Shannon wrote:I was reading some research papers about BBB and neurovascular issues, and this paragraph really stuck out to me:
"In addition to hypoxic/ischemic and inflammatory insults, the BBB can also be compromised by drugs of abuse. For example, cocaine can accelerate the progression of HIV-associated dementia (Nath et al., 2001), a process that may involve both direct effects of cocaine on the endothelium as well as proinflammatory effects (Fiala et al., 1998; Zhang et al., 1998; Gan et al., 1999). Nicotine, a potently vasoactive drug (Hawkins et al., 2002), alters the transport of glucose (Duelli et al., 1998a,b) and ions (Wang et al., 1994; Abbruscato et al., 2004) at the BBB. Nicotine also decreases the expression and marginal localization of ZO-1, which is associated with increased permeability in the in vitro BBB (Abbruscato et al., 2002). In the rat, nicotine treatment also alters cerebral microvascular distribution of ZO-1, diminishes immunoreactivity for claudin-3, and increases BBB permeability to sucrose (Hawkins et al., 2004)."
I wonder how many NEVER smoked, but still have MS? I am starting to really feel like my history as a smoker has lead directly to my illness. I know there is more to it, such as genetics, diet, environmental toxins, possible vein abnormalities since birth, etc. But I do wonder what role my smoking has really played. Just curious as to how prevalent smoking has been in those of us with MS diagnoses.
Shannon wrote:Wonderful post zinamarie! I always do say that I have no regrets about anything in my past because I had reasons for doing it at the time. Different times, different circumstances. So, in that case, if I could do it all again? I guess with foresight, I would do many things differently. I tried some drugs, too, as a youngster. Marijuana was common, mescaline, speed, etc. Never tried coke or anything more severe. I also was smoking in the womb and started myself at the age of 13 (I could even buy them myself in those days).
It is useless to wonder how I got sick, but I do have 4 children now to consider, so looking back at the risk factors that may have led me to MS seems important, all the same. I agree that although there are sorrows with disability, there is also enlightenment and gratefulness about things that I never would have had if not for my current situation. I am a changed person because of it, and that's really not a bad thing!
Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful ~ Annette Funicello
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