an old drug
a controversial treatment
successful across a range of diseases linked
by immune system dysfunction
YOU won't hear of it, and YOU won't be offered it
On October 19th, patients, physicians and researchers alike will convene at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, for the Fifth Annual Conference on Low Dose Naltrexone.
October 19th will also kick off the First International LDN Awareness Week – a concerted push to get the word out through the media, about thousands of patients with autoimmune diseases who are benefitting from the off-label use of one inexpensive generic drug protocol, low dose naltrexone (commonly referred to as LDN).
It is estimated that thousands of patients worldwide are now enjoying improved health due to LDN. Most learn about it through a combination of word of mouth, success stories, internet research, online forums, and an ever-growing number of doctors who are prescribing it for their patients with autoimmune diseases.
The LDN protocol employs approximately 1/10 the dose of naltrexone, a drug that was approved in 1984 by the FDA to treat alcoholism and drug addiction. Today, thanks to the work of patient advocates, dedicated physicians and researchers, thousands of patients are taking LDN to successfully halt the progression of diseases that are compromised by an impaired immune system, such as Multiple Sclerosis, HIV, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Lupus and Fibromyalgia.
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is literally changing their lives.
“Before I started taking LDN in 2003, I was an invalid,” says Linda Elsegood, one of the founders of the LDN Research Trust, a non-profit charity in England, which was formed in 2004 to raise both awareness of and research for LDN. “I had just about every symptom of Multiple Sclerosis that a person
Vicki Finlayson, of Auburn, California, tells a story of a life that was filled with 9 years of side-effect-laden medications approved by the FDA for MS. “I was on just about every one of these medications,” she says, “and often, I was on several at one time – along with medications for the pain. Yet, my MS was getting progressively worse, until I was virtually bedridden.” Happily, in 2005, she found LDN, and she hasn’t looked back. “I felt improvement in two days,” she says. She is now back to normal, and all of her symptoms are gone. In fact, in May, 2008, she walked 53 miles to the State Capitol Building in Sacramento to meet with state officials to raise awareness about LDN. She will be back on the Capitol steps this October 21st, as part of the ongoing effort to educate the public, doctors and government officials about the importance of this inexpensive, effective, patient-driven treatment. “LDN gave me my life back. I feel that it’s very important to spread the word about it.” Because low dose naltrexone treatment represents an inexpensive, off-label use for a drug approved long ago by the FDA, pharmaceutical companies -- who carry out most of today’s research on medications -- aren't much interested in funding research on LDN.
But the incredible thing is that hundreds of patients – and several doctors, too – who have experienced remarkable results in themselves and in their patients, are conducting research and raising money and awareness on their own. In fact, one group of patients in the US raised enough money to help fund a successful trial at the University of California in San Francisco, and there are now trials being conducted in Mali, Africa, as well as in Milan, Italy.
In addition, Dr. Ian Zagon and his colleagues at Penn State are doing both animal and human trials for several disorders, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and various cancers; and Stanford University is entering into a Phase II trial for fibromyalgia. It is estimated that hundreds of doctors throughout the United States, the UK and Canada, as well as in countries as far-reaching as Italy, Israel, Australia, and even Nigeria, prescribe LDN for their patients.
Books have been written about LDN; websites are dedicated to LDN; patient forums discuss LDN; and an internet radio show conducts interviews exclusively about LDN.
(These resources are below.)
The low dose naltrexone protocol has a long history of success treating autoimmune diseases. Over 20 years ago, naltrexone was approved by the FDA to treat addiction, at much higher doses. But in 1982 Dr. Ian Zagon and other researchers at Penn State University discovered its ability to normalize a dysfunctional immune system, when used in very low doses. Bernard Bihari, MD, a Harvard trained neurologist in New York City, observed positive clinical results using LDN for HIV, MS and other immune system disorders. His observations led to years of devoted work with patients, treating every kind of immune disease -- including HIV/AIDS – with extremely positive results, and virtually no side effects.
According to Dr. Bihari’s friend and colleague, David Gluck, MD, who also works tirelessly to get the word out about LDN: “Low Dose Naltrexone may well be the most important therapeutic breakthrough in over fifty years. It provides a safe and inexpensive method of medical treatment by mobilizing the natural defenses of one's own immune system.”
The aim of International LDN Awareness Week is to bring LDN out of the shadows, so more disease sufferers might benefit.
LDN RESESOURCES: WEBSITES, BOOKS & RADIO SHOW:There are several key websites devoted to LDN, including Dr. David Gluck’s site, www.lowdosenaltrexone.org; and the websites of patient advocates, Linda Elsegood and Samantha Jo Wilkinson, www.ldnresearchtrust.org and www.ldners.org. All three of these websites are dedicated to helping patients and funding research.
In addition, books have been written on the topic of LDN, including:
1. The Promise of Low Dose Naltrexone, by Elaine Moore and SammyJo Wilkinson
2. Up the Creek With a Paddle, by Mary Boyle Bradley
3. Cris Kerr’s freely shared resource, Those Who Suffer Much KNOW MUCH, featuring a large collection of LDN testimonials as case studies.
An Amazon.com search on "low dose naltrexone" reveals 50 book titles that include references or entire chapters devoted to LDN.
In addition, Mary Boyle Bradley hosts a radio program on the very popular Blog Talk Radio, which is devoted solely to discussing low dose naltrexone. Mary’s guests include researchers, physicians and patient advocates, and the show gets thousands of downloads per month.
CONTACTSFor more information on the USA Conference, go to www.ProjectLDN.com.
For more information on International LDN Awareness Week and LDN, please contact the following patient advocates:
Linda Elsegood, Patient Advocate, and Founder LDN Research Trust in the UK at firstname.lastname@example.org, 01603 279 014
Cris Kerr, Advocate for the value of Patient Testimony, in Australia at email@example.com, 61 7 3356 1777
Patient Advocates in the USA:
SammyJo Wilkinson at SammyJo@LDNers.org,
Vicki Finlayson at firstname.lastname@example.org, (530) 268-8150
Malcolm West at email@example.com,
They will gladly put you in touch with physicians and patients who are eager to be interviewed about LDN.
Organization of the inaugural International LDN Awareness Week (October 19-25, 2009) has been spearheaded by:
• Linda Elsegood of the LDN Research Trust, in the UK
and internationally supported by:
• SammyJo Wilkinson, of LDNers.org
• Julia Schopick, of HonestMedicine.com
• Malcolm West, of Practical Communications Group.
Linda Elsegood of LDN Research Trust to speak about LDN forward, Sunday 10/25/09, at Proventus, a UK charity. Details here.