I thought the following information may be of some use to people. It looks to me that based on recent scientific works I have been doing the right thing dealing with my MS by using the combination of Avonex and Valtrex.
There was article published recently about the role of a receptor - CD8 and how it malfunctions in people with MS.
"What is remarkable about the CD8 T cell deficiency in MS is that normally when the EBV load is increased, as it is in the blood and brain of MS patients, the CD8 T cell frequency should increase and not decrease. This suggests that there is a fundamental defect in the ability of MS patients to make an appropriate CD8 T cell response to EBV, as we have previously hypothesised. We propose that this defect is genetically determined. "
http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/early/2011/ ... 00213.long
In simple terms, when an EBV infection is detected in a healthy immune system the receptor CD8 begins to express interferon and other antiviral activity which triggers the immune sytem to fight off a viral infection.
Interferon comes from the same root word as “interfere”. Its role is to allow communication between cells to alert the immune system to fight of a viral infection. Aching muscles and fever are the manifestation of elevated interferon levels in normal illness and injections like Avonex are stimulating the same response.
Some viruses have evolved so they disrupt the signal to the immune system from the interferon. The research suggests that people with MS have CD8 T cell receptors that fail to make the appropriate natural interferon response when exposed to EBV. When the EBV load increases people with MS produce a lower CD8 response and hence send fewer signals to the immune system to fight the virus. The opposite happens in the rest of the population so they stay well.
The important thing is two variables have been identified; 1) we don’t always make an appropriate interferon response to viral infection and 2) EBV is an example of a virus that we can’t handle ourselves.
There is a long but useful note on other viruses and interferon here-
I don’t claim any scientific capability but I have been staying well for 16 years now by doing two things-
1) Injecting Avonex (interferon Beta 1A) weekly. I know and accept this is a horrible injection
2) Taking two tablets per day of Avonex because it specifically attacks herpes family virus replication
In effect, I have been doing exactly what the science in the above article would point to how we should stabilise ourselves. I boost my levels of Interferon to fight infection because my CD8 receptor won’t tell my body to do it itself and I limit the EBV by disrupting its replication cycle.
What I do is hard and uncomfortable for up to 36 hours after an injection but I have no noticeable MS problems.
The Avonex on its own can’t do the job because it doesn’t stop the ongoing increase in the viral load. The Valtrex on its own can’t do the job because it can’t signal the immune system. If I use both, I signal the immune system and I am continuously attack the underlying virus. I am staying well.
This is such an inexact approach I can’t guarantee that exactly what I do will work for you but some variation on the theme might help as long as you create an elevated interferon level and disrupt the viral cycle.
Hope this helps somebody.