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why i show no interest in esc

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    Of course Kerry is going to win the election. So he has a bump after his convention, so what. Kerry has always surprised everyone. Remember when he was not even on the radar in the primaries? Everyone automatically assumed that Dean was song to win, and then they said Edwards would win? We still have the debates coming up. Everyone knows how those will go. The war in Iraq is still going badly with more and more casualties. The economy is still stalled, etc. Everyone has to keep the faith that America is not dumb enough to elect someone like bush.
    If bush is finally elected, I am not sure if there will be anything left of our country to vote on in 2008. So, to worry about those elections now, is to put the cart before the horse.
    "No mother on either side could say that whatever was won was worth my son"--Steve Mason


      I'm getting sick to my stomach, excuse me for a while!!

      Time to ride not roll
      A good friend is someone who will come to bail you out of jail. A TRUE friend is the guy sitting next to you behind the same set of bars saying, "boy we sure f*cked up this time huh?"


        My .20 cents worth, and I'll let you guys have at it:

        Miami Project has achieved a 70% recovery ratio for acutes W/O ASC or ESC. If it proves functional for chronics, who on this board would turn down 70%. Obviously no one. ASC/ESC may prove more effective (way down) the research road, but we have potential soon W/O them. Why are you wasting energy on ASC/ESC/Bush/Kerry/Captain Kangaroo, etc?

        And the hoopla over clinical trials is an issue primarily in the USA. China has treated HUNDREDS of SCI's and rest assured, this number will climb in the future. And who do you think would be better prepared to administer an effective combo therapy quicker, sooner, & more effectively when it's proven in the lab?


        In the meantime, I "SUGGEST" we be more like Faye, Suzanne, Chris C., etc., etc., that are trying to advocate.

        Ding, Ding, round 2 boys. . . .


          I want Kerry, not a big fan, but better than Bush. But it looks as though Bush is gonna win. People are scared right now, they don't want to seem vulnerable with a administration change in the middle of this Iraq carnage. Also, I realize on the surface this seems foolish and irrelevent, but most people are genuinally drawn to first lady Bush, while Ms. Heinz-Kerry is a big turn-off. I know, I know we are voting for their husbands, not them, but you'd be really, really surprised how much of a factor these seemingly small things are in the end. To say Kerry is going to win right now is simply overlooking the facts. I don't claim to know shit, but the numbers speak for themselves. Any disaster until the election would posibly end up helping Bush for some strange reason.
          Is it just me or are more of you coming across people who are adamantly against esc? 4 years ago obviously the general public knew virtually nothing on this issue, but maybe the majority of this country is turning right, into the belly of compassionate conservatism. Harsh, eh?
          Dr. Young- In all reality whoever is president should not affect sci research, I mean democrat or republican, most of us are suffering big time on a daily basis. I can live with valid hope with no promises, but I cannot continue to follow esc research if my hopes of any kind of recovery are overinflated. Not to be crude or insensitive, but is restoring circuitry after sci the equivilent to making a retarded person or someone with brain damage back to their old selves, or with improved aptitude? If so, we are in for a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo o ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooong journey.

          sherman brayton

          [Sherman, I inserted a space in the word to keep your post from distorting the page.]

          [This message was edited by Wise Young on 09-07-04 at 06:47 AM.]
 didny add enough spaces so i did
          [This message was edited by Kaprikorn1 on 09-07-04 at 12:25 PM.]

          [This message was edited by Kaprikorn1 on 09-07-04 at 12:26 PM.]
          sherman brayton



            I have faith in the American people and democracy. Because the next president of the United States will have an enormous effect on people with spinal cord injury, I have spent an inordinate amount of time watching the campaigns. Their conventions showed clearly the priorities of the two parties. There has never been as stark a difference and choice between two presidential candidates. The race is at a dead heat right now despite the poll numbers. A political pundit pointed out last night on the Jim Lehrer news hour that the 10% "bump" in approval ratings for Bush after the Republican National Convention is the smallest bump for an incumbent president in 35 years and none has been elected after such a small bump. The poll numbers also reminds us that Kerry is an underdog, a not inconsiderable advantage in American politics.

            The disability community is 54 million strong, over a quarter of the American electorate. Their support or anger will make or break a candidate. The disability community needs to speak up, to turn up the heat on both candidates to pay attention to their issues. If the disability community does not speak up now, both candidate will not feel the need to do anything for the community when they become president. Of the two candidates, Kerry has paid more attention to the disability community, addressing the issues that are critical to the disability community: health care, jobs, education, and research. This is the first presidential election where research has become a major issue.

            DA correctly points out that spinal cord injury research has never been a major issue for any president. Nixon initiated the War of Cancer. While Carter was a very compassionate man, he was focussed on hunger and poverty. Reagan made the "evil empire" his highest priority. George Bush senior was the first president who paid attention to the disability community (ADA) but, because he lost, two successive presidencies have all but ignored the disability community. Despite his reputation, Clinton was the most fiscally conservative president and kept tight ropes on the budget, including research and health care. In contrast, Bush is the biggest spender in history but focused it all on combating terrorism. Despite two trillion dollars spent, is America safer and are Americans better off? Although most political analysts believe that the answers to these two questions will determine the outcome of the election, I think that the real spoiler in this fight will be the stem cell issue.

            The stem cell issue has divided the Republican party. The slow pace of stem cell research in this country has literally been a death sentence for millions of people with neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's disease. In the past two months, even our little site has been flooded by people from the ALS community searching for hope. I don't think that President Bush understands the pain or plight of these families. It is his primary weakness. His claim for compassionate conservatism rings false because he has held back stem cell research. The Bush campaign has started focussing on these issues with Laura Bush say that her husband was the first President to support embryonic stem cell research. But, it may be too little too late. Bush has had four years to address this issue and did not. It is sad.



              Originally posted by Wise Young:


              It is unfortunate that you don't believe that our government can do anything for spinal cord injury. The U.S. government supports billions of dollars of research and clinical trials for many diseases and conditions. Why should they not do so for spinal cord injury?

              1) Because we are not a "popular" group
              2) We don't have a "sexy" spokesman
              3) We are too busy fighting amoungst ourselves over what is best treatment avenue to research
              4) We have become TOO politicized as a group
              5) We cannot get half of the community, the general public or doctors to even believe in the possibility of a cure
              6) There is no "profit" in curing SCI
              7) We are at the bottom of the NIH food chain due to all of the above


              "It's not easy being green"
              accept no substitutes


                This thread has caused by old eyes to cross.

                Why doesn't SCI receive as much funding overall then other diseases?
                They are fewer in numbers...and fewer children are effected period IMO.

                Should neuromuscular diseases get a whole lot of money for research..Hell yes.

                Does every rock need turned including ESC...
                of course. If we want to advance nothing really can be excluded.

                Will one type of regenerative treatment CURE
                all? NO. So why shut any doors? The doors are just now opening a crack..
                How much return can be achieved by any of the
                theories being tested by very hard-working..
                dedicated researchers today? We don't really know..and to not give them all we have is disgusting to say the least.

                We need our scientists to study EVERYTHING..
                from ESC to gene turning bad viruses into good viruses.
                To turn this into an unwinnable arguement about which is better...well you are asking for funding for a ONE fits all treatment.

                And we all come to this marvelous forum to learn..and then to try and turn that learning into US laypeople..(which if we don't have
                about 30 years of intense education and experience in the field of neurological research we are just that) to throw stones at a person like Dr. Young..STOP it now before
                the resource is polluted and has to be destroyed.

                Help is on the way.
                Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.


                  The US is gearing up its stem cell effort. I personally don't think we're going to lose leadership in anything.

                  And extremely few Americans recognize the positive changes that have happened under Bush:

                  SUSAN DENTZER: White House officials have met recently with congressional lawmakers from both parties, who want to see changes in the president's policy. As yet, though, no shift has been announced. Election-year politics aside, how much scientific progress really has occurred under President Bush's policy, and what are the scientific arguments for lifting restrictions on the research? A little history helps to illuminate.

                  Since 1996, Congress has voted each year to ban federal funding for research that harms human embryos. So the Clinton administration did not fund embryonic stem-cell research, and early on, President Bush vowed not to as well. But on August 9, 2001, the president surprised many by announcing that federally funded research could go forward under certain circumstances.

                  PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: As a result of private research, more than 60 genetically diverse stem-cell lines already exist. They were created from embryos that have already been destroyed, and they have the ability to regenerate themselves indefinitely, creating ongoing opportunities for research. I have concluded that we should allow federal funds to be used in research on these existing stem-cell lines, where the life- and-death decision has already been made.

                  SUSAN DENTZER: In effect, the president's action created a safe harbor for federally funded embryonic stem-cell research, although a narrow one. Yet even with the policy's limitations, Thompson says, it has allowed science to advance.


                  SUSAN DENTZER: Zerhouni says a key goal was ensuring that scientists got access to all the authorized cell lines. A line is a series of genetically identical stem cells derived from a single embryo.

                  Although the president had cited 60 such lines in his 2001 speech, far fewer turned out to be viable. In fact, for a time in 2002, only one line was available for broad distribution. Zerhouni says the NIH got in touch with stem-cell labs around the world, and offered to help.

                  DR. ELIAS ZERHOUNI: We said, if you're willing to expand those lines and make them widely available, we'll be willing to fund the culture facilities, essentially, and we did. And that's how we went from one line in 2002 to 21, and soon 23.


                  SUSAN DENTZER: Zerhouni says NIH now plans to make things even easier, and much cheaper, by creating a government-funded one-stop shop where researchers could get all 23 authorized lines.

                  DR. ELIAS ZERHOUNI: We've funded about $10 million in 2002, $25 million in 2003 alone, and growing. As we go forward we're making commitments, we're expending the investments. The president has not banned any funding for, in terms of the amount, has not limited the amount of funding that we could dedicate to this area of research.



                  Reading that whole article is a good idea.

                  Harvard and Stanford, in addition to Rutgers/UMDNJ, are gearing up their ESC efforts. Private companies like Reproductive Genetics Institute
                  are generating hundreds of lines. Fetal lines are being developed by Stem Cells, Inc with a view toward clinical application as soon as possible. They're developing neural, liver and pancreas cells or transplantation. Amazing stuff.

                  From the HHS:

                  Private and State Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research is Available

                  The President's policy places no obstacles in the path of private or state funding for stem cell research - researchers are receiving support from both sources, in addition to support from the Federal Government.

                  <LI> Based on 2002 data, one study reports that private sector research and development in stem cells was being conducted by approximately 1000 scientists in over 30 firms. Aggregate spending was estimated at $208 million.1 Geron Corporation alone reported that it spent more than $70 million on stem cell research by September 2003.

                  <LI> In the Stem Cell Business News Guide to Stem Cell Companies (Feb 2003), 61 U.S. and international companies are listed as pursuing some form of research or therapeutic product development involving stem cells. For example, Geron Corp. has announced plans to seek FDA approval to pursue human trials.



                  More interesting [and selective] quotes from a New Atlantis article:


                  In March, Harvard University re­ searcher Douglas Melton announced that, using private funding, his lab had developed 17 new lines of embryonic stem cells, and would make them available at no cost to researchers.


                  Meanwhile, the question of "contamination" by mouse feeder cells seems on the whole to be a red herring. Almost all currently available human embryonic stem cell lines were created with such mouse cells, and the FDA has said that use of these cells would not preclude approval of potential stem cell therapies, were they ever to be submitted to the agency. Perhaps more important, and unacknowledged in the congressional letter, is the fact that a number of the Bush-approved stem cell lines were not created with mouse feeder cells. These lines have so far not been developed at all-they are frozen in an undeveloped form, for use when techniques that do not rely on mouse cells are perfected, and so they are not counted among the 19 available federally approved lines. As NIH director Elias Zerhouni said last fall, "there are at least those, which is about 16 lines, I believe, that have not been exposed to either mouse or human feeder cells."



                  Of course, if CA passes its $3B initiative we can kiss the lost leadership argument goodbye, anyway. The US will zoom way ahead and never look back.


                  My main interest is for a regenerative therapy that doesn't use ASC or ESC, however. If we got funding and really moved then maybe I could become incomplete before I die. The basic science that will create new tomorrows in fifty years is fascinating. And we must pursue it vigorously to preserve the American way of life for our children and grandchildren. But 4-AP took decades and came up empty for SCI. So we also need to push hard for the best cure we can get in the next ten years. Otherwise it's too late for many of us. Like me.

                  Fortunately, combination therapies in animals give hope. Unfortunately, the duration of time from lab to bedside is so freaking vast that some of us will never get a chance.

                  I also wonder if it's going to be a lot harder to replace neurons in gray matter and get them to grow long processes out to innervate muscle than it is to regenerate existing axons. Plus I wonder what will cause replacement neurons to reform or repair a destroyed or damaged central pattern generator. I think we haven't really begun this work in earnest, yet.

                  So... give me the new, improved, humanized version of MP's therapy followed by intense rehabilitation. A few miracles of timing and funding might make it relevant in my lifetime. At C6, and forty years old, I personally don't have my heart set on neuron replacement for myself, though I strongly believe in working on it for others. But oh.... to regenerate large amounts of my spinal cord... and have near full sensation, good bowel, bladder and sexual function... to be able to get around on crutches even... oh man, that would be exquisite.

                  ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~
                  ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~


                    Quote from Jeff:

                    So we also need to push hard for the best cure we can get in the next ten years. Otherwise it's too late for many of us. Like me.

                    Fortunately, combination therapies in animals give hope. Unfortunately, the duration of time from lab to bedside is so freaking vast that some of us will never get a chance.
                    Absolutely. At 40 years of age, I hope you can get around on crutches in your lifetime. I am nearly 48, and I realize there is virtually no chance for me, but I will soldier on till I die for the sake of my children & their children. This SCI stuff has got to end.

                    SCI research from lab to people will take many many years, years some of us don't have.


                      Originally posted by Schmeky:

                      SCI research from lab to people will take many many years, years some of us don't have.
                      With the right money [ie, private funding of labs], it won't take too many more years.

                      ...taking it back, I'm taking it back, taking back my life
            's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.


                        Originally posted by Steven Edwards:

                        With the right money [ie, private funding of labs], it won't take too many more years.
                        exactly... & yes, there really are at least a few organizations out there (that I'm aware of) with the necessary potential to make this happen.


                          Steven & Scott,

                          No, no, no. I have worked pretty hard to advocate & fund raise, I really have. It is far more difficult than I ever imagined. Please tell me where these funds are? We currently have don't have .10 cents for clinical trials in the USA. Sorry to refute you, but you have nothing but conjucture to "stand" on.

                          Please prove me wrong.

                          CRPF can't fund controversial avenues of research (SCNT for example). They are funding acute studies and "quality of life issues"???

                          They gotta tow the politically correct line or risk a decrease in funding.


                            Okay Schmeky, so let's kick CRPF out of the picture. I know of two brewing non-profits on the verge of major funding for clinical trials; however, neither have gone fully public yet.

                            If I were in your shoes, I'd refute my last statement too, but please let time tell & don't discount the idea of something like this happening. The next year should be interesting.


                              I hate to be the otimistic one here but Schmeky at 48 you're not too old to walk normally again, not by a long shot!

                              And Sherman, I don't reckon walking again can be equated to curing a "retarded" person. Cognition has got to be more complicated than walking, which is almost a reflex action. I'm not minimising the comlexity of sci but I believe walking can be restored before repairing brain injury that affects our higher thought processes.

                              Look, if I can be optimistic about this, anyone can!!


                                Originally posted by Chris2:

                                Look, if I can be optimistic about this, anyone can!!