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It’s good to see Alberta universities investigating ‘liberation therapy’

Not just ivory towers, universities are doing work that will give important answers to thousands


 

The Alberta government’s decision to have provincial universities study the so-called “liberation therapy” for multiple sclerosisis is a good step forward for public health and a good example of the important role that universities play in the community.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government announced a similar study a couple of weeks ago.

Canada has one of the highest MS rates in the world and this treatment has attracted a lot of interest. So much in fact that New Brunswick has announced plans to fund treatments in other countries.

But there are still many unanswered questions. The treatment has not been subject to serious study and while there are many anecdotal success stories there have also been reports of serious side effects, including death.

The studies in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador are not clinical trials but they are a first step. Over the summer, expert advisers to the federal government said that clinical trials would be premature.

But Canadians are still leaving the country to receive this treatment and it’s important for people suffering from MS to have answers about it so they can make informed decisions and, if it is as successful as has been claimed, be treated in Canada. It’s also important for Canadian doctors to be aware of the side effects, in order to treat them, whether this treatment gains approval or not.

Many people, both inside and outside of academia, tend to think of universities as detached ivory towers, so it’s good to see universities doing work that has the potential to directly improve the lives of many Canadians and, at the very least, will give them piece of mind.


 

It’s good to see Alberta universities investigating ‘liberation therapy’

  1. This ‘research’ is wasteful and will only fuel interest in what is an obviously dangerous treatment with no scientific basis. Anyone can invent a crackpot treatment for any disease and, just by coincidence, some people will get better after they try it.

  2. This is not wasteful research. As an MS sufferer, I’ve been very interested in this procedure and have heard many stories, some with good results, some without. It does seems to have a lot of success with some people and I for one welcome further research.

  3. Some seem to haven reached conclusions, and glibly “dis” new or different ideas without offering some foundation for their comments. If the “liberation” treatment offers some relief from the symptoms of MS, I for one, am quite willing to arrive at an evidence-based decision.

    To this point, the “accepted” treatments & drugs have offered me close to nothing that helps manage the downhill slide of symptoms after 15+ years of dealing with MS. Doing the “same old” seems to produce the “same old”. Time to look seriously at different methods to , hopefully, achieve “different” and better results.

    To disparage research because it is supposedly “wasteful” seems rather ill-thought and foolish.

  4. There is no evidence much less a plausible mechanism by which the so-called liberation treatment affects MS-related symptoms. Anecdotal reports of instant effects on the operating table are particularly suggestive of a strong confirmation bias/placebo effect. MS is a demyelinating disease and it is simply not possible to achieve instant reversal of nerve damage. Likewise, it is debatable whether so-called CCSVI is any kind of real pathology, and if so whether it has any relationship to MS.

    Having said that, appropriately run trials and studies are probably necessary at this point to ensure that more MS patients do not get taken advantage of by unscrupulous medical tourism operators.

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