A Case of Mistaken Identity

Dr. Paul Ehrlich
The opposite Paul EhrlichAfter 40 years of observe, give or take, this was a primary. A brand new affected person in his 20s arrived within the workplace with an elevated eosinophil rely. Simply to remind you these white blood cells are drawn to websites just like the lungs in allergic bronchial asthma and the gastric tract. Usually they’re a potent weapon in opposition to parasites. When there are not any parasites, they shield in opposition to the unsuitable issues, leading to short-term misery and long-term harm.
This affected person’s most grievous criticism was a symptom I don’t usually affiliate with elevated eos, however after getting batted from one specialist to a different, one in all these medical doctors, noting the excessive numbers, beneficial that he see an skilled.
“So how did you find me?” I requested him. I don’t consider myself as an skilled.
“I Googled and it said that eosinophils were discovered by Paul Ehrlich.”
I took out a guide and turned to an entry on my namesake that mentioned he died in 1915. Clearly he had by no means heard of the “Magic Bullet,” not even the film.
“Are you related at least?” Adverse.
I’ve had loads of enjoyable with the truth that I used to be named after the daddy of immunology, with out whose work I won’t have had my fantastic profession, but it surely had by no means resulted in a “referral” earlier than.
EosinophilThe excellent news is that the mix-up wasn’t an train in futility. I mentioned the historical past with my colleague Dr. Purvi Parikh. She instantly pointed me to one of many new monoclonal antibodies that had been developed for eosinophilic bronchial asthma. (She lately wrote about them right here.) These medication suppress the chemical indicators that summon eosinophils to locations the place they don’t belong.
It is a traditional arc for brand new drug growth. A drug developed for one function exhibits promise for different signs—off-label makes use of–resulting in analysis that broadens the prescribing standards. A name to a drug rep introduced an instantaneous and enthusiastic response, permitting us to start remedy immediately. (For all of the dangerous press, Huge Pharma has its strengths.)
An older physician learns from a youthful one, and a affected person has hope for a contented and more healthy future. Drugs at its most satisfying.
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