It seems that every week we 're hearing about some new drug, some new study, or some new regimen that is going to change how we deal with MS. It's overwhelming. 10 years ago when I was diagnosed there were only a handful of treatments and I could list them all and tell you how they worked. Currently there are around 30 drugs or treatment regimes being used. And that doesn't include the countless drugs and therapies still in the research process.
So it's no surprise that people will say to me, and probably you, "I thought they had found a treatment" or "I thought they found a cure".
In discussing this with my neuro last week, he suggested not to try to focus on all the research still in the early stage (that's a full time job), but instead focus on what's available. And ignore the press releases about "new treatments possible" based on testing on flatworms or some such thing. The press releases to pay attention to are the ones that say "New treatment for MS now available".
Good advice if you are one to get your hopes up at the slightest provocation.
It takes years for a treatment or drug to reach the population that needs it; years of study, and testing, and development, especially for a disease such as MS. It's not like a bacterial infection that once treated, goes away fairly quickly. It has to be followed for years to determine progression or remission. That's why it seems so slow to us. It IS slow. But slow and steady wins the race.
Picture credit: Photo taken by Erin
Tortoise and Hare by Nancy Schon; Copley Square; Bronze on brick; May 19, 1993