In the very first part of Chapter Three called A Bucket of Cold water, Richard Harris gives a quick background and explanation on what exactly Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is, or what’s better known as ALS. In 2014 the Ice Bucket. Challenge was created to educate the public about the unfortunate truth of ALS. Not only did this challenge educate people, but it also raised 100 million dollars, to help research and fight ALS. I was surprised at how many people were unaware about the conditions of ALS. I thought I knew how bad ALS was until I read A Bucket of Cold Water; throughout reading this chapter I have come to the realization that Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is much much worse than lots of people, myself included think.
“They discovered that the original animal studies to test these drugs were deeply flawed.” (Ch.3, Pg.55) After reading this quote I realized how much incorrect information was being passed along in the Biomedical Industry. This quote really got me thinking about how much time and money is wasted on testing incorrect information. In the ALS field it’s hard to find places to be sponsored by because most scientists rely on individual donors. These individual donors tend to be people who have been diagnosed themselves, or have had family members diagnosed with ALS. The problem is that ALS is that once a person is diagnosed at they only have three to five years to live. Which means that they are constantly losing donors, and looking for new ways to get funding for more experiments.
“Of course a poorly designed study is simply a waste of time.” (Ch.3, Pg.57) I completely agree with this because if you aren’t designing a strong study that is correct. All it will do is cause damage and confusion, because you are sending incorrect information out into the world. By doing this it can also cause chaos, and make a mess that is extremely hard to clean up. Such as the mess that is currently trying to be fixed in the biomedical field right now. For example Eric Hoffman, was so outraged at Peter Law because he was giving false hope and information to desperate families in need. And he was also administering medicine to patients despite the fact that there was very little information to back it up. Because Peter and his colleague Kanneboyina Nagaraju (also known as “Raju”), were so upset with the mistakes made in ALS research. Peter raised money so that Raju could organize an international meeting to create a consistent standard for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis field.
Kerissa, I really liked the featured image you used because it went well with your blog post’s title and the prevalent topic of money being wasted. I thought that I had a general understanding of how money was used for research purposes and that more serious conditions received more research funds. But, your blog post really helped me see how that wasn’t the case. From your post, I also began to understand how serious ALS is and how research for this baleful disease doesn’t get as much money as it needs. Your post also did a great job of explaining how some people are trying to direct medical funds to ALS medicine/study fields. In addition, I enjoyed how you put your personal opinion and sited your quotes from the chapter.