Thalidomide effect mystery solved


The mechanism by which thalidomide causes birth defects including malformed limbs is revealed by scientists.

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It has been many years since Dr. McBride in breakthrough research showed that thalidomide was responsible for birth defects, but he did not know what caused the actual defects.

Thalidomide was used as a morning sickness drug (and I am glad it was not around when I was pregnant and sick every day with my three sons). As a result of this use of thalidomide hundreds of children were born without limbs. It was Dr. McBride who determined that thalidomide was the cause of the defect. Of course years later, when he tried to do the same with another morning sickness drug, Debendox ( this is the one that I used and my children did not have any defects), he ended up being disgraced because of his desire to find in favour of the parents. By perjuring himself that there was a link, he did himself irreparable harm.

Now, however, researchers have taken the next step and they have discovered what causes the birth defects, and by making that discovery they now have the opportunity to find a safer alternative to thalidamide which is apparently useful in fighting some cancers.

As a woman though, I still see all of these drugs as dangerous to the unborn.

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