Patching, Regulation, Trial and Error

Via USNews, an example of the not-so-great methodology of medicine that presently dominates: trial and error over understanding mechanisms; attempting to patch over damage and slow progression of diseases rather than aiming at root causes to repair and reverse them; taking these less effective paths because regulation makes the more effective paths much more expensive. "Researchers are for the first time testing to see if creatine, a nutritional supplement popular with weightlifters, might hold Parkinson's at bay. Creatine works by increasing the body's levels of phosphocreatine, which serves as an energy source for muscle and brain. In Parkinson's, nerve cells in the brain are damaged and eventually die. 'We're not entirely sure what the reason is for the cell death. One reason might be that the cells run down; they lose energy. Creatine feeds into the little power plants, the mitochondria, that provide energy for the cell. ... Creatine is one of several over-the-counter supplements being investigated as a Parkinson's treatment.' There you have it - unambitious, of only minor benefit even if successful, yet forging ahead. An example in miniature of everything that is wrong with medical research and development today.


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