Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A pain in the back

A decidedly masochistic friend who indulges his twisted proclivities by reading the fictional works of the misleadingly named pro-vivisection fringe mini-group Speaking for Research [not so much in public] sent me one of their recent bits which was apparently written in response to my musings about the possibility of devising some sort of cruelty index.

I used to think that people like the members of this crackpot club were all dishonest. I now suspect that although dishonesty might be a trait common to them, there is something else that explains their odd claims. They must believe some of the things they say. That's the only way to explain their easily debunked claims. They are just self-deluded pollyannas who have been duped by their own wild assertions.

Here's an example:

"Bogle, as usual, neglects to mention that any research studying spinal damage could only legally occur if the animal was anaesthetised."

The facts are so otherwise, so easy to find, that it must mean that the group believes its ravings. If they were lying, they'd try to say things that were hard to check. They'd stick with their wild claims about experiments on animals being responsible for everything good in the world.

Anyway, in case you have any doubts about animals in labs being hurt, consider this passage in a paper from vivisectors at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago: "The rat intervertebral disk degeneration pain model: relationships between biological and structural alterations and pain. Kim JS, Kroin JS, Li X, An HS, Buvanendran A, Yan D, Tuman KJ, van Wijnen AJ, Chen D, Im HJ. Arthritis Res Ther. 2011:
Because of rats' sensitive behavioral responses (for example, vocalization), rat models have been used extensively to study chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in hind limbs and to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of analgesics. Most studies of disk degeneration have been performed in the rat tail rather than in lumbar disks, in part because of its anatomical accessibility and minimal surgical morbidity. Intervertebral disk damage in the rat tail may provoke a painful response. However, unlike spine disks, tail disks are not weight-bearing, and it is unclear anatomically which neural structures or components are involved. Thus, it would be rather difficult to interpret the resulting nociceptive pathways. A recent study by Olmarker indicates that a rat model with measurable pain behavior may be suitable for studying discogenic back pain. They reported that disk puncture with a needle (0.4 mm in diameter) in rats induced measurable pain behavior with increased grooming and whole-body ("wet dog") shaking.

In our present study, we sought to establish novel correlations between pain and pathological changes in the disk structure. We developed an animal model for chronic discogenic back pain that is amenable to assessment of behavioral hyperalgesia. We examined biological links between cellular and structural alterations within disk components and the development of symptomatic chronic back pain. We also characterized pain modulators associated with symptomatic back pain in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and the spinal cord. Furthermore, we performed pharmacological tests to explore potential therapeutic analgesic modulation of chronic back pain.

1 comment:

Gina said...

Perhaps they were confused about whether rats are animals because the Animal Welfare Act ignores certain species?