Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lindsey Kuglin's opinion from the Walkerton Herald-Times

Feds abandon MS sufferers in Canada

By Lindsey Kuglin
writing for the Walkerton Herald-Times

It’s horrifying to watch a young and healthy person deteriorate so rapidly, that person is like an old and frail version of themselves in a matter of months.
Those who know someone with multiple sclerosis are very familiar with this disturbing picture.
Researchers don’t know why, or how the debilitating disease attacks. After 200 years they still don’t know what it is.
News out of the federal health ministry last week says to those of us waiting for a cure that they don’t want to find out.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced last Wednesday that they won’t fund a promising clinical trial for the so-called “liberation therapy.”
That’s a pretty hard pill to swallow for those affected by the disease.
She said that the therapy, which involves angioplasty of veins in the neck, is too risky because it’s based on an unproven theory.
So prove it.
Why, when Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis IN?THE?WORLD, are we not the ones to hold clinical trials? Why are we relying on someone else to find the cure?
An Italian physician, Paulo Zamboni, has put forward the theory that blocked veins in the neck or spine cause iron to build up in the brain, and he says that’s the cause of MS. He proposes to open the veins by inflating small balloons in them as a treatment.
Canadian Head Research Institute Dr. Alain Beaudet said that the procedure is too risky to try on Canadians. So Canadians are trying it themselves.
Many of our desperate citizens are going overseas and spending thousands of dollars for liberation therapy.
In a country, as rich as we are, and given that we have 55,000-75,000 people living with MS, there should be no reason that they’re going to India for the treatment.
Here in Canada, MS is treated with a course of daily medication that, according to my brother-in-law living with MS, costs about $1,500 a month. And those drugs just ease the symptoms, they don’t fully treat them.?But under the drug haze, the symptoms are still there.
My brother-in-law is 32 years old, and he can’t walk the couple blocks to the store. He falls down a lot, and somehow, he’s able to laugh it off, but it’s not funny at all.
How discouraging it must be to not be able control your body, and then when something comes along that might help, to be shut out. But Aglukkaq hasn’t had the last word. MS?patients are going to rally on Parliament Hill on Sept. 22 to try again.
In other news, a cure for a bleeding heart has been found, and the feds were the first in line for it.
Photo courtesy of Danial Neil

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