times are changing and it is increasingly difficult to get funding for animal studies. H
owever, without knowledge, we will continue to shoot in the dark.