I'm not a vascular person or an MS person, but this story in the Globe and Mail irks me. I read the original news article on Saturday, thought it was interesting and was looking forward to how the MS treatments would eventually change. I will note, that as I read the original newspaper article, I noticed there was no mention of the studying being published. I thought this was odd as normally news stories will make a big splash and state which science/medical journal would be publishing the study. I was impressed with the caution and restraint that the not-for-profit MS Societies were showing.
Now it appears that the MS research focus may change and significant dollars will go into what may or may not be a valid research avenue. I say may or may not because I have no experience with MS research, I know nothing of about the validity of the original paper. I have not read it. I do not know what is the basis of the methodology was, what are the peer reviews saying? How was the recovery defined? How long were patients followed?
What I find interesting is that the MS Society is putting money into this avenue, not because it can answer those questions or because a push by the MS research community but because of hype from a investigate news journal and a newspaper.
I'm all for open access to research; a researcher must be able to example to the lay public what is going on. However, I do believe that science policy needs to remain above public opinion. There is a reason why good policy does not make good politics. Good policy can be a bitter pill to swallow. Which is not to say this guy might not be on to something. He may, but the treatment needs to be well studied, repeated etc.
5 days ago