Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sask. man joins U.S. liberation-therapy trial

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SASKATOON -- A Saskatoon man is going to the U.S. to see if he can take part in a clinical trial of the so-called liberation treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Andrew Dahlen is the first Saskatchewan resident to go to Albany, N.Y., for the final eligibility screening in a two-year, double-blind clinical trial.

"I'm certainly terrified for going but I'm more excited, so I'm not really too concerned about the risks," Dahlen said Thursday.

The province is putting up $2.2 million to have 86 Saskatchewan patients take part in the trial.

All prospective participants are first screened by a neurologist to ensure they meet eligibility requirements. A successful candidate must be a Saskatchewan resident, under the age of 60 and not had liberation treatment.

Candidates spend several days at Albany Medical Centre, where a final assessment determines whether they will be accepted.

The nature of the double-blind study means half of those participating will receive liberation therapy and half will get a placebo procedure.

With a population of about one million, Saskatchewan has some of the highest rates of MS in the country. About 3,500 Saskatchewan residents have MS.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 17, 2012 A2

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