Question Time


Well that is it for this round of Question Time this time round. Maybe we will do another one. 

We have to thank the panel for being brave enough to put their neck out and a special thanks for Doctor Ruth, Sir Jeremy and Ila for pitching up at short notice. 

We also give special thanks to Vasilis Vasilopoulous for having the guts to participate. He did so, not knowing what we were really up or what was in store for him or his answers. We hope he feels that we were civil and gave him fair opportunities to say what he wanted. 

Although this was not discussed, I think it was appropriate that we did not question this views at the time, especially as he would not be able to defend them

Question 1. Are citizen petition challenges (to the FDA) by companies in the best interest of MSers? (Q. Posted 23rd Jan 2013). Did you miss it? click here.

VV Response. “There is no way to predict. It depends on the details of each case. It might save them from a potentially dangerous drug, but it might also prohibit access to a cheap drug. In any case, it’s rather disturbing to know that MSsers are being used as a weapon in the competition between companies.”

Team G reposte. None we are singing from roughly the same hymn sheet. Maybe we need a pharma person on the panel next time.

Question 2.What causes liberation therapy to work for some and not for others (Q.posted 4th December 2012) and should we be researching this in the UK? (Q.posted 23rd Nov. 2012). Did you miss it? Click here.

VV Response. “Reasons for poor or negative outcome: Underdiagnosis (undetected venous malformations), wrong kind of treatment (undersized balloons, insufficient pressure), unhealthy veins, prone to restenosis, rapture or thrombosis (probably related to disease duration)”.

Team G reposte. Although I think that VV and Prof G would be having a disagreement about the reality of the condition. Maybe some thought could have been given to the response and placebo effects and neuros verses MSers views on treatments. The value of the trials could have been discussed. Shame about the trollers who curtail and form of sensible discussion on this subject

Question 3.Why bother with drug approvals? Can’t you simply prescribe drugs (Simvastatin) to people with progressive MS (Q.posted 14th December 2012) (once small scale trials suggest an effect?). Did you miss it? Click here.

VV Response. VV Response. “Drugs can be dangerous, and cost money. This question is posed because expensive drugs of limited efficacy and great danger can get approved in absence of any other treatment. There should be a redefinition of safety and efficacy respecting common sense, ie most MSsers should see clear improvement or symptomatic relief from a candidate drug. It is clear that raising the expectations would send most drugs out of the market, but at the same time stir more research. Of course, if a drug has been around for some time, has been proven literally safe and is cheap, it should be prescribed freely without the need of new trials”.

Team G reposte. On this latter point I think Sir Jeremy would disagree, who maintains we need to show efficacy. Prof G thinks we need the Big pharma alternative and ensure we have the capacity to licence drugs before doing these studies.

Question 4.When I was diagnosed 10 years ago, stem cells therapies were talked about as offering a potential cure for MS. The hype has died down and I don’t see much mention of repair in MS research. Is there much research looking at repair, not just to myelin, but to lost nerves? (Q posted 23rd Nov.2012). Did you miss it? Click here,

VV Response. “Repair is science-fiction. Millions of car accident victims need it as much as MSsers. Talking about repair in MS, without knowledge of the cause is fighting windmills with your mind”.
Team G reposte. Mouse Doc and VV may have a similar view to the former at the moment and VV has a similar view to prof G on the latter. However, Sir Jeremy thinks we have come a long way without knowing the cause. 

Question 5. Is a vitamin D deficit a cause or an effect of MS? (Q posted 4 December 2012). Did you miss it? Click here.

VV Response “The effect of chronic inflammation. The elephant in the room”.

Team G reposte. DoctorRuth may have been gagging for a fight

Question 6.”Is the use of a low fat diet,meditation and exercise important in improving the prognosis of MS? (Q Posted 4th Dec. 2012).Did you miss it? Click here

VV Response. “Exercise can at times make things worse, meditation might offer some symptomatic relief, low fat diet is the most promising approach”.

Team G reposte. There would be a healthy debate here, with abit of agreement, some disagreement and some head scratching hoping for information to answer the question

Question 7.Will there be a cure for ms within the next 5-10 years? (Q.posted 29th Dec. 2012). Did you miss it? Click here 
VV Response “MS can only be sufficiently treated in early patients. Permanent damage can not be reversed. Fortunately, MS can be treated now. Unfortunately, patients who choose to face their real problem have no support from neurologists or the health system. What is more they have to become researchers themselves”.
Team G reposte. Would agree with VVs early thoughts and some think we may have the cure already, with the experiment ongoing. Others are more cautious, lets hope there are wrong and lets hope the future brings a reversal of the damage, there is a lot of effort doing on in that direction.

There were a number of other questions that we did not have time to discuss, maybe we can do some of them. None of the panel except Prof B have seen VVs answers.

The Talks to Start Soon

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  • Hi, it would be very helpful if you could include some background on just who Vasilis Vasilopoulous is. A Google search for his name + multiple sclerosis simply turns up different versions of this same Q&A so it's hard to get a sense for who he is.. it's also sortof weird to begin this post with what seems like the conclusion. 🙂


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