Monday, October 3, 2011

Study Reveals MS Vitamin for reducing attacks in Multiple Sclerosis

This MS vitamin sounds promising, according to a more recent study, for helping to reduce attacks in Multiple Sclerosis.

Glucosamine-Like Supplement Suppresses Multiple Sclerosis Attacks, Study Suggests 

ScienceDaily (Sep. 30, 2011) — A glucosamine-like dietary supplement suppresses the damaging autoimmune response seen in multiple sclerosis, according to a UC Irvine study. 

UCI's Dr. Michael Demetriou, Ani Grigorian and others found that oral N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), which is similar to but more effective than the widely available glucosamine, inhibited the growth and function of abnormal T-cells that in MS incorrectly direct the immune system to attack and break down central nervous system tissue that insulates nerves. 

Study results appear online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. 

Earlier this year, Demetriou and colleagues discovered that environmental and inherited risk factors associated with MS -- previously poorly understood and not known to be connected -- converge to affect how specific sugars are added to proteins regulating the disease. 

"This sugar-based supplement corrects a genetic defect that induces cells to attack the body in MS," said Demetriou, associate professor of neurology and microbiology & molecular genetics, "making metabolic therapy a rational approach that differs significantly from currently available treatments." 

Virtually all proteins on the surface of cells, including immune cells such as T-cells, are modified by complex sugar molecules of variable sizes and composition. Recent studies have linked changes in these sugars to T-cell hyperactivity and autoimmune disease. 

In mouse models of MS-like autoimmune disease, Demetriou and his team found that GlcNAc given orally to those with leg weakness suppressed T-cell hyperactivity and autoimmune response by increasing sugar modifications to the T-cell proteins, thereby reversing the progression to paralysis. 

The study comes on the heels of others showing the potential of GlcNAc in humans. One reported that eight of 12 children with treatment-resistant autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease improved significantly after two years of GlcNAc therapy. No serious adverse side effects were noted. 

"Together, these findings identify metabolic therapy using dietary supplements such as GlcNAc as a possible treatment for autoimmune diseases," said Demetriou, associate director of UCI's Multiple Sclerosis Research Center. "Excitement about this strategy stems from the novel mechanism for affecting T-cell function and autoimmunity -- the targeting of a molecular defect promoting disease -- and its availability and simplicity." 

He cautioned that more human studies are required to assess the full potential of the approach. GlcNAc supplements are available over the counter and differ from commercially popular glucosamine. People who purchase GlcNAc should consult with their doctors before use. 

Lindsey Araujo and Dylan Place of UCI and Nandita N. Naidu and Biswa Choudhury of UC San Diego also participated in the research, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 

If all goes well, time with tell if this turns out to be something that can help more people with Multiple Sclerosis for reducing the number and frequency of attacks, but this may still be worth considering at a future date.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

MS Circulation Problems Resulting from a Fall

When it comes to MS circulation problems, there can be more than one cause to blocked blood flow in Multiple Sclerosis.

One of the problems that may be causing blocked blood flow or poor circulation in the veins, can include a condition called Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency or CCSVI for short.

Initially, it appears that CCSVI appears to be present in approximately 50% of patients diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis around the world, but these are based on the results of the initial conclusions from the studies, which were done with MS patients, in Buffalo, NY and with other studies done so far in other countries around the world.

This statistic may change as further data is being collected to determine what may be causing the CCSVI condition and to determine where to go from here, when it comes to the process needed to be done to correct these blood flow blockages, along with the possible complications and ways to avoid them for what could be associated with the process.

CCSVi is only one of the considerations when it comes to MS circulation problems.

Other blood circulation problems for Multiple Sclerosis patients can result from a partial or total loss of the abilities to stand, balance or walk for any length of time.

One such problem can result from the inability to walk or stand much at all for a longer period of time.

This can result in reduced blood flow to the legs, which can result in:

* possible skin break down on the legs

* edema or swelling of the legs from fluid pooling in the legs

* reduced flexibility of veins in legs, ankles and feet

* reflux or poor function of the valves in the veins in the legs, especially behind the knees, lower legs and ankle regions

* blood clots can form from in the legs, ankles or feet from the inactivity

The other concern when there is reduced ability to stand, balance or walk is the possible problems that can result frequent falls from loss of balance or from knees collapsing from reduced function of the nerves in the legs, knees, ankles or feet.

Falling and landing on things, like tables and chairs, or even the floor or the ground can result in damage to the veins and reduced blood flow or even cause a more severe trauma that reduces greatly the blood flow to the muscles or nerves or can also result in blood clots forming.

Any type of reduced blood flow to the nerves in the legs, ankles or feet can result in neuropathy or nerve damage, which can be mistaken for a nerve function problem, when it is really based on a blood flow problem.

Reducing the blood flow to the nerves or the muscles can reduce the abilities of these parts of the body to function as they should.

If you are curious or want to cover the bases on determining why you have neuropathy in your legs and/or feet or if you have a reduced ability to stand or walk, or you are unable to walk, it might be worth being evaluated by your vascular doctor, especially if you have fallen at all.

Depending on the damage to the veins, or if there are blockages present in the larger veins, angioplasty can be done to open up the blood flow, supplying blood to the legs, ankles and feet.

It might be worth considering, but discuss this with your vascular doctor and/or maybe even your neurologist, in case there is something else that needs to be done to help you to regain more of your abilities to stand or even walk.

Considering these type of things is all part of the process in determining what may be able to help you when it comes to MS circulation problems, compared to MS nerve function problems.

Not all nerve function problems are related to circulation problems, but when it comes to Multiple Sclerosis, determining what is going on with each separate case of MS is half the challenge in finding ways to help you to regain more of your abilities to function again.

If you have found this information helpful or if you have anything else you would like to say related to this topic, please leave us your comments.