Indeed I have tried estrogen and progesterone for MS.
I'm on 8mg estriol/500mg progesterone and have been for about 6 years (diagnosed 7+ years ago at age 57). Progesterone dose recommended after testing.
Do they work? That's a million dollar question. Let me say first given the nature of the disease I don't know that anyone with MS really knows if something is working.
The best indication I have that the progesterone is working is that it seems to share a mode of action with Ampyra--inhibition of potassium channels. A nongenomic mechanism for progesterone-mediated immunosuppression: inhibition of K+ channels, Ca2+ signaling, and gene expression in T lymphocytes
I noticed about 3 months after getting my progesterone to an acceptable level (testing indicated I had none to start with) that my gait started to improve. At diagnosis it took me 45 minutes on a treadmill hanging on for dear life to get up to about 4 kph (2.5 mph). Now I can get up to 4.8 kph (3mph) in 10 seconds without holding on and occassionally do spurts of 6.5 kph (4mph). Was it the progesterone or a coincidence?
Estrogen and progestrone both have terrific anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and remyelination properties.
If you want to puruse this angle I think it's very worthwhile to have your hormone levels tested and as appropriate bring them into high normal range (just like JL with the nutrients).
I also take supplements, exercise and am currently on Copaxone.
Hope that helps, feel free to pm me too.
OT--JL--check this out, I've never texted in my life, but Hppy Nw Yr to you and to all.
Anyway, I started taking some progesterone cream twice a day about 3 weeks ago. So far my walking has improved significantly and my tingling/numbness have subsided for the most part. I'm actually quite amazed at how much my strength has improved. Cogfog remains bothersome. However, the first week of using Prog my mood improved ten fold. Since then it has leveled off, but the depression I was experiencing there for a while seems to have receded. I haven't experienced any significant side effects so far, except for some minor heart palpitations - that may or may not be associated with Prog. All sexual function(s) remain intact. I'll get my levels checked in a month or two to make sure I'm not doing more harm than good.
Hopefully some other people out there can add their own experience, good or bad. Would love to hear about some recent stories from everyone. A lot of studies have demonstrated Prog's ability to induce myelination. Researches are also starting to realize Progs potential in traumatic brain injuries.
I've been on a downward slope for the last 6-9 months, so I'm just happy to share some success with my fellows TiMSers.
btw - if anyone is interested in trying this stuff out - make sure you get the natural Prog cream. The synthetic stuff is what causes a lot of side effects. It should say "USP Progesterone" on the ingredients.
From what I've read, the natural stuff is relatively easy on the side effects, while the synthetics can cause issues.
Ive been using Pro-Gest, which seems to have a good reputation and is widely available. It IS a little weird ordering menopause medication (being a younger guy!), but I guess I can get over it. hah.
Dr. Ray Peat's post regarding MS and Progesterone initially got me on the PROG track and is a good overview, though I don't agree with all of his nutritional ideas. He also talks about other aspects of the disease/autoimmunity. http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/ms.shtml
Multiple Sclerosis / Pregnancy
http://www.medmerits.com/index.php/arti ... erosis/P12Female hormones affect disease activity; 82% of women report worse symptoms before menses (Smith and Studd 1992). The progesterone/17-beta-estradiol ratio increases during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, and this corresponds to higher MRI activity (Pozzilli et al 1999). MRI activity increases during ovulation when estradiol is high and progesterone is low (Bansil et al 1999). Symptoms improve with aspirin, without affecting body temperature.
Correlation between sex hormones and magnetic resonance imaging lesions in multiple sclerosis.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10071166Patients with high estradiol and low progesterone levels had a significantly greater number of Gd enhancing lesions than those with low levels of both these hormones. Patients with a high estrogen to progesterone ratio had a significantly greater number of active MRI lesions than those with a low ratio.
Progesterone and Nestorone facilitate axon remyelination: a role for progesterone receptors.
Progesterone attenuates neurological behavioral deficits of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis through remyelination with nucleus-sublocalized Olig1 protein.We found that progesterone and the synthetic 19-norprogesterone derivative 16-methylene-17α-acetoxy-19-norpregn-4-ene-3,20-dione (Nestorone) promote the remyelination of axons by oligodendrocytes after lysolecithin-induced demyelination in organotypic cultures of cerebellar slices taken from postnatal rats or mice.
Progesterone treatment reduces disease severity and increases IL-10 in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.Progesterone can promote the remyelination, but whether it exerts beneficial effect on treatment of MS still remains unclear. . . . The results indicate that the progesterone is beneficial to attenuating neurological behavioral deficits, for it can promote more successful remyelination of EAE with aid of the nucleus-sublocalized Olig1 protein.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20153059Progesterone treated animals showed reduced peak disease scores and cumulative disease indices, and decreased inflammatory cytokine secretion (IL-2 and IL-17).
Protective effects of progesterone administration on axonal pathology in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19497309In conclusion, progesterone enhanced axonal density, decreased axonal damage and prevented GAP43 hyperexpression in the spinal cord of EAE mice.
----- Progesterone in Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke -----
Progesterone up-regulates neuronal brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in the injured spinal cord. [BDNF is responsible for plasticity - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity]
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15099674Our findings suggest that PROG enhancement of endogenous neuronal BDNF could provide a trophic environment within the lesioned spinal cord and might be part of the PROG activated-pathways to provide neuroprotection.
Progesterone neuroprotection in traumatic CNS injury and motoneuron degeneration.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19318112In peripheral neuropathies, progesterone and reduced derivatives promote remyelination, axonal regeneration and the recovery of function. In traumatic brain injury (TBI), progesterone has the ability to reduce edema and inflammatory cytokines, prevent neuronal loss and improve functional outcomes. Clinical trials have shown that short-and long-term progesterone treatment induces a significant improvement in the level of disability among patients with brain injury. In experimental spinal cord injury (SCI), molecular markers of functional motoneurons become impaired, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA, Na,K-ATPase mRNA, microtubule-associated protein 2 and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). . . . SCI also causes oligodendrocyte loss and demyelination. In this case, a short progesterone treatment enhances proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitors into mature myelin-producing cells, whereas prolonged treatment increases a transcription factor (Olig1) needed to repair injury-induced demyelination.
Progesterone: therapeutic opportunities for neuroprotection and myelin repair.
A concept is emerging that progesterone may exert different actions and use different signaling mechanisms in normal and injured neural tissue. . . . Progesterone and its metabolites promote the viability of neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Their neuroprotective effects have been documented in different lesion models, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), experimentally induced ischemia, spinal cord lesions and a genetic model of motoneuron disease. Progesterone plays an important role in developmental myelination and in myelin repair, and the aging nervous system appears to remain sensitive to some of progesterone's beneficial effects. Thus, the hormone may promote neuroregeneration by several different actions by reducing inflammation, swelling and apoptosis, thereby increasing the survival of neurons, and by promoting the formation of new myelin sheaths.
You get the idea.
Sex hormone patterns in women with multiple sclerosis as related to disease activity - a pilot study.
The main hormonal abnormalities consisted of decreased progesterone level, increased oestradiol level or both. The sex hormone pattern was abnormal in 56% of patients. Hypotha-lamic lesions were found on MRI in 53% of cases. The abnormal hormonal pattern correlated with intensity of MR changes (p < 0.05, Fisher's exact test), but neither with presence of hypothalamic changes nor with disease parameters (Expanded Disability Status Scale, relapse rate, disease duration).