Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The LDN Research Trust - Q & A Linda Elsegood

The LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) Research Trust is at the forefront of raising awareness of the potential of low dose naltrexone as a treatment in auto-immune diseases and cancer. Not just in the UK, the LDN Research Trust has done an outstanding job on the international as well as the national stage. At the heart of this hive of activity – with multiple projects on-going at any one time – is Linda Elsegood, who founded the Trust in February 2004. Ahead of a busy schedule in organising the 2014 LDN Research conference, Linda was kind enough to answer a few questions on LDN and cancer.

Pan: There seems to have been a real rise in the level of interest in LDN and cancer, what’s driving that?

Linda: It’s been incredible really, there is so much interest coming from all areas now – not just in this country but internationally too. Social media has made a huge difference to this. People can access information much more easily than when we started more than 10 years ago. And it’s not just from patients. We get a lot more interest from doctors too. People want to know. And we’re really busy at the LDN Research Trust. We’ve got seven projects on the go at the moment, including the filming of a documentary, there’s the conference which we really want to live stream to everyone for free, to achieve this we have to raise the money. Again, social media is making the difference to this sort of thing.

Pan: In terms of this level of interest, how much is it driven directly by doctors, and how much is it doctors pushed to find out by their patients?

Linda: It’s a bit of both. A lot of the time it’s patients finding out about LDN on the internet, finding our site or others and downloading the information to take to their doctors. But increasingly we are seeing cases where patients are being told about LDN by their doctors. This is definitely starting to happen more, even in the UK. We do have cases where people are getting LDN on the NHS, even cancer patients. It varies in other countries, in some places it’s really hard to get LDN and in others it’s much easier. And there are some wonderful doctors working with LDN – for example Pradeep Chopra who is doing some great work with LDN and pain relief in the US. 

Pan: How much more interest in the cancer world?

Linda: There’s a phenomenal amount of interest in LDN in the cancer world. We’ve even had cases where oncologists in the UK, working in the NHS, have prescribed LDN to their patients. It’s frustrating in that it goes on, but people are made to feel that it’s against the norm and so no one wants to attract too much attention to it. It’s the same in other countries, and in some parts of the world there’s a definite risk attached to doctors working with LDN with their patients. I don’t want to say where because it will make life even more difficult for the doctors and patients in those countries.

Pan: Where next for the LDN Research Trust? Any plans to set up or fund clinical trials?

Linda: Our aim was to raise funds for trials but I can’t see us achieving that. What we are achieving is spreading  the word – to doctors and patients alike. A lot of it is word of mouth, or else people visit our web site and download the information packs. It’s working, there’s more interest but there’s always more to do. Right now being able to stream the 2014 conference live would make a huge difference. Not everyone can afford to go to the conference, or is healthy enough, but if we can raise the money to stream it then nobody needs to miss out. 

Pan: Thanks, Linda. And for those who want to support the free streaming of the 2014 conference, the fund raising site is just a click away at: http://ldnresearchtrust.org/ Read also our interview with one of the pioneers of LDN and cancer, Dr Burt Berkson.

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