MS Vaccine Shows Promise
Aug 29, 2005 - Some exciting news on the horizon for multiple sclerosis patients. Scientists are testing a vaccine that seems to halt the progression of the disease. I t's hoped that 1 day the vaccine could reverse the effects of MS. Losing strength and coordination is a big problem. Sue Carlson was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 10 years ago.
Sue Carlson, multiple sclerosis patient: "It came on suddenly and I was deteriorating quickly."
Sue's eyesight was failing, she was falling down and was forced to cut her workload in half, b ut she found hope in a clinical trial for a new vaccine called Neurovax.
Sue Carlson: "I had been on Neurovax for about 3 months and I realized things were starting to come back."
In fact, sue says her symptoms have gone away.
Arthur VandenBark, PHD. Neuroimmunologist: "W e've had a few examples where we've had very, very good responses, and many other examples where we've been able to stabilize the disease so it doesn't progress any further."
Scientists discovered that MS patients lose the foxp3 gene. Simply put, Neurovax restores foxp3 levels by expanding healthy cells which in turn block the bad cells that have become active.
Arthur VandenBark: "When we activate the regulatory cells, we're helping them to produce these anti-inflammatory factors."
If after more trials Neurovax proves successful, for some, combating MS could 1 day be as simple as a shot in the arm.
Arthur VandenBark: "Probably give them maybe 3 at the beginning once a month and then follow every 3-6 months with a booster injection."
Early results suggest Neurovax might be able to treat MSs in both early and late stages, which may be why Sue Carlson never misses a day of work.