Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

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Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby MSUK » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:00 am

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Parasitic worms could offer a new treatment hope for patients suffering from the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, scientists believe.

Academics at The University of Nottingham have begun recruiting people suffering from the neurological condition on to a trial that will see them infected with a low, harmless dose of the helminth parasite Necator americanus — or hookworm.

The scientists are hoping to prove that the presence of hookworms in the body switches off the mechanism by which the body's immune system becomes overactive — the main cause of MS — and can reduce both the severity of symptoms and the number of relapses experienced by the patients.

The study is being led by Cris Constantinescu, Professor of Neurology in the University's School of Clinical Sciences and a leading MS expert, and David Pritchard, Professor of Parasite Immunology in the University's School of Pharmacy, who has spent decades studying the biology of the hookworm.
... Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/2474
MS-UK - http://www.ms-uk.org/
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby scorpions » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:49 am

It sure beats sticking needles in your body but the part about coughing up the worms is not very appealing!


Once the larvae come into contact with the skin they work their way through into the blood stream until they reach the lungs where they are coughed up and swallowed to get to their final destination, the gut, where they survive by latching on to the gut lining and feeding on the host's blood. The worms do not multiply in the host but reproduce by producing fertile eggs, which are expelled in faecal matter. These hatch into infective larvae outside the body, and are used to infect patients.
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby Lyon » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:10 pm

I'm glad the Brits were interested in experimenting with the hookworms because that is all going into our knowledge base but you're right, not only hacking them up but having them migrate through our tissue just adds insult to the idea of harboring parasites!
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby mrbarlow » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:03 pm

Lyon wrote:I'm glad the Brits were interested in experimenting with the hookworms because that is all going into our knowledge base but you're right, not only hacking them up but having them migrate through our tissue just adds insult to the idea of harboring parasites!


I've been through it 3 times and really its no big deal at all. The worst thing is the irriation of the skin where the larvae are introduced - it seems to get worse each cycle. However aloe vera gel seems to sooth it nicely.

Give me Hookworm over interferon any day.
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby Lyon » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:50 pm

mrbarlow wrote: Give me Hookworm over interferon any day.
Hell yeah! I was just thinking that although the thought of swallowing parasites is kind of gross Trichuris trichiura doesn't migrate through tissue (no itching) and you don't have to go through the hacking/swallowing stage but the end result is pretty much the same and I'm glad you're doing it.

Your interests must be about the same as mind because I notice you're also interested in stem cells/rebooting....stem cells in general. Is that just curiosity or the hookworms have dissapointed you?
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby mrbarlow » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:42 pm

Lyon wrote:
mrbarlow wrote: Give me Hookworm over interferon any day.
Hell yeah! I was just thinking that although the thought of swallowing parasites is kind of gross Trichuris trichiura doesn't migrate through tissue (no itching) and you don't have to go through the hacking/swallowing stage but the end result is pretty much the same and I'm glad you're doing it.

Your interests must be about the same as mind because I notice you're also interested in stem cells/rebooting....stem cells in general. Is that just curiosity or the hookworms have dissapointed you?


I don't recall looking at stem cell so far. In my mind it is tremendously expensive and risky. I am lightly affected by MS (live a largely normal life and have no disability) so am interested in cheap low tech solutions I can perpetuate if necessary at home. Also I anticipate health care systems will largely be unavailable in 10 years as our gubbermints backrupt themselves on more resource wars, banking bailouts, welfare, corporate socialism etc etc
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby Lyon » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:57 pm

mrbarlow wrote: I don't recall looking at stem cell so far. In my mind it is tremendously expensive and risky. I am lightly affected by MS (live a largely normal life and have no disability) so am interested in cheap low tech solutions I can perpetuate if necessary at home.
That's a little embarrassing, sorry! What I had in mind was your earlier helminthic therapy interest and responses. My wife's the one with MS so I don't have any excuse for my cogfog!
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby mrbarlow » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:56 pm

Lyon wrote:
mrbarlow wrote: I don't recall looking at stem cell so far. In my mind it is tremendously expensive and risky. I am lightly affected by MS (live a largely normal life and have no disability) so am interested in cheap low tech solutions I can perpetuate if necessary at home.
That's a little embarrassing, sorry! What I had in mind was your earlier helminthic therapy interest and responses. My wife's the one with MS so I don't have any excuse for my cogfog!



I got on Hookworm therapy within 3 months of diagnosis. Decided to do this having seen my Aunts life ruined by MS. Decided I had little to lose and knew enough about the therapy to think it worth while.

I have had 3 doses because auto immune therapy's take a cautious approach of dosing at upto 35 organisms a time and putting at least 12 weeks or more between each dose.

In terms of response - well I haven't deterioated and am much better than I was a year ago. No relapses (perhaps a couple of minor exacerbations)
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby Lyon » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:26 pm

mrbarlow wrote: I have had 3 doses because auto immune therapy's take a cautious approach of dosing at upto 35 organisms a time and putting at least 12 weeks or more between each dose.
I'm glad you mentioned that because it helps to explain things. I'd read one of Jasper's comments earlier
Jasper wrote:That quote was for seasonal allergies, with the relapsing remitting MS, it is difficult to be sure of response times, but we believe it is more like six to eight months.
and wondered why the long response time but they are being very cautious....not to second guess their strategy.

I wonder if they eventually allow the count to get up into the hundreds?
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby mrbarlow » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:50 am

Lyon wrote:
mrbarlow wrote: I have had 3 doses because auto immune therapy's take a cautious approach of dosing at upto 35 organisms a time and putting at least 12 weeks or more between each dose.
I'm glad you mentioned that because it helps to explain things. I'd read one of Jasper's comments earlier
Jasper wrote:That quote was for seasonal allergies, with the relapsing remitting MS, it is difficult to be sure of response times, but we believe it is more like six to eight months.
and wondered why the long response time but they are being very cautious....not to second guess their strategy.

I wonder if they eventually allow the count to get up into the hundreds?



On the private clients forum it has been suggested that increasingly it looks as if a cumulative dose of 150 -200 is what sends the disease into complete remission however this is anecdotal. The cautious approach is to incrementally increase over time to minimise the risk of an overly adverse reaction. The last thing AI needs is something like that. As far as I am aware the UK authorities view of AI is of dissapproving tolerance however at least they can operate unlike in the USA where the Pharmafia's tax funded enforcer (FDA) drove them from the Country without any good reason.

Clearly Jasper and his colleagues want to make a living out of this and rightly so but in Jaspers case he clearly is passionate about the benefits this therapy brings to a range of AI diseases. It certainly appears to be an effective treatment for MS (I wouldn't say a cure - it is too early to say) that relatively speaking is accessible to most unlike DMD's which prohibitively expensive and of little long term benefit.
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby CVfactor » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:12 am

I think there is a lot of validity to this therapy.

It seems that people that have MS have a defect in a certain type of immune cell that regulates the immune system and prevents autoimmunity.
These cells are known as regulatory Tcells or Tregs, and express a certain protein called FoxP3:

http://www.jimmunol.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/182/1_MeetingAbstracts/99.3
Persistence of FOXP3 expression is impaired in RR-MS Tregs
Impaired Treg function may contribute to the development of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)....We examined the pSTAT5 levels of CD4+CD25+Treg from relapsing remitting MS and control subjects in response to low-dose IL-2. We found that, despite equivalent levels of CD25, pSTAT5 was lower in RR-MS subjects (p= 0.0013), indicating a mechanism by which FOXP3 expression and Treg function may be lost in MS.....Taken together we conclude that the impaired persistence of FOXP3 expression in aTreg may impact the number and function of Tregs in individuals with RR-MS.


So, the Helminth therapy appears to increase the development/function of these Tregs:
http://www.plosntds.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pntd.0001383
Induction of CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ Regulatory T Cells during Human Hookworm Infection Modulates Antigen-Mediated Lymphocyte Proliferation
Our results showed that hookworm infection induce an augmentation of Tregs in the peripheral blood, followed by the higher levels of circulating Treg cells expressing several markers and cytokines associated with cell regulation (CTLA-4, GITR, IL-10, TGF-β and IL-17). We also demonstrated that in vitro depletion of Tregs partially enhanced the naturally impaired cellular proliferation of lymphocytes from infected individuals after antigenic stimulation. Our results suggest that Treg cells may play an important role in hookworm-induced immunosuppression, contributing to the longevity of hookworm survival in infected people.
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby ikulo » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:41 pm

Are hookworm therapies available through private clinics in the US or is this only going on through a trial?
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby mrbarlow » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:21 am

ikulo wrote:Are hookworm therapies available through private clinics in the US or is this only going on through a trial?


Not available in the USA at all thanks to the FDA looking after your interests :wink:

The trial of Hookworm as a treatment is starting at Nottingham University (UK) and will run for a year.
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby ikulo » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:59 pm

mrbarlow wrote:
ikulo wrote:Are hookworm therapies available through private clinics in the US or is this only going on through a trial?


Not available in the USA at all thanks to the FDA looking after your interests :wink:

The trial of Hookworm as a treatment is starting at Nottingham University (UK) and will run for a year.


Haha.. god bless the FDA. Without their devotion I'd probably still be lacking access to treatments for my debilitating disease... oh wait. :) I keed, I keed.

Anyway, I'll be keeping a close eye on the hookworms. It's an interesting idea and the results seem positive.
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Re: Recruitment starts on Multiple Sclerosis hookworm trial

Postby Leonard » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:44 am

these parasytes work to improve the gut flora.

see also general-discussion-f1/topic15188-285.html

or page 2 of http://www.congrex.ch/fileadmin/files/2 ... harcot.pdf
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