Multiple Sclerosis Recoverers Guide - Is MS Really an Auto-Immune Disease?

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Articles

  1. Ms Diet For Life
  2. Types of MS
  3. 1. Introduction
  4. Multiple sclerosis - Wikipedia

Kantarci OH, et al. Novel immunomodulatory approaches for the management of multiple sclerosis. Disease-modifying treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in adults. Olek MJ, et al. Treatment of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis in adults. Wingerchuk DM. Multiple sclerosis: Current and emerging disease-modifying therapies and treatment strategies.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Pizzorno JE, et al. In: Textbook of Natural Medicine. Louis, Mo. Evaluation and diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in adults. Gaetani L, et al. Journal of Neurology.

Ms Diet For Life

Pathogenesis and epidemiology of multiple sclerosis. Symptom management of multiple sclerosis in adults. Yadav Y, et al. Summary of evidence-based guideline: Complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi.

Types of MS

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 27, National MS Society.

Network of Pediatric MS Centers. Rodriguez M. Plasmapheresis in acute episodes of fulminant CNS inflammatory demyelination. Deb C. PLoS One. FDA approves new drug to treat multiple sclerosis. Accessed Feb. Keegan BM expert opinion.


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FDA approves new oral drug to treat multiple sclerosis. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed March 29, Kappos L, et al. Marin Collazo IV expert opinion. April 2, Cannabis for MS: Can it help treat symptoms? My initial scan didn't, suggesting to the team that I wouldn't be a good candidate for a stem cell transplant. By then I was aware that I might already be on the cusp of moving into secondary progressive MS, when the illness is well-entrenched and the degeneration of the brain can no longer be stopped.

My decision to go ahead with HSCT abroad was a tough one, reached after long discussions with my family and friends. That risk is deemed acceptable in more acute illnesses such as cancers that would kill if left untreated. But many neurologists in the UK remain wary of recommending harsh chemotherapy agents for people with MS, whose illness is considered lifelong and chronic. Those, too, can have serious side-effects. Decades of scientific research have shown that more than genes can play a role, and that environmental factors may combine with a trigger to set off the fault in the system that leads to MS.

1. Introduction

It's thought that MS occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective fatty layer of myelin surrounding nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord, causing scarring or sclerosis. It's a little like mice nibbling on electrical cables and short-circuiting the electricity supply, making the lights flicker on and off before coming back to life - or leaving you permanently sitting in darkness.

Those with relapsing-remitting MS may have periods of near-normality, as I did, interspersed with damaging relapses associated with inflammation that causes lesions to develop within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. NHS England I was quite happy to undergo chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant if it meant potentially keeping the mice at bay and the lights on for longer, and halting the progression of my MS. I understood that in HSCT, the chemotherapy was aimed at killing off the malfunctioning immune system before the body reboots and reconstitutes a new one - ideally without the faults of the old one.

One of my main worries ahead of treatment was that there is a period after chemotherapy, called neutropenia, during which other infections can quickly take hold if not prevented. That can even lead to sepsis, which can be deadly if not treated in time. Yet by the end of , I already felt that the disease itself was killing me - just more slowly than cancer would. Because I looked and still do in the very best of health, it was hard for anyone to comprehend that I really was ill and found it difficult to perform even the simplest tasks at home or at work.

For me, that small chance of death following chemotherapy was infinitely preferable to the certainty of further silent decline.


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  7. Day by day, year by year, many people with MS lose a small part of themselves in that daily struggle against constant but invisible neurological fatigue and pain. Many of us see our hopes and ambitions die, and all too often lose our jobs, marriages and closest relationships.

    Living with a partner who's always exhausted - and whose ability to see, speak or walk can vary from day to day - is rarely easy. While disease-modifying drugs may help alter the course of the disease, many of them can also make patients feel worse. This means that quality of life often suffers with or without drugs. It is also offered privately. I'd failed to meet the criteria in Sheffield, so I doubted I would fare better in London.

    The process of being accepted for treatment there could take many more months. This was precious time in which a fresh relapse might leave my brain so damaged that it might never recover. After speaking to other patients who had undergone HSCT, I applied to Clinica Ruiz in Puebla, Mexico - a private haematology clinic with more than two years of experience of treating international MS patients with stem cell transplants.

    Multiple sclerosis - Wikipedia

    I was well aware of how lucky I am to have family, friends and colleagues who rallied round to help me to raise the money. That month was a blur of mixed emotions.


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    My oldest brother Simon offered to take me to Puebla, while my middle brother Antony would collect me at the end of treatment. Not surprisingly, my family had serious reservations about me flying into the unknown for a treatment that carried some risk. They were reassured by the fact that Dr Guillermo Ruiz-Arguilles, the chief haematologist at the family-run clinic, had been carrying out stem cell transplants for cancer patients for many years.

    What also mattered to me was that Clinica Ruiz offered outpatient treatment, with an apartment for each patient to live in with a carer. That meant that during the neutropenic phase, when the immune system is severely compromised, I could control my own environment more effectively, and ensure it remained as free of germs as possible. I decided to pay to have a fully qualified nurse from the clinic live with me for the duration of the 28 days of treatment, for added reassurance and to avoid my brother's cooking. The first day after moving into the apartment in Puebla was taken up by medical tests to ensure that everyone in our group of 20 international patients was fit for transplant.

    I watched as the modern quarter of the city with its shiny new skyscrapers gave way to the smaller, more colourful streets of the old quarter, and wondered what on earth I was doing here. Once at the small, unassuming clinic building, we sat back in comfy leather armchairs as the cyclophosphamide chemotherapy agent dripped slowly into our veins through a needle inserted into the back of our hands.