Hi To All,
Multiple Sclerosis is both an autoimmune disease and a neurodegenerative disease. It is generally considered to be an autoimmune disease which results in neurodegeneration.
A neurodegenerative disease is a disorder caused by the deterioration of certain nerve cells. Changes in these cells cause them to function abnormally, eventually bringing about their death. The diseases, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Huntington's Disease, Frontotemporal Dementia (Pick's Disease), Prion Diseases as well as Multiple Sclerosis, are due to neuronal degeneration in the central nervous system.
An autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks itself by mistake. Autoimmune diseases can affect many parts of the body, like nerves, muscles, endocrine system, connective tissue, and digestive system. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases are Multiple Sclerosis, Type One Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Graves’ Disease, Lupus, and Crohn's Disease. In each of these diseases the body own T-cells misidentify myelin, islet cells, etc., and attack those cells as if they were an unwanted invader.
The two treatments both target the T-cells that are considered responsible for the attack on myelin. The difference is that Campath-1H is a monoclonal antibody (Tysabri is a monoclonal antibody) and Tovaxin is a targeted T-cell elimination.
A targeted T-cell elimination is where a vaccine is made from the person's own myelin-reactive T-cells. A sample of blood is taken from the patient and the white blood cells are removed. The white blood cells are then introduced to human myelin, and those that react to it are culled out. This small amount of cells, usually 1 or 2 per 1 million are grown in the lab. Once the number of cells has reached 100 million, a dose (30 to 45 million cells) is removed and attenuated (radiated enough to break the DNA chain so that they cannot replicate, but still alive). A vaccine from live cells is like the difference between the Salk and Sabin Polio vaccines. This causes a much greater immune response. It is this immune response that forms antibodies that specifically target the patient's myelin-reactive T-cells. Once the patient has a sufficient number of these antibodies, the number of myelin-reactive T-cells approaches zero and no more myelin destruction occurs.
The improvement in EDSS from both treatments is probably due to the fact that the disease progression has been halted. If the disease is arrested, the body can begin rebuilding. and your EDSS should go down. Both of these treatment go to the root of the problem and eliminate the T-cells that cause the myelin destruction. Tovaxin eliminates 1 or 2 per 1 million T-cells. From what I have read about Campath-1H, it appears that the treatment eleminates all of the patents T-cells, not just the bad one. I will paste in a portion of an interview from July 21, 2003 in which Dr. Jacobs describes the history of Campath-1H and how it works.
Best regards, Tim http://www.IHaveMS.com
Reported July 21, 2003
New Hope for MS -- Full-Length Doctor's Interview
In this full-length doctor's interview, Daniel Jacobs, M.D., explains how a new drug targets destructive white blood cells in MS patients and could stop the disease in its tracks. Ivanhoe Broadcast News Transcript with
Daniel Jacobs, M.D., Neurologist,
TOPIC: New Hope for MS
Tell me about the history of this new treatment for MS.
Dr. Jacobs: Campath-1H is a monoclonal antibody that attacks T-cells, which are the cells that attack the myelin in multiple sclerosis. This drug is given as an infusion. Patients don’t have to get daily shots. They can get an intravenous infusion of drug for five days a year without shots, and it will reduce their relapses and improve the MRI signs of multiple sclerosis. We have not studied it in a huge number of patients yet, so we cannot make any claims about efficacy. But the pilot studies suggest that it’s very effective and maybe more effective than the existing treatments for multiple sclerosis.
Explain to me how Campath-1H works.
Dr. Jacobs: The drug is a new type of drug called a monoclonal antibody that attacks certain types of white cells that attack the brain and spinal cord and cause multiple sclerosis. It helps prevent the attacks of multiple sclerosis. The drug is a new class of drug called monoclonal antibodies, which attack certain white blood cells that attack the brain and spinal cord and turn these white blood cells off. As a result, multiple sclerosis relapses can be eliminated.