Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Panacea

The dream: to be able to replace all the whole
drug cocktail with one effective treatment.
A panacea is a treatment that will cure all ills - and if you believe some of the tweets I've been sent lately, you'd believe that one has actually been found. It's low-dose naltrexone.

Naltrexone's a drug which is used to treat drug addiction - it reduces the affect of opiates on the brain.

But there's also been some initial research that suggests that it low doses, it might be able to one day be used to treat other conditions.

Now, here's the kicker, this research is at its most early, basic stage. Science is about setting a theory and testing it, and retesting it, and retesting it, constantly trying to prove it wrong. Only when numerous tests have achieved the same result does the theory then become adopted as something that can be used for practical purposes.

Early tests for some things have proved positive. But one has to say that running a trial on a single lymphoma patient is hardly evidence that it will cure all lymphoma everywhere. Nor does a positive result for a small group of fibromyalgia patients mean that this is the idea treatment for everyone with autoimmune disease.

Claims have been made that LDN can be used to treat all autoimmune disease (where the immune system is over-active), through to AIDS/HIV (where the immune system is deficient), along with multiple kinds of cancer and numerous other conditions, even autism and Asperger's.

These are all off-label treatments, that is they are non-approved uses for the drug. As in not approved anywhere. (It's not like a drug being not approved in one country while it has been widely approved overseas.)

It would be wonderful to believe in a panacea - in a single drug that could cure everything. But so far, that is a long way from being found. As for LDN, some of the early research looks promising for some conditions. Let's hope it continues.




References:
Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology news.
LDN Science Clinical Trials
Science-Based Medicine
Wikipaedia

(OK I read a lot wider - but these are a good starting point if you want to read both sides of the argument for yourself.)

1 comment:

  1. Please attempt to do your research before you dismiss treatments that are not only harmless, but could be life altering for those who benefit. No, I don't believe LDN is a "panacea", but it does have many cases on file ( go to an LDN site), and has been used for about 30 years in low dose form, not a single case as you suggest. Close minded people like you are of no benefit whatsoever to a world in need of help and answers. Open your mind and research, don't assume you have all the answers.

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