Another year. Another review.
Thanks to WordPress, I’ve received a nifty infograph of how my website performed this year. It’s even generated the summary below, which I’m keeping because I’m a native New Yorker and it’s only appropriate. In short: people enjoy my work, especially from previous years, but the total number of visitors was low. New goal: attract more readers!
What most surprised me, though, was the article most viewed on my site this year: my piece on eteplirsen (https://annamaryas.com/2013/03/20/eteplirsen-the-end-to-duchenne-muscular-dystrophy/), published in March and exclusive to my site. Knowing its popularity humbles me, as I felt it’s a vital story that’s received little attention, even though it was written up for Time’s health vertical. The reason talking about eteplirsen is necessary is because it could have been the FIRST drug on the market to effectively and explicitly treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy if it was approved by the FDA through its Accelerated Approval program (approval was denied; I plan on writing a follow up piece soon).
Right now, there is no cure for the aggressive, degenerative muscle disease; only treatments that help ease the pain. The one in 3,500 boys affected by DMD, typically dependent on mobility devices and other assistance by the preteen years, if not earlier, are still dying in their 20’s (due to medical advancements, some affected by the disease do live into their early 30’s).
Eteplirse is an experimental exon-skipping drug designed to treat DMD caused by the absence of specific exons in dystrophin’s sequence (dystrophin is a muscle protein that helps with mobility and growth). If approved, the drug could have been a lifesaver. And not just for those affected with DMD–it could have led to medical advancements for Becker muscular dystrophy, which is a rarer, slowly progressing and more unpredictable variant of DMD. There was a lot in this.
While I have yet to put together a list of my favorite writings of this year, this year in review confirms my eteplirsen piece’s spot on my favorite writings of 2013 list, which should publish
tomorrow at some point. I hope you take a minute to read it, as well as peep my infograph by clicking the link below.
With that, I say bring on 2014.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,000 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.