Ensuring safety first
So, these effects of minocycline were known. But an important factor in the proliferation of a medication is whether or not it is safe for the intended recipients. Is the healing effect more than the potential negative side effects?
After all, minocycline is not known as a side-effect-free medication.
That is why the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Research Foundation teamed up together to investigate the topic. Minocycline showed promise, but a medication needs more than promise to make it to market.
Researchers at the University of Calgary and the Cummings School of Medicine's Hotchkiss Brain Institute, led by Dr. Luanne Metz and Wee Yong, PhD, stood on the shoulders of them who have gone before and performed a study to establish whether or not minocycline was both safe and effective in treating early multiple sclerosis.
Oftentimes, the hardest part of scientific research is securing funding. In this case the community stepped in, most notably in the form of Hank and Carol Swartout.
Though the Swartouts have been donating funds to researchers at the Cummings School of Medicine's Hotchkiss Brain Institute for over a decade, they still like to meet and talk with the researchers first. If you are going to donate money, it is good to make sure it is going to a worthy cause.
They found such a cause in the minds of Dr. Luanne Metz and Wee Yong, PhD. Hank and Carol Swartout have a large amount of money, but they know how to apply it properly.
“The doctors give their life to this, and medical research is often a thankless job taking time and sometimes without the results you want. The little that we give back is nothing compared to what researchers commit to,” said Hank Swartout.