Parasites - one for Lyon

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Parasites - one for Lyon

Postby bromley » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:46 pm

Parasitic infection is found to benefit MS patients

Patients with multiple sclerosis who also happen to have an intestinal parasite appear to have significantly fewer relapses and better outcomes than other MS patients, a new study found.

The finding suggests that when the body's immune system is occupied with an external threat, it might be less likely to misfire, which happens in conditions known as autoimmune disorders. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibres.

The study tracked 12 multiple sclerosis patients who were found to have an intestinal parasite and compared them with 12 other patients. Over four years, there were stark differences. There were three relapses among the patients who had the intestinal infection and 56 relapses in the other group.

Patients with the parasitic infection also had minimal changes in disability scores compared with the other group, according to a study in this month's Annals of Neurology by Jorge Correale and Mauricio Farez of the Raul Carrea Institute for Neurological Research in Buenos Aires.

The study suggests that one reason for the apparent increase in autoimmune disorders in recent years could be the decline of infectious diseases in certain countries. Because parasites often cause long-lasting infections, the researchers hypothesised that such infections could make persistent demands on the body and thereby reduce the likelihood that the immune system will attack healthy tissue.

Source: SouthCoastToday.com © 1995-2006 The Standard-Times.
Last edited by bromley on Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Parasites - one for Lyon

Postby Lyon » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:46 pm

bromley wrote:Parasitic infection is found to benefit MS patients
Thanks Ian, at 52 I'm taking my first plane flight tomorrow and I've been a wreck about it.

If you sending me an article about parasites isn't a sign that the stars are in the correct alignment, I don't know what would be.

As would any fool, I consider myself a sensible person who is not inclined to be easily fooled. For four years I've dwelled......obsessed with this loss of parasites/incidence of autoimmune diseases and I'm only increasingly convinced with each passing day, each article I read and mounting evidence.

In truth I think MS will be satisfactorily handled by the time mainstream medicine accepts the role the loss of helminths played in the incidence of allergy, asthma and autoimmune disease so at this point helminth immunomodulation is just something I find extremely interesting.

Bob
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Postby Dunmann » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:51 am

Here's a few more details on the study. I think I want a parasite!

Parasite infection may benefit MS patients

A steady rise in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) has been noted in recent decades, and environmental factors could be the cause of this increase. One theory, similar to the "hygiene hypothesis" in which an excessively germ-free environment may contribute to an increase in allergies, holds that a decline in infectious diseases may play a role in increasing autoimmune disease incidence. The first study examining the relationship between parasite infections and MS in humans suggests that such infections may affect the immune response in a way that alters the course of MS. The study was published in the January 2007 issue of Annals of Neurology (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/ana), the official journal of the American Neurological Association.

Previous studies involving animals have shown that parasite infection can influence the course of autoimmune diseases. These studies suggest that individuals with parasite infections have a diminished T cell response when unrelated antigens (foreign substances that generate an immune response) are present. The current study, conducted by Jorge Correale, M.D., and Mauricio Farez, B.Sc., of the Raúl Carrea Institute for Neurological Research in Buenos Aires, Argentina, involved 12 patients with MS who also had a parasite infection, 12 controls with MS who were uninfected, and 12 healthy individuals. The two groups of MS patients had a similar disease course. Patients had a neurological exam every three months and a brain MRI every 6 months, while immunological evaluations were conducted during the last 12 to 18 months of the study. Patients were followed for an average of 4.6 years.

During the study period, there were three clinical relapses of MS in the infected group and 56 relapses in the uninfected group. Only two infected patients showed minimal Expanded Disability Status Score changes (EDSS is used to measure disability due to MS) that lasted less than three months, while the other 10 had no changes in EDSS scores. In the uninfected group, 11 patients showed an overall increase in EDSS. Since MS involves an inflammatory response associated with the production of certain regulatory proteins known as cytokines, the number of cells producing cytokine suppressants was measured and found to be significantly higher in infected patients.

The authors suggest that their findings provide evidence to support that an autoimmune response as a result of parasite infection can result in a decrease in the normal inflammatory response associated with MS. They note that evidence for production of regulatory T cells (which inhibit the immune response) in parasite infection is now emerging, which offers an explanation for the mechanism by which infected hosts exhibit an altered immune response that affects a secondary antigen, as was the case in the current study. "Thus, parasites may lead to increased regulatory T cell numbers or activity, either by generating new cells or by activating/expanding existing cells," they state.

Because parasites inhabit their hosts for long periods of time, they can develop molecules that generate strong anti-inflammatory responses, which enhance their survival. Further investigation is warranted in order to identify which molecules cause immune system effects that dampen the inflammatory reactions normally seen in autoimmune diseases, the authors note. They conclude that "induction of a regulatory anti-inflammatory network generated by persistent parasite infections may offer a potential explanation for environment-related suppression of MS development in areas with low disease prevalence."


###
Article: "Association Between Parasite Infection and Immune Responses in MS," Jorge Correale, Mauricio Farez, Annals of Neurology, January 2007, (DOI: 10.1002/ana.21067).

orig link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/ ... 011007.php
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Postby Dunmann » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:56 am

As odd as it may sound there really might be something here! Below is an article about parasites and inflammartory bowel disease. If I had a choice between disablity or a parasite... give me the worm!


Potential Disease Treatment: Swallow Some Worms

By The Associated Press

posted: 10 June 2006
10:39 am ET


EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ The upside of Linda Mansfield's research is that it may lead to a new treatment for inflammatory bowel disease. The downside is that it would involve swallowing worm eggs. Mansfield is a professor of microbiology at Michigan State University who specializes in the study of parasites.
She's also one of several researchers around the country looking at the use of threadlike intestinal parasites called whipworms to treat the disease, which can cause diarrhea, painful cramps and even intestinal bleeding.

"It's extremely debilitating,'' Mansfield told the Lansing State Journal for a story Friday. "People talk about having 256 bouts of diarrhea a year when they have this disease. It gets to the level where some of them are not able to work.''

Inflammatory bowel disease, the most common forms of which are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, is a condition that is virtually unknown in the developing world. But it is becoming increasingly common in industrialized countries.

Researchers have put forward several explanations for that, among them diets high in fat and refined foods. But another possible cause, Mansfield said, is increasing levels of hygiene.

Portions of the immune system actually require periodic infections in order to develop properly. Some exposure to dirt, bacteria and even worms can be beneficial.

"By living in an ultra-clean environment,'' Mansfield said, "we're removing some of the things that helped to educate our immune system.''

Mansfield said it's possible that the human immune system developed in a way that's reliant, to some degree, on the presence of parasitic worms.

She wasn't the first to hit on that idea. A research team at the University of Iowa already has tried treating human patients with a whipworm egg and Gatorade cocktail. Their results were promising.

David Elliott was a member of that team.

"There are probably individuals in the population who, back when worms were prevalent, were the healthiest because their immune systems could fight off all sorts of things,'' he said. "When worms are removed, their immune systems become unbridled, and they move on to develop disease.''

Mansfield came to the topic from an animal angle.

More than a decade ago, she began studying whipworm infections in pigs, initially trying to develop a vaccine against the parasites.

But one of the things she noticed along the way was that whipworm infections produced a strong anti-inflammatory immune response.

When given to patients with inflammatory bowel disease, the worms can help to counteract the inflammation and "actually reset the immune system to be in better balance,'' Mansfield said.

Further, pig whipworms are relatively safe. Most people will expel them in a matter of weeks and, if that doesn't happen, they can be eliminated with anti-worm drugs.

That's promising, if a little unpleasant, for people like Linda Rockey.

The Mason woman has suffered from Crohn's disease for more than 30 years. Having tried most conventional treatments, she said she's "right at the end of the rope.''

If she had no other alternatives, she said, "if they said. `This is it. You eat these worms,' I would do it. At some point, you're willing to try anything.''

The whipworm treatment still needs to undergo further testing before it can be approved by the FDA.


orig link:
http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology ... worms.html
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worms

Postby gwa » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:09 pm

You first Dunmann.

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Postby Wonderfulworld » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:18 am

Really interesting!
I saw this on New Scientist today too: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... ients.html

I wonder how many worms you have to eat! And what happens if they breed out of control? Ugh! Well, to be honest, I'd prefer to live with worms (had them as a child but was dosed to high-heaven to get rid of them) than injections and relapses.......................
:lol:
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Postby Lyon » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:32 pm

Thanks for the additional information everyone!

Everyone has to read the information and make their own mind up but in over four years of obsessing with this I have become convinced to the point that I personally have no doubt that the loss of the helminths led to the succeptibility to these immune disorders in the populations of the developed countries.
I wonder how many worms you have to eat! And what happens if they breed out of control?
Hi WW, I'd like to think that eating them is a temporary situation needed to prove that there is indeed a relationship between the loss of these parasites and the onset of immune problems. Researchers all over the world are trying to isolate and synthesize the chemicals the helminths excrete/secrete to produce a medicine but it's kind of a low buck situation right now because this is in the early stages and not widely accepted.

As far as breeding out of control, there are so many varieties of helminths that it's impossible to make blanket statements but our changed living conditions caused them to go extinct in the "developed countries" and the conditions haven't changed so their breeding out of control is not likely. Then again, depending on the helminth I won't say that localized outbreaks would be impossible.

BTW, thanks for including that article Dunmann. Linda Mansfield is a personal friend. Nice person, very competant researcher.

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Postby Arron » Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:05 am

In the case of IBD, at least, the worms used are pig (and exclusively pig) whipworms. They cannot complete their lifecycle and replicate in a human host-- and so there is no appreciable risk of them beginning to breed on their own. [/b]
Disclaimer: Any information you find on this site should not be considered medical advice. All decisions should be made with the consent of your doctor, otherwise you are at your own risk.
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Postby Lyon » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:50 am

Arron wrote:In the case of IBD, at least, the worms used are pig (and exclusively pig) whipworms. They cannot complete their lifecycle and replicate in a human host-- and so there is no appreciable risk of them beginning to breed on their own.

Hi Arron, thanks for adding that because it leads me into my one sore point on this issue.

Although it will be found to be a blessing that the FDA allowed the University of Iowa to use T suis and that the results were positive, it also seems ironic and unfortunate that a parasite not specific to humans was used.

In his early interviews lead researcher Joel Weinstock explained his reasoning for using helminths against immune dysfunction and he pointed out that through human evolution until the late 1800's parasites, specific to humans, had been "part" of the human system. During our shared evolution those human specific parasites had literally become masters in fooling our immune system into thinking they weren't there.

After the 1800's our living conditions started changing to the point that, for the first time in human history, these parasites, the controllers of our immune system, found our new living conditions so inhospitable that they could no longer complete their life cycle and effectively became extinct from the "developed" world. At that same time and in the same locations we know as the "MS geographic gradient" allergy, asthma and autoimmune diseases began their dramatic rise in incidence.

Ironically, despite the fact that the swine whipworm has provided positive results, this whole thing is about parasites specific to man. Parasites which have evolved to manipulate the human immune system so well that despite our immune system, they survive to die of old age as opposed to being detected and killed by our immune system. Yet the T suis is what has been used despite it being only an "incidental" parasite and despite the fact that our immune system detects and kills it within a month.

If it hadn't been for the FDA allowing the U of I researchers to use the T suis this whole thing would have been overlooked so the T suis has suited its purpose, but it's almost obvious that MUCH better results would be found by using parasites which actually did share human evolution with us and actually are masters of the human immune system.

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Postby Lyon » Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:35 am

By the way, this Argentina thing has also stirred things up at the Ovamed forum (German company which sells the T suis) and I thought I would share Detlev's response in regard to a small T suis/MS study that has been (quietly) going on somewhere in Germany :
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Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:37 am
a small number of MS Patients already received TSO but outside clinical study conditions and showed considerable improvements. Everybody is waiting for the German authorities to move in regard of the GMP approval so that the clinical study, which is ready to go since many monthes, can finally start. The University of Wisconsin has every thing prepared already and once the GMP is finally there from Germany, the US FDA will be next to give it a go. We hope it will happen this year.

Best regards - Detlev

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Postby CureOrBust » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:46 am

Lyon wrote:... it also seems ironic and unfortunate that a parasite not specific to humans was used.
I wouldnt call it "ironic" that they chose a parasite that was not known to cause death in humans.

Lyon wrote:In his early interviews lead researcher Joel Weinstock explained his reasoning for using helminths against immune dysfunction and he pointed out that through human evolution until the late 1800's parasites, specific to humans, had been "part" of the human system.
These masters can become true masters of the human system, causing issues to the "human system".

Lyon wrote:At that same time and in the same locations we know as the "MS geographic gradient" allergy, asthma and autoimmune diseases began their dramatic rise in incidence.
And I would hazard a guess that deaths due to helminths dramatically reduced.

Lyon wrote:... they survive to die of old age as opposed to being detected and killed by our immune system.
If the host does not die first.

Now, I think you know I'm with you on this, I just think we neeed to keep it all balanced and relise there is a reason people chose not to be infected by helminths.
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Postby Lyon » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:06 pm

Hi Cure,
First, I always feel that I'm hyping these darned things and seeming to hype something with a well deserved awful reputation and which is universally despised is not really comfortable. I'm convinced that the loss of these helminths makes that which has always seemed nonsensical, make sense and of course I'd like it if others would notice the same thing.

I think you know but I want everyone to know that I don't promote anyone infesting themselves with ANY parasite but I've always been at a loss to discuss it because saying positive things about something so terrible can't avoid seeming like promotion.

I wouldnt call it "ironic" that they chose a parasite that was not known to cause death in humans.
Actually what I meant is that in "our" environment the human whipworm poses no higher risks than the swine whipworm. What I find ironic is the irrational fear of the human version, only because it's the human version. This irrational fear has created the situation in which the human version, which almost certainly would provide better results than the swine version, won't get studied and therefore, at least in the near future, no one will attempt to isolate and replicate the chemicals it produces which are more human specific.

"... they survive to die of old age as opposed to being detected and killed by our immune system." If the host does not die first.
About any dastardly thing one could say about these parasites is true. Then again, about any dastardly thing one could say about these parasites is also untrue. Yes, for many reasons in third world countries they pose a very real danger because "overinfestation" is so likely. During the process of becoming "developed" our environment changed so drastically that these parasites died out on their own. The situation hasn't improved for these parasites so overinfestation here in the developed countries doesn't seem to be a legitimate concern.

The situation with these parasites really is very complicated because they are all so different and pose such varying risks and there are just so many doggone variables involved.

Bob
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Postby Frank » Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:46 am

Just for information:I wrote a short email to the argentinian researcher and want to share his answer with you...
Please also consider my p.s. where I mention a german company selling safe parasite eggs as a medical product - well not that cheap indeed.

--Frank

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Dr. Correale,

With great interest I read about the results regarding MS and parasite infection.

As an MS patient I do now seriously think about an additional treatment with gut parasites.
Is it possible to get deliberately infected by on of the parasites you mentioned?
Considering sideeffects and therapeutic potency, what parasite would be the best choice, in your opinion?

It might sound a bit strange to really think about that option, but MS could leave you pretty desperate.

Kind regards


Frank Pleyer

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr Pleyer,
At this time we need to know more about the relationship between parasites and MS. This is a first and preliminary observation that need to be expanded. We do not know yet what kind of parasites are really the more effective in the development of this protection, what "doses", and if really have or not side effect. Nevertheless, some scientists are working in USA looking for the answers to some of these questions, and I am very sure that in the next months/years we will know more about this interaction. Inthe mean time I suggest you to continue with the approved treatments of MS according to your neurologist's prescription.
With best regards
Jorge Correale, MD
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Postby Lyon » Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:54 am

Thanks for sharing that information Frank. As usual for a responsible researcher, his response was very cautious and reserved and I suppose that is as it should be.

I actually didn't notice your PS but I know that Ovamed wants $400 for a two week supply. Despite the fact that I know the process of producing a sterile product would be expensive, it's always seemed ironic that something pig farmers would love to give away for free costs so much and is so hard to come by!

As far as I'm aware only someone diagnosed with IBD and providing a note from their Doctor is able to purchase it but the company is soon to open another processing plant in Thailand and will be selling it over the counter there....same price though, $400 for a bottle of 2,500.
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Postby CureOrBust » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:44 am

Lyon wrote:... but I know that Ovamed wants $400 for a two week supply....
...As far as I'm aware only someone diagnosed with IBD and providing a note from their Doctor is able to purchase it ...

You knew I'd go and check it out didnt you! you bated me.

I went to ovamed's site (http://www.ovamed.de), and looked at their info regarding importation into non-EU countries, and there were three documents explaining how to get it in Australia (and one doc into the US).

It appears to be the same process I went through to get AimsPro, whith an extra step for a quarantine check on a biological product. Now I have to go read this stuff, because It actually may be even easier than AimsPro.
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