The war on descriptions, should we rage the same war on the the Animal experimentalists


ProfG has been talking about the nomenclature surrounding MS, because it matters in what can be done for people with MS.

You may view him like “Atlas” with the Weight of the MS World on his shoulders. However, with all the running he has been doing, he has turned into “Stick-boy” and the weight of MS is crushing him as he gains a few bruises from dealing with the establishment. However, it is not the rock on the shoulder, it is the rock going up the hill.

WheelChair Kamikazee says this “Prof G, you’ve made all of the points in the above post many times before, and I agree with all of them. However, on each and every point you are fighting against an entrenched MS status quo, which will fight tooth and nail your efforts to upend it. Unfortunately, you may be taking on the role of Sisyphus”.

Sisyphus is a figure from Greek mythology when Zeus dealt him the eternal punishment of forever rolling a boulder up a hill in the depths of Hades.

Sisyphus by JokerMax | 3D | CGSociety

In my mind we are having a nomeculature issue within the animal world too.

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyeltitis was the tool used to show ways in which lesions relevant to relapsing MS were being generated. However, as progressive MS became the unmet need, the nomenclature, but not the science, has changed and it now called a model of Progressive MS. Experiments now are all about “stopping progression”. Nothing else in the design has changed..just the words and the intent

Should I too go on a crusade to change this to say “This terminology is b***l***s”, but like the Sisyphus I will be fighting a loosing battle. Because the EAEers are not going to change. You can tey to lead them to water but you can’t make them drink

The EAEers show us that X, Y and Z stop or have a small effect on EAE and that is enough for progressive MS. It may be, but in the very same paradigmns they have previously shown us that inhibitors of CD4 Th17 cells do the same thing. However, these latter targets don’t work in non-active progressive MS, you can argue they donn’t work in MS at all but that’s another battle, so will the new “Cure of the Week” work or not? You have to ask….is the model used in a way that reflects the intended application in progressive MS. Likewise, you can ask “Have the neuros tried the agent in MS, in the way it was shown to work in EAE”. Because you want the animal work to offer some value towards MS treatment

Should we be concerned about changing the label of progressive EAE…I have a fair idea if it should be called “SH1 Science” or not, but it is not a crusade I can be bothered to waste my time on. Don’t be fooled by a few descriptive words, otherwise you are pinning you hopes on “Hot Air”.

About the author



  • Maybe because mice are relatively cheap to buy for lab experiments is easier to rename than change. I read somewhere that common marmoset is a better model of MS as they have a similar immune system to ours and they develop MS like disease after viral infection. Is common marmoset a good model also for progression? In that case one would have a better model and not a renamed one.

    As you don’t think EAErs won’t change their mind, what are or would be the models you work with?

    • All mouse models have a progressive element, it is simply the way people use them that is the problem. They take the easy option. However, I fear most EAEers have convinced themselves that they are studing a progressive featureare not that bothered about the progression in people

  • Pre-clinical models often don’t translate to success in humans. The EAE model has been brought into question many times but what are the alternatives? Genuine question, I just don’t know.

    • You can do it in a more appropirate way…sadly I think there is an ABC training of “this is what you do” and you follow it because if you dont you are dead meat with the powers that be. There is gold dust in what is shown but it is not really possible to rease it out becuase of an ambiguous experiment

  • I think that Prof G’s task is more similar to Magellan. Even after his time there are luddites who insist that the world is flat, despite all the evidence to the contrary. His metaphorical circumnavigation of the world has yet to be enacted.

  • MD – Your post today makes me a bit sad. We need individuals like you and Prof. G to challenge the status quo, fight the fight we PwMS lack the access and resources to fight. I like to think you and Prof. G are more akin to Allied Generals on D-Day and the MS establishment represents the beaches at Normandy. You have all of us soldiers ready to follow you into these battles.

By MouseDoctor



Recent Posts

Recent Comments