Loss of evolutionary normal conditions

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Loss of evolutionary normal conditions

Postby Lyon » Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:09 pm

This article doesn't refer directly to MS but does add to the increasing evidence extolling that the loss of the historical parasite/host relationships could have had negative impact on the functions of the human immune system.

Of course the obvious question is what kind of problems we should expect from the loss of this millions of year old relationship and of course immune dysfunctions are the kind of things we should expect and indeed started materializing at the same times and places.

<shortened url>
Tigris Scientifica
The Plight of the Parasite
By: Holly Tuten
Issue date: 1/30/09
Pubic lice are going extinct. This may seem like a good thing, but what if researchers could develop a novel blood-thinning agent from these blood-sucking pests? In late 2004, Brugia malayi, a causative agent of elephantiasis, was the first parasitic nematode to have its entire genome sequenced. Understanding the cloak of invisibility this worm uses to dodge the immune system may revolutionize organ transplants. Other human parasites could provide treatments for asthma, anaphylaxis, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. And the "Hygiene hypothesis" states that allergic diseases (e.g., eczema) are less common in children exposed to parasites in their environment. Although no plans are in place to deliberately infect people, the anti-inflammatory arsenals of parasites are being investigated. In order to better understand how to manipulate human physiology, researchers study the manipulative masterminds, human parasites.

Parasites can also help improve environmental health and animal studies. Intestinal worms of fish may be used in the near future to monitor heavy metal pollution in waterways, because they are natural accumulators of these toxins. It has been proposed that parasites form the basis of complex food webs, although they are often overlooked in biodiversity studies. Dr. Armand Kuris and his colleagues reported in the journal Nature this year that in total, parasite mass in estuaries exceeds the mass of all estuarine birds. Even mosquitoes are an embedded link in many food chains. Mosquito larvae are found in almost all water bodies. These larvae are eaten by other insects, amphibians and fish. Adult mosquitoes are eaten by insects, bats and birds. Male mosquitoes drink nectar instead of blood and pollinate plants in the process. Parasites can also help us understand species distributions. Dr. Patricia Parker and coworkers at the University of Missouri used bird lice to determine when birds differentially colonized nine Galapagos islands. For hosts that are difficult to study in captivity or track in the wild, they can lend a helping hand. Some worms with multiple life-stages in different hosts were used as "biological tags" in studies on fish migration. And zoological parks are using assassin bugs as living syringes to get blood samples from animals. They may also open a door to the past. The aforementioned pubic louse has provided researchers with clues to an extinct species of early humans. The endangered right whale has a parasitic crustacean that provided a genetic snapshot of the whale's evolutionary history.

Many animals host more than one parasite. Parasites as a group are especially vulnerable to extinction, because most are exquisitely specialized. If their host goes extinct, they will, too. There are currently an estimated 6,300 species of parasites and affiliate species that are "co-endangered." Some parasites may even precede their host to extinction due to conservation efforts which inadvertently exclude them. When the last California condors were taken into captivity in 1987, their lice went extinct. Now the world can never know what was lost.
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RE:Loss of Evolutionary Normal Conditions

Postby Holly » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:34 pm

Hello Lyon,

You make an excellent point. Educating the general public about this topic, and showing them why it is relevant to modern society, is essential to answering the question you stated. If people are interested then research funds can be generated. The topic of parasite co-evolution (especially in regards to human health) is woefully understudied.

It's unfortunate that almost all medical parasitology courses currently being taught focus on symptoms, treatment, and eradication of the parasite. A much more integrative path would include discussion of the fine-tuned physiological adaptations that symptoms represent, and what we can learn from them.

However, some pioneers are conducting very interesting research on the ecology of infectious diseases, and if you dig deep enough into the literature you will be rewarded.

Thanks for noticing!

Holly Tuten
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Postby Lyon » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:29 pm

Hi Holly!
I hadn't realized at first glance that you're the writer of the article. I'm honored and thrilled to have the chance to tell you what an interesting and valuable article that was.

It's ironic that a lot of "Hygiene Hypothesis" articles hype the "eat dirt", "let the kids eat dirt" aspect. Although the "traditional" human parasites have been compared to rats and cockroaches as being able to survive nuclear holocaust due to their historical opportunism and adaptability, in reality small lifestyle changes were all that was needed to render them extinct as part of our becoming "developed".

We can eat all the dirt we want in the US because in regard to the traditional human parasites and their eggs, this land has been sterile for some time.

Again, good work!
Bob
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Postby mrhodes40 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:53 pm

Interesting material Lyon!.. I am squarely in the "not autoimmune camp" so it has a less personal angle to it for me but I am very involved in local waterway issues (I live on Puget Sound) so the idea that fish intestinal parasites have something to offer was news to me. You just don't think about bugs and parasites being useful....well YOU do but I did not.
:wink: And thanks Holly for the insights!
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Postby Lyon » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:39 pm

Hi Marie,
Although my wife is now diagnosed with MS I had the opportunity to come at this from an entirely different angle than most in that, without a lot of "ownership" I've been interested in the cause(s) of (what are considered) the "autoimmune" diseases since the late 1960's. The "IMMUNE" aspect is all that has ever interested me. The "AUTO" I could give or take.

Regarding the fish internal parasites, I've found it interesting that that very aspect stands to easily answer what is considered the biggest puzzle in MS research...how the occupation of the British soldiers "caused" an outbreak of MS in the Faroe Islands.

The traditional diet of the Faroese was/is highly seafood and sea birds (obviously) and their method of preservation has traditionally involved drying, which does little towards killing parasites and their eggs. By and large the soldiers were housed with the Faroe residents and the situation could have gone many ways, and probably did.

The soldiers obviously shared the Faroe diet and parasite infestation of the soldiers likely became a medical problem, which the British might have considered most effectively remedied by treating everyone involved with anti parasitics. If it is true that the loss of "evolutionary normal conditions" begat the "autoimmunes" there would be no quicker way to set the wheels in motion than to treat everyone with anti parasitics.

Additionally, the British occupation instilled a liking of (non parasitized) British food among the Faroese population. Another factor which I can't guess is how well the Faroe diet was liked by the British soldiers and how much pressure the British put on the Faroe citizens to serve British food.

If the British soldiers made it well known that they didn't like whale blubber, dried sea food and sea birds, if the Faroese couldn't supply the amount of traditional food needed for themselves and the British troops, the traditional food would have had to be supplemented with or replaced entirely by (non parasitized) food supplied by the British military AND/OR the British military might have actually identified the Faroese diet as a source of parasites and actively pressured serving the traditional Faroese diet during the time the troops were housed there.

As I've tried to convince Dr Kurtzke, the sudden loss of an always previously existing infection portrays the same image in hindsight that the introduction of a new infection would.......It requires nothing more than common sense to recognize that no virus has ever been identified in this situation and there is literally EVERY reason to think that the British occupation altered the historic Faroese parasite infections.

Sardinia, Italy. Although MS was previously unheard of, Malaria was such a problem that in 1952 WHO launched a huge project to eliminate the mosquitos which spread the parasite responsible for malaria. Malaria was effectively eliminated and MS (and other "autoimmunes") soon became and continues to be a problem.

I'm not saying that parasites are a good thing but I am saying that knowledge is a good thing and we need to accept that there very likely are negative repercussions to be considered when we eliminate factors which had been part of the human condition for millions of years.

Ironically, another interest of mine is genealogy and as part of that interest a few years ago I was going to area cemeteries and writing the information from the headstones to put on the internet. It doesn't take much of that to make clear the difference in child attrition rates between.......say the 1860's and now. I can't imagine anyone wanting to return to pre 1860 health care but I think we're going to have to start considering that the health gains we made weren't entirely "free" and try to identify the costs we might have unwittingly accepted.
Bob
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Postby mrhodes40 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:28 pm

Hi Bob,
I see your logic in the Faroese angle. a perfectly reasoned argument!

I appreciate your assessment of how the lack of parasites has changed or bodies and can see the point; of course it has to have caused some consequences.

I do not buy the idea though. If I understnad the larger implication and big picture it is that the parasites, who naturally engender some tolerance of their parasitic selves, allow some of that tolerance to wash over to tolerance of self antigens. Without the parasite, the immune system is on overdrive and mistakenly attacks "self".

But here is one of my heros speaking on MS Behan and Chaudhuri Pathogenesis of MS revisited foundHERE

Indeed, as
exemplified by several investigators, Guseo and Jellinger
found in a detailed study of 19 cases of MS with a short
clinical course (the mean of less than one year) a significant
number of these patients had no perivascular infiltrate
in the CNS.53 The absence of lymphocyte cuffing in
patients with acute MS is not the exception and is said
to occur in one-third of all cases.36 Lymphocytes are a
normal occurrence in the perivascular spaces. Similar
infiltrates, in fact exceeding that found in MS, may occur
in a wide variety of pathological conditions including
trauma, infarcts, tumour and following infections. Most
investigators who have looked for lymphocytes in contact
with the myelin sheaths and oligodendroglia found that
‘the number of lymphocytes that leave the perivascular
compartment and enter the parenchyma is very small,
both in absolute numbers and relative to the number of
macrophages present.’54–8
There are multiple reports of detailed and sophisticated


It's a long paper there is a large amout of data about MS lesions that support the idea it as degenerative without there being any immune system involved in the damage, parasite primed or not.

Here is nother key piece from Barnett and Prineas (John Prineas is a dystel prize winning MS researcher most of what we know about MS lesions came from his pathology lab)
Pathology of the newly forming lesion in RRMS
found HERE
Such “acute” lesions generally are described
as actively demyelinating lesions in which myelin
phagocytes directly engage normal-appearing myelin
sheaths in the presence of infiltrating T cells. Because
similar changes are observed in some forms of experimental
allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), this has encouraged
the view that tissue destruction in MS is the
result of a T-cell–mediated cellular immune response directed
against myelin. This study describes the clinical
and pathological findings in a young patient with relapsing
and remitting MS who died within 24 hours of the
onset of a new symptomatic brainstem lesion. In view of
the unusual findings, we reviewed tissue obtained at autopsy
from other patients with rapidly deteriorating MS.
Nine lesions were found that were essentially identical to
the fatal brainstem lesion in the first case. The earliest
structural change shared by all 10 lesions was extensive
oligodendrocyte apoptosis in tissue exhibiting early microglial
activation but few or no infiltrating lymphocytes
or myelin phagocytes. This is unlike any current laboratory
model of the disease, in particular, experimental allergic
encephalomyelitis, which raises the possibility of
some novel disease process underlying lesion formation
in relapsing and remitting MS.


That's an older paper at '04, but Barnett has continued to write along the lines of "its not autoimmune...." and has a lot of papers on that thought. Prineas is semi retired at this point.

If I misunderstand then let me know but essentially the hygiene hypothesis requires the immune system to do the damage does it not? so if I accept the work of these workers and others writing along these lines, the lack of parasites has little to do with MS as they are pointing out it is degenerative not immune related?

Nonetheless, good article with interesting points. Extinct parasites! man, never thought of that!
:wink: marie
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Postby Lyon » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:50 pm

mrhodes40 wrote:Hi Bob,
I see your logic in the Faroese angle. a perfectly reasoned argument!

I appreciate your assessment of how the lack of parasites has changed or bodies and can see the point; of course it has to have caused some consequences.

I do not buy the idea though. If I understnad the larger implication and big picture it is that the parasites, who naturally engender some tolerance of their parasitic selves, allow some of that tolerance to wash over to tolerance of self antigens. Without the parasite, the immune system is on overdrive and mistakenly attacks "self".
Hi Marie,
I'm not sure how to respond.

The loss of evolutionary normal conditions is a situation which is postulated as having possibly led to the increased incidence of MS among the developed populations.

What you quoted is the attempt to argue the biophysics of a disease in which "experts" like your heroes have (in 150 years of trying) yet to define the cause or the slightest specificity with which to design a conclusive test for MS.....I'm unable to take the "experts" on either side of that argument seriously.

If I were Muslim both your heroes and guys on the other side of the argument would be ducking my shoes for wasting our time and money with college words and valueless concepts.

Bob
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Postby CureOrBust » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:43 am

Lyon wrote:I'm not sure how to respond.
You should of ended there. :P
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Postby Lyon » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:36 am

Cure wrote:You should of ended there. Razz
Maybe..... When any of us enter this picture (MS investigation), what is the first stumbling block any of us come to?

I think the first stumbling block any of us have had to face is the amazement of skipping over the entire question of "what is the cause of MS?" and "what IS MS?" and following the researchers to a purported research midpoint to argue whether or not MS is or isn't "autoimmune".

I can't and won't get over the fact that we can't make any headway until we can define what started MS and what MS "IS". THEN maybe we'll have a better idea how valid the argument of whether or not MS is "autoimmune" really is.
Bob
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Postby jimmylegs » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:13 am

i think we're back to the idea that ms is a category 'defined' by a list of symptom statistics.
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Postby Lyon » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:48 am

jimmylegs wrote:i think we're back to the idea that ms is a category 'defined' by a list of symptom statistics.
On one hand I think you are obviously right Jimmy, but on the other hand that definition is too loose and I don't think we even have the option of accepting that. Before any real headway can be made in MS research we have to be able to define the likely cause(s) conclusively AND we need to be able to define something specific and exclusive to the MS process so that we can say with conviction that "yes, at this moment this person has MS" and "no, that person doesn't". Until then we won't know the simplest things which are essential to know about MS, such as when the disease starts and whether disease progression actually stops during remission or only slows to the point that plasticity is again able to mask the rate of damage. Of course there are tons of other things like that we need to know.
Bob
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Postby jimmylegs » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:07 am

yep of course it is too loose and unacceptable, but that seems to be status quo doesn't it.
the venous insufficiency line has some interesting possibilities regarding a process potentially specific and exclusive to ms patients, time will tell.
that said, getting back to causes, at the end of the day i just don't believe there has to be a unified theory with a single cause for all patients currently labeled 'ms'. let's all be right :)
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Postby mommasan » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:13 am

I am going to try to get my thoughts together and hopefully not be writing out of the other end.

Why, when children get MS, it is almost exclusively RR? Is it just plasticity?

Why with familial clusters, those who get it at an older age can be PPMS while their kids who get it earlier can be RR- Alan Osmond and his son David are an example of this.

If it is not related to the immune system in some way, how does Revimmune work?

Can MS be cohesively related to the cancer model of initiation-promotion. I recall the case of the woman with RR who died of MS after falling asleep sunbathing- not immunological, but the extreme stress of sunbathing was perhaps the promotor. Perhaps there can be many non-immunologically related promotors but the initial process is immune related?

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Postby robbie » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:09 am

If it is not related to the immune system in some way, how does Revimmune work?

how do they know that ?
Had ms for over 19 years now.
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Postby Lyon » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:32 pm

mommasan wrote:I am going to try to get my thoughts together and hopefully not be writing out of the other end.
Hi Sandy,
Those are some hard and not very clear questions, but I mostly have to wonder who they were for? Jimmy was the last one to post before you did.
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