Lou Gehrig's Disease - Motor Neuron Disease - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Thought it had been cured by now? Still no known cause. Still no cure. Still quickly fatal. Still outrageous.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Let's Talk About Ebola, Placebos, and ALS

Ebola is dreadful and quickly fatal.  The only "promising" treatments are experimental and yet unproven.

Sound familiar?

There have been a number of articles on the experimental drugs that have been provided for Ebola patients in hopes that something might help.  It bothers the human conscience to hand placebos to these dying people in urgent need of help.  It bothers the human conscience  a lot.

"Experts Question Ethics of Placebo Drug Trials in Case of Ebola" 

"Use of Placebos in Ebola Drug Trials Unethical: Experts" 

"Issues Continue To Dog the Testing of Ebola Drugs and Vaccines"

Why aren't our human consciences bothered by the idea of handing a person with ALS, another  quickly fatal disease with no effective treatment, a placebo?

It's interesting.  What's the difference?  Why is a placebo so clearly an unacceptable tactic to Ebola clinicians and at the same time the "gold standard" of good research to ALS clinicians?

Let's talk.  Seriously, let's talk.  What's the diff?


  1. In Ebola, the goal is to cure the patient whereas ALS research seems rather to look for a single molecule that would increase the lifespan just enough to enable cashing in.

  2. The difference is that Ebola is a known virus and therefore a known TARGET. But the cause of sALS is still a mystery, so what is your TARGET?

    As an MND patient, which experimental drug would you like to try at the moment?