Pinworms! for Bob

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Pinworms! for Bob

Postby cheerleader » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:28 pm

Hey Bob-
Need your help. My darling son brought home a case of pinworms. (The things children can bring to your life!) Our family doc wants us all to take mebendazole, since we're all showing signs of infection. I won't give any more detail....it's truly disgusting. (We won't know for sure which parasite we have until our, uh, samples are studied, but the doc wanted to get us going in the mean time.)

I mentioned that since hubby has MS, maybe a parasitic infection shouldn't be wiped out in his intestines. The doc looked at me as if I had just suggested he wear a tinfoil hat. She had never heard of the MS/intestinal worm studies.

Whaddya think? Shouldn't we just leave him be? Any studies I can bring in to my doc to prove I'm not insane?

Life is never dull. This week hubby had his one year MRI, the brakes went out in my Ford (complete failure, needed to use handbrake to stop) and pinworms came for a visit. I think we'd make a terrific reality show!

any info is appreciated-
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby Lyon » Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:42 pm

Wow AC, I appreciate your considering it!

I had to look up pinworms because I wasn't specifically familiar with them http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/infect ... nworm.html That site said that they are parasitic worms, which means they are helminths, and I'm pretty sure they are actually helminths which are adapted to the human system.....

Because of the above it seems about as certain as anything I can imagine that with a continued infection would stop your husband's MS. Like anything else which stops the MS process, any improvement would depend on the amount that his system is able to heal itself.

Now for the BAD news. This probably isn't an experiment you're going to want to do. Unlike the other helminths used in recent testing, it seems that pinworms can self infect and re-infect. It sounds like they're terribly contagious.

If you treat the kids and not your husband, it's just going to be a matter of time before the kids are reinfected....I think. I literally have no experience with self infective helminths so I've got to research this.

Again......I appreciate and marvel at your willingness to consider it, but I don't think you're going to want to do it with pinworm.

Yes, the pinworm is among the "evolutionary normal" helminth parasite infections, but prior to 100 years ago humanity didn't have the option of getting rid of them and now we do. If someone is going to chose to have a helminth infection, pinworm isn't a good one because it lays eggs outside of your......kiester and then causes an itchy.........kiester so that you get the eggs (which become infective in 2 hours) on you hands and under your fingernails.

Conversely, the human whipworm and hookworm stays attached in the gastro tract. The eggs go out in your poo, but the eggs have to lay in warm, moist soil for 4-6 weeks before they are infective With the use of flush toilets, they have become "extinct" in the US, with the exception of (some) Indian reservations and deepest Appalachia.

With it in mind that the eggs of the majority of helminths which were considered the "traditional" infections to this area (U.S.) do require a good amount of time in warm, moist soil to become infective, I think most neurologists interested in helminth immunomodulation, but not familiar with parasitology, wonder how helminths explain some of the mythical MS "exceptions to the rules". You would think that "traditional" human helminths, considering the needed 4-6 weeks in warm, moist soil for the eggs to become infective, couldn't survive where the Eskimos and Sami's roam, and they don't. That is where the direct infective parasites, which require close living conditions, come into play.

The common denominator in all of the mythical MS "exceptions to the rules" are that they involve indigenous/indigent populations, who live in close living conditions and live closer to the land than we do, despite living at the same latitudes and having similar genetic make-up as populations with much higher MS incidence. In those conditions, they often live near the sea and eat a lot of seafood and maintain zoonotic infections in that way.

I've been trying to convince Dr Kurtzke for a year that the increased incidence of MS in the Faroes isn't due to the British introducing an infection, but that the presence of the British eliminated traditional infection (helminth parasites). He's a hard guy to convince and I've spent a lot of time researching that particular situation. Among the traditional Faroese diet is seafood, and fulmers (seabirds) which are both highly parasitized, and the traditional Faroes method of curing meat is drying, which does nothing to eliminate helminths.

That alone does nothing to prove that the presence of the British eliminated the traditional Faroes infections, but it's obvious on the internet that the Faroese were left with a love of British cuisine, so it is certain that the British did influence the Faroe lifestyle. To a large enough degree to have caused an MS "epidemic"? It's too late to ever prove one way or the other.

Gosh, you shouldn't have gotten me going on my obsession AC!

Bob
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Postby cheerleader » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:54 pm

Thanks, Bob! Knew I could count on you.

You're right...
Pinworms are different in their life cycle; humans are meant to be a temporary host and means of egg transmission, so it wouldn't make any sense to keep re-infecting the family, in hopes of holding hubby's MS at bay. We're all taking our medicine, washing sheets, towels, PJs and going over the hygiene rules :)

Because you were such a help, I've found a couple of interesting tidbits for you!

A terrific interview with Karl Reinhard (pathecoloist and parasite, disease and poo expert)

http://discovermagazine.com/2002/nov/breakdialogue

and a fascinating study on the history of pinworms....

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... 75768/pg_1


Keep studying and searching and talking with researchers and doctors. If it weren't for obsessions, nothing would ever get done!

Now I'm going to try and forget everything I've learned in the past few days!
YEECH!!!
best,
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby Lyon » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:00 pm

Thanks for the links AC. Both articles were interesting but I loved the Discover article.

I've been a subscriber of Discover since it came out and I don't know how I missed that article, but November first 2002 was just about a month before my obsession began. I might have read it, but at that time it might not have meant anything to me.

The pinworm article...not that it's the source of strong disagreement but some think that humans might have been parasitized not long after life began and that there really has never been a "stand-alone" human organism. Maybe a human has never existed which could healthily survive without gut bacteria to help process our food and perhaps there never was a time that the human didn't have helminths controlling aspects of our immune system.

Long, long ago I read that researchers feel (felt?) that the human organism originally was able to create all of the needed vitamins, but since we were consistently getting certain vitamins in our diet, along the way we lost the ability to create them.

I'm not certain I believe that vitamin theory, but if true, it only takes a short stretch of imagination to believe that evolution would eventually hand over responsibility, to the the always present helminths, aspects of the immune system which they had controlled for thousands of years.

I don't blame you for passing on the pinworm infection. I enjoy an itchy butt as much as any self respecting guy.....it gives us something to do in the concourse of the mall while waiting for our wives to come out of the stores, but pinworms is a little too much of a good thing :oops:

Bob
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