Friday, July 9, 2010

Medical Controversy: A Diagnosis that May Change Medical Research

What would you do if you found out you had a higher chance of maybe getting a certain disease later in life? Most of us would probably learn what we could about the disease, figure out what we could do to decrease our chances of getting it, and then go on with our lives.

People who's families have dispositions for certain diseases don't stop living because of what might happen after all.

But what would you do if you had such an increased chance and you happened to have a lot of money? You'd fund research into the disease. At least that's what I would do.

What if you're not that impressed with how medical research is done? What if you think there are better ways to make progress and discover new information? What if you have enough money to have people do the type of research you want to see?

Welcome to the world of Sergey Brin. Co-founder of Google and a person who might (just might) get Parkinson's.

Wired magazine's article Sergey Brin's Search for a Parkinson's Cure  has a full rundown on what Sergey is trying to do and how he's trying to do it. There are a lot of implications for research into any number of conditions and syndromes. What's interesting to me is that Sergey isn't proposing to throw out mainstream medicine. He's trying to help it along in certain areas and in certain ways. As he says in the article:
"I’m not an expert in biological research. I write a bunch of computer code and it crashes, no big deal. But if you create a drug and it kills people, that’s a different story."
While not replacing the world of medical research as we know it the techniques he's pioneering may be ones that give us faster and deeper insight into connections that are otherwise hard to find. There may be an endless string of new insights and ideas that will be made by the same techniques that helped make Google itself so successful.

I wonder if all of this would have happened if he hadn't been diagnosed with an increased chance of acquiring Parkinson's?

1 comment:

Janet said...

Cool... new approaches would be great. I'm all for being thorough, but medical research seems awfully slow sometimes.