I'm sorry for the woes of both of you. Sincerely.
I only allude to it here because I am not certain yet (of the efficacy of the protocol), but I have been convinced of a bacterial factor in "MS" since before I was even definitively Dxd in 1993. It took me a long time to get the information together, and then to find a doctor willing to participate, but I finally got started on an anti-biotic protocol in September 2010 - 4 months after my first angio (brilliant results that faded over a couple of months) and 1 month before my 2nd, (completely ineffective) angio. By December, I was getting quite messed up, but since, I have been feeling better and better. This month (April), I am not wall-walking anymore, my fatigue is much, much better, the dizziness has subsided markedly, but still no doubt, I have "MS".
It could be the Spring that is making me feel better, it could be that psychosomasis is preparing me for my trip to see Doc. Sclafani in May (for some reason, I have always been able to function for really important things), or it could be the Abx protocol, or a combination of these things.
There have been many studies over the years that have led to the dismissal of the bacterial hypothesis, but I would assert that they were not long enough in duration (many bacteria have life-cycles that span months, and many bacteria are able to go very deep into tissue, and many are able to "cloak" themselves in macraphages, etc. Many also have the ability to alter DNA transcription). I believe that it can take several years to overcome the bacteria with low-dose, pulsed abx, and that a lot of studies "gave up" too soon.
Dr. Luanne Metz, of Calgary, Alberta did a study with minocycline - link to google links
Details(from Squiffy at MSRC)
Canadian researchers, lead by Dr. Luanne Metz of Calgary,aimed to investigate the efficacy of combined glatiramer acetate(GA) plus minocycline treatment in people with relapsing-remitting MS, by comparing a group receiving GA plus minocycline with another receiving GA plus placebo. Forty-four participants were randomized to either minocycline 100 mg twice daily or matching placebo for 9 months as add-on therapy. They were assessed at screening and months 1, 3, 6, 8 and 9. Forty participants completed the study.
Compared with glatiramer acetate/placebo, glatiramer acetate/minocycline reduced the total number of T1 gadolinium-enhanced lesions by 63%, the total number of new and enlarging T2 lesions by 65%, and the total T2 disease burden. A higher number of gadolinium-enhanced lesions were present in the glatiramer acetate/minocycline group at baseline; this was incorporated into the analysis of the primary endpoint but makes interpretation of the data more challenging. The risk of relapse tended to be lower in the combination group.
Treatment was safe and well tolerated. The authors conclude that results showed a consistent trend favouring combination treatment.
As minocycline is a relatively safe oral therapy, The authors conclude that further study of this combination is warranted in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
It is to be noted that Metz has also undertaken other studies with mino. - most recently in CIS. She must think there is something to it...
That study only went for 9 months - which I consider not long enough. I am 7 months into the protocol now, and it is a different protocol than Dr. Metz used, as I am taking 100mg every other day, and also taking olmesartan 4x day. I also cut out any supplementary Vit. D in September.
A good resource is http://www.bacteriality.com
for some of the rationale.
If valvular problems are indeed congenital, it could be that the bacteria are the tipping point that causes a cascade of other factors, which leads to our first, and subsequent self-destruction. It could be that those who do not benefit from PTA, or benefit only to relapse quickly, or not so quickly, have greater bacterial loads, or a less efficient immune system. My feeling is; if PTA did not do all we might have hoped, why not try a relatively inexpensive, and relatively benign course of minocycline?
I suppose I will never know - in myself - if it is the Abx or the PTA that relieves me, as I am having PTA again next month, and if that is the end of "MS" for me, I will not know for certain which factors were the reason. I had considered not having another PTA until after a couple of years on Abx, but have decided that I am not so altruistic, and I have some compelling reasons (we all do, I know) to end this now, in whatever way is effective. This will be my last PTA outside of Canadian medical coverage though, as I cannot afford any more.
The abx protocol costs me about $150/month, so it is not an egregious sum, and for those who have had PTA, stents, etc., that did not do the trick, what do you have to lose? The minocycline alone is about $40/month.