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Location: Fort Myers, Florida, United States

People tell me that my sarcasm and cynicism will get me into trouble some day. We'll see.

Friday, August 01, 2008

What About Me?

New studies in stem cell research can turn skin cells into nerve cells.

Yeah, that's what I need. My skin thinking for itself.

My concern is the costs of such research versus the number of patients affected. From the text of one article:

Around the world, one or two people per 100,000 develop ALS each year, which is marked by a wasting away of certain spinal cord nerve cells called motor neurons. The single-gene form of ALS studied by (the researcher's) team affects only about 2% of ALS sufferers, while the vast majority of ALS cases are sporadic.

There are about 300 million people in the US. That means about 300-600 Americans are afflicted with ALS each year. If the form of ALS the team studied affects only two percent of those people, that's 6-12 people a year. Six to twelve people. Out of three hundred million.

And people wonder why health care is so expensive for the rest of us. Who do you think pays for all this research? You and I, as patients, that's who. My question then for all these researchers is, Why don't you invest in studies to help a greater majority of people affected with my condition: Lack of motivation to channel the effort I expend in blogging towards more productive endeavors like exercise.

Oh, and if the statistics in the above study were not enough, here's more:

But the current technique of inserting genes with viruses has potential cancerous side effects, making transplanting these cells into humans too risky.

Maybe after the hundred million dollars on helping those six people are spent, they can spend a few more million to take care of the side effects.


Anonymous phantasmix said...

Ah, I'm having to roll my eyes so often lately. I suppose people have to keep busy doing something :)

And also, what if they did a market research study and found out that people afflicted with ALS are wealthy? It may very well be worth it ($) to develop a drug or a cure for it.

I don't think you're paying for these meaningless studies. Everyone's just greedy in the industry in the U.S.

In Europe only people who are truly made to be doctors become them, because they're compensated on a normal scale. Here it seems if you want to be rich, become a doctor or a lawyer, even if you hate your patients/clients.

Sorry if i'm generalizing and offending.

Saturday, August 02, 2008 7:04:00 PM  
Blogger The Sarcasticynic said...

Generalizing? Perhaps a bit. Offending, not to me.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 11:19:00 AM  

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