Letters to the Editor

Feeling Taylor's pain

Your article (April 9, “Kids can get arthritis, too”) about Taylor Freyberg, the 7-year-old girl with juvenile arthritis, prompts me to write in the hope that some treatment information available on the Internet may be of help.

In 1994, my wife was diagnosed with scleroderma, a particularly nasty form of rheumatic disease, which causes the skin to harden and eventually leads to painful disability and death. We were told that there was little for her to do but get used to her slow decline.

Fortunately, we didn’t listen to the experts, and started to learn all we could about the so-called auto-immune diseases. We found the book, “The Road Back,” by Dr. Thomas M. Brown, M.D., available in local libraries.

Dr. Brown, along with Dr. Albert Sabin, of polio vaccine fame, successfully used antibiotics, based on the premise that these diseases were caused in most cases by a little-studied group of bacteria known as mycoplasma. Brown’s and Sabin’s research was largely ignored because of the interest in cortisone, which was being touted as the wonder drug of the century. Only later was it shown that steroids are of limited value in these diseases, and may, in fact, help disable the immune system.

After some shopping for an open-minded doctor, we were able to get help for my wife, and a simple treatment with tetracycline has caused her symptoms to disappear. This treatment is explained at two Web sites established and supported by hundreds of people who have benefitted from antibiotic therapy for arthritis. These sites are roadback.org and rheumatic.org, where there are many case histories and a complete explanations of the protocol, intended for use by family doctors. Dr. David Trentham, M.D., at Harvard Medical School, is recruiting subjects for a study of the use of Minocycline (a refined form of tetracycline) in the treatment of juvenile arthritis; a study supported by the Roadback Foundation. His address and details for contacting him are shown on their Web site.

There are lots of nice people at Roadback; many of them know Tracy’s pain.

Ben Jones

Federal Way

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