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posted: 7/12/2013 5:00 AM

Stay out of funding process for research

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PTSD is a significant problem for returning veterans, and helping those who have served is a very good thing. The July 5 editorial, however, deserves comment. Dr. Eugene Lipov may indeed have a breakthrough procedure at hand using a stellate ganglion block. It concerns me that the Daily Herald is advocating federal support for this procedure when the study has not made it through a peer review process.

The VA and Department of Defense research programs and peer review processes are meant to support rigorous clinical trials aimed to support active duty military personnel and veterans. Experts in the field review the scientific merits of research applications. Often, suggestions are made to improve the science so outcomes will be more useful. Importantly, the review process not only serves to provide federal funding for the best and most important science but also ensures that proper procedures are in place to protect human research subjects in the process.

There are plenty of stellar research projects for which there is no money to fund. If Dr. Lipov's project is worthy of federal funding, he will receive it. Dr. Lipov needs to write his proposal, submit it to the proper funding agency and let the scientists determine whether it is worthy of a proper clinical trial. The Daily Herald should stay out of this process.

The Daily Herald can and should advocate for more research for veterans issues. It should however leave the scientific judgment as to what gets funded to the proper peer review process.

Eileen Collins

Mount Prospect

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