Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Medical Science Marches Forward

OK, so a change of topic may have been well overdue. I have just read that one Professor David Henry from the University of Newcastle in NSW, Australia will be presenting at a medical conference on “disease mongering”. I don’t understand this concept, nor am I angered by it.

What caught my eye is that Professor Henry will be unveiling his diagnosis for Motivational Deficiency Disorder (MoDeD). This condition is characterised by patients experiencing overwhelming and debilitating apathy. If this doesn’t sound serious to you, get this: in extreme cases the patient may be too apathetic to breathe! That’s right people, we have another potentially fatal disease to be paranoid about.

Fortunately, a drug treatment is being developed. It is called Indolebant and the science boffins say it is a cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist capable of motivating the most apathetic of individuals – even if they haven’t left the couch in weeks. This condition has been estimated to cost the Australian economy about $2.4 billion (that’s Australian money – so about $2.50 US) each year in lost productivity so it can’t be ignored.

Fortunately, the condition can be diagnosed using a combination of positron emission tomography and scoring the patient using a motivation scale. We can only hope that this poorly understood, underdiagnosed and undertreated condition can be brought squarely into the public eye.

Why, you may ask, is Mr Angry so angry about this? I’m bloody angry this diagnosis didn’t exist when I was in school. It’s the perfect explanation for why I was such a lazy little bastard.

And for any cynics out there, this was reported in the prestigious British Medical Journal (April 1st edition) so it must be true.

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