Vaccine for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Brian Ragain, RN

Brian Ragain, RN
Illustrious Companion Brian Ragain, RN, DDGIM OK

Through funding provided by CMMRF, Dr. Michael Murphy and his team are creating a 'vaccine' for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). Why is this important? As the 13th leading cause of death in the USA, with the major risk associated with men that smoke cigarettes and are over the age of 60. That includes a lot of us!

Dr. Murphy and his team have found the cause of AAA, and by detecting the cause they now understand it and know how to treat it. It has been discovered that the body is fighting itself, and during this fight, the side effect is that it weakens part of the largest artery in the body. With this treatment used in veterans near Indiana University, they have started human trials and have stopped these AAA's from getting any bigger. Imagine that your water hose has a weak spot and is beginning to swell. A water hose can be easily cut and repaired, but the abdominal aorta must be fixed without cutting the bad part out. This operation is also not an easy one, as it is only dealt with once it reaches a critical size. Perhaps the best description of it is a 'ticking time bomb' that can go off at any moment.

The treatment has progressed at record-breaking speeds, moving from theory to human trials in a fraction of the time that most medications take to go through similar testing. This treatment is proven to stop the weak spot in the artery from growing! The number of lives that this treatment will impact, both the patient and their family, is something to talk about!

Editor's Note: This is the first of eight articles created by Companion Brian and reviewed and edited by Dr. Joe Rouse, MD, MIPGM AR, CMMRF Trustee, intended to provide all of us with a better understanding of the astounding work being done at the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology and Medicine and funded by the Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation. The information here can be easily presented to your Council (Lodge, or anywhere) in less than five minutes. Over the course of the articles, you will find that our Charity is doing astounding things that do actually impact our Companions, Brothers and Friends.

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