April 30, 2010

THANK you, small furry rodents....

You've got to love the tiny research creatures that toil in labs and create the medications we people with MS need.  I've loved a few little hammies (and even a mouse or two) in my life, but I am gaining an even warmer feeling for the little varmints as I hear about their toils in MS treatment.
Tysabri, a relatively new disease modifying drug, has had great success in slowing progression with only that teensy little risk of brain infection - it comes from mouse cells called monoclonal antibodies.
Avonex, the interferon I was thinking I'd be switched to, is from the cute little fellows shown above - dwarf hamsters. I though it was more than appropriate given that I'd nursed a sweet sweet dwarf hamster for 3 plus years with my daughter - she developed a tumour and I kept it under control with my nursing skills...I thought it would be somewhat serendipitous if they helped me back now.
The Copaxone I'm on now is a chemical derivative, no rodents involved, although I'm sure they were involved in the research for its development.
Now I know a lot of you probably are worried about our little furry friends living out their lives in labs, but I've got to tell you, it isn't a bad life. You get fed, you get to reproduce like...ahem...mice, and though your life is short, it isn't appreciably shorter than a natural life, where, face it, you are food for the rest of the food chain. Death is quick and a lot less brutal than being chewed.
But every now and then it seems appropriate to say a quiet huzzah for these wee workhorses of the research industry. So three cheers, tiny four-footed ones!  Thanks for your endless service and wishes for lots of crunchy seeds and veggies and a good hot date.

1 comment:

Travelogue for the Universe said...

This one really has my mind turning.I am on Combi Rx study which is hamster (they never told me that...)or placebo and magical mysterious Israeli concoction of amino acids or placebo. They poke and prod me and test my dexterity, math skills, blood, MRI etc. How close I feel to that furry little mammal.Mary