New treatment for MS may not be new at all!

From Reuters Health service, we read in part:
 
"In mice with an MS-like illness, a drug that blocked glutamate was found to prevent nerve damage and destruction of the myelin sheath, the fatty protective substance that covers nerves. Such damage is the hallmark of the human form of MS."


The article goes on to say that drugs blocking glutamate may help folks with MS.

Trouble is the "MS like" disease in mice not only is NOT MS but was found years ago to be not really very indicative of how MS reacts.  The mouse illness is called "EAE" and is totally an autoimmune disease whereas in MS they are fairly certain there is some viral action going on.

Questionable treatments for MS are not new.  I remember in the seventies when a reputable institution had an experimental treatment for MS which involved injecting a strong steroid into the spinal cord.  The treatment slowed down symptoms for a year but later on, was found to actually make things worse in the long run.  But worse yet, many of the patients who got the experimental treatment came down with TB due to the steroids.

Another treatment which was surgical rendered a famous MS patient who is a doctor, paralyzed from the neck down.

There were a string of useless (but probably harmless) treatments as well.  One local naturopath offered a mini trampoline on which the patient was instructed to jump "facing North" to take advantage of the earth's magnetic shield.  Another salesman spent many hours on the phone with MS patients trying to tell them that "Bee's Wax Pollen" was the panacea for ALL disease INCLUDING MS (and it also makes your poop float!).

MS patients, often desperate to prevent disability, are only too willing to take horrible risks with their bodies.

Recently, ex-mouseketeer, Annette Funicello had surgery which also is not new - it disconnects certain pathways in the brain to stop the tremors in brain stem MS. Only problem is that it often also takes away use of one's arms and control of one's bladder.  Papparazi photos of Annette show her to be in rather bad shape since the surgery.  The surgery she had, is a refinement of an earlier procedure which was, in 1972, proclaimed as ineffective for MS and too dangerous.

One can only speculate why MS patients seem to be getting more bad information than before in a time when we are supposed to know more.  The best treatment for MS may be 'don't do it'.

Multiple Sclerosis is a disorder of unknown cause - possibly a virus or other agent modifying certain immune cells, these "modified cells" attacking (instead of protecting) and causing sores to formed on the myelin sheathing of the nerves (think of the covering of a wire getting frayed) and this is what causes the exacerbations.  The best information on MS shows that healing of the sores can take place without damage to the nerve and that if one can do it, avoiding steroids makes things heal better although healing takes longer - about 3-4 weeks.   Many have observed that patients who don't go for extreme treatments but just live healthy without overdoing, can show little disability at the 10 and 15 year point.  Some cases of MS seem to go into remission after 15 or 20 years.  Despite what the media says (or those trying to make money for the MS Society), MS does not shorten lifespan and most MSers are still walking ten years after diagnosis. (Very recent studies suggest that a lack of Vitamin D, the vitamin we get either from the sun or from milk, might predispose individuals to be more susceptible to MS)

The old advice which used to be offered by the MS society of eating healthy, quitting smoking and drinking - and 'some standing, some sitting, some lying' may still be the best way to deal with MS.  Ask your doctor.

Source:1972 symposium on MS at UCLA and other medical sources.
 

Article by Sue Widemark

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