Scientists Have Found A Way To Stop MS Progression!

I am too excited to actually write my own article about this! So, I am going to commit an act of blatant plagarism and then link to the original site. I am sorry about being so lame, but they have figured out a way to stop the progression of MS simply by blocking a protein! THIS MEANS THAT FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME, WE SOON WON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT GETTING WORSE ALL THE TIME!!! IT IS SO EXCITING! I am adding in bold in certain areas because I think there are some things that are important to note – all emphasis is added by me.

Professor Claude Bernard and Dr Steven Petratos are two of the doctors responsible for finding a way to halt the progression of multiple sclerosis in patients.

Led by MISCL’s Dr Steven Petratos, also of RMIT University, and Professor Claude Bernard, the research team found that a modified version of CRMP-2 is present in active MS lesions, which indicate damage to the nervous system, in a laboratory model of MS.

The modified CRMP-2 interacts with another protein to cause nerve fibre damage that can result in numbness, blindness, difficulties with speech and motor skills, and cognitive impairments in sufferers.

When either the modified CRMP-2 or the interaction between the two proteins was blocked, using a method already approved in both the US and Australia, the progression of the disease was halted.

Director of MISCL, Professor Richard Boyd said the discovery could lead to new treatments for MS.

“Blocking the same protein in people with MS could provide a ‘handbrake’ to the progression of the disease,” Professor Boyd said.

Dr Petratos said the method used to block the protein was approved for the treatment of other disease conditions by both the US Food and Drug Administration and Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.

“This should mean that clinical trials – once they start – will be fast tracked as the form of administration has already been approved,” Dr Petratos said.

MS Australia estimates that the disease affects more than 20,000 people in Australia, and up to 2.5 million worldwide. The disease tends to strike early in adulthood, with women three times more likely than men to be diagnosed. The total cost to the Australian community of the disease is estimated at $1 billion annually.

The research received major funding from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of the United States of America and partial funding from MS Research Australia.

Provided by Monash University (news : web)

What To Eat and Not To Eat If You Have MS

Okay, so I’ve quit the paleo diet for the time being because it’s a hairy pain in the butt from time to time to constantly be cooking all of your own food, and because part of me worries that it’s a fad.

That doesn’t mean that it’s a wrong diet to be on. It just means that for right now, I’m on hiatus from it.

I spent more than an hour on the phone this morning with a nurse from Shared Solutions, the care team from Copaxone, discussing multiple sclerosis, and how to treat it.

MS is a disease of inflammation, and so, if we’re going to do our part to eat well, we should eat foods that are anti-inflammatory.

You can best help your body eliminate inflammation by reducing stress, removing sugar and processed foods from your diet, and by getting more sunshine! Even if you’re not going for a walk, and you’re sitting on a computer, try to get it outside!

Foods That Help Eliminate Inflammation

  1. Vegetables in the Broccoli Family: Broccoli, Cauliflower, & Broccolini
  2. Oils high in Omega 3, such as flaxseed oil, canola oil, or hemp. Olive oil is ok too.
  3. Fish high in Omega 3s – Salmon, Sardines, Herring, and Black Cod
  4. Spinach has carotenoids, one kind of inflammation-reducing antioxidant and it also contains vitamin E.
  5. Onions contain quercetin, a potent antioxidant that can help your body fight inflammation.
  6. Garlic contains sulfur compounds that stimulate your immune system to fight disease.
  7. Tart cherries! They’ve got better anti-inflammatory powers than aspirin, believe it or not!
  8. Pineapple contains bromelain, an antioxidant that boosts your immunity.
  9. Soaked Walnuts. It’s important to soak them to remove the enzyme inhibitor.
  10. Ginger, Tumeric, Curry, Oregano, Rosemary, and Green Tea contain bioflavonoids and polyphenols that reduce inflammation and limit free radical production.”

Foods to Avoid

  1. Sugar – It causes inflammation. Nuff said.
  2. Corn, Safflower, Sunflower, Peanut and Soybean Oils that are high in Omega 6
  3. Trans Fats
  4. Dairy Products: Why? Because it has cassien, which is a common allergen that causes inflammation.
  5. Feedlot-Raised Meat: because the meat was fed inflammatory food, like soybeans and corn, which means when we eat the meat, we’re also eating the inflammatory agents of the legumes and grains that are in the meat.
  6. Red Meat & Processed Meat: Why? Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that red meat contains a molecule that humans don’t naturally produce called Neu5Gc. After ingesting this compound, the body develops anti-Neu5Gc antibodies – an immune response that may trigger chronic inflammatory response. And low-grade simmering inflammation that won’t go away has been linked to cancer and heart disease. And multiple sclerosis. Much as my husband will hate this, it means no beef, lamb or pork, including hams, sausages and salami.
  7. Booze. I don’t think I need to qualify this one.
  8. Refined Grains. They are devoid of fiber and vitamin B compared to unpolished and unrefined grains that still have the bran, germ and the aleurone layer intact. This makes refined grains as good as refined sugars, which are practically empty calories. UNREFINED GRAINS ARE OKAY! As long as you are not allergic or intolerant to gluten, go for minimally processed grains. Check labels and go for things made with 100% whole grains.
  9. Artificial food additives/Exitotoxins: NO MSG, aspartame, or the like.
  10. Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes and potatoes, if you’re having real problems.

As I put this together, I can’t help but notice that there are many similarities to the Paleo Diet, but there are a few differences that are obvious, like the inclusion of whole grains if you do not have gluten intolerance, the complete exclusion of all red meat, and the exclusion of tomatoes and potatoes.

Since I quit the paleo diet, I have broken out (yay acne!) and gained weight. So it’s obvious to me that I have unnecessary inflammation going on. I think if I tried to follow these rules, I would probably feel better, lose weight, and be happier.



HAWMC Day #22 – The Things We Forget. Visit and make your own version of a short memo reminder. Where would you post it?

Before today, I’d never been to Things We Forget, but it’s very cute.

Here’s my post-it.

I would post it near bus stops, clinics, and mall parking lots… because the world needs more people smiling!

Did you know that when you smile, it boosts your immune system?

Not only that, but it also lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress!

What’s even better is that when you smile, the world smiles with you, and happiness multiplies for you and other people.

Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers, Dopamine, and Serotonin!

So you can see, smiling is one of the best things that someone can do for themselves, doubly so for someone with MS!

A Bitter Pill To Swallow: Gilenya (Fingolimod) death toll up to 11, FDA reviews drug.

For those of us with Multiple Sclerosis, Novartis’s fingolimod has been the first real pharmacologically approved option for a disease modifying drug that would allow us to stop either taking injections (with Copaxone, Rebif, Betaseron, or Avonex) or having a monthly infusion with Tysabri.

Now, I don’t know about you, but most folks don’t love needles. Gilenya was the hope of generations of MS patients to be able to simply take a pill for our condition. That’s why, when a patient died within the first 24 hours of their first dose of Gileyna, Novartis was reasonably concerned.

Both the European Union and the FDA are reviewing Gileyna (also known as Fingolimod). This doesn’t mean that it is going to be pulled from the market, or that the drug itself is bad! It just means they want to review it to ensure the safety of Europeans and Americans who have multiple sclerosis and who choose to take that medication.

This doesn’t mean the end for Gileyna. There were a number of deaths from PML that occurred before Tysabri was pulled from the market in 2005 and then reintroduced in 2006 with new safety precautions and a “risk-benefit” analysis.

Now, I don’t know about the “risk-benefit” analysis for any of my fellow MS sufferers. I can only speak for myself… but when death is on the line with your disease modifying drug, I personally believe that you’re messing with something far worse than your incredibly annoying and often painful disease.

To put it frankly: Multiple sclerosis itself is not fatal, so why would you take a drug that has proven itself fatal to others and very well might cause fatality in you?

I may not love giving myself a shot every night, but I can guarantee you that I will continue doing it until they create a pill or liquid that doesn’t kill folks — or until my symptoms disappear (and stay gone) thanks to the Paleo Diet.

That being said, I have plenty of friends online who would swear by their wonder-drug, and who are doing very well on Gileyna and are hopeful that the FDA simply says, “keep in good contact with your doctor.”

Whatever the outcome, my heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones, and my hope is that the safety and care of those patients still living and on the drug are put ahead of Novartis’s profits, while real research is done.

Good health, everybody!

Scientists have found a way to repair severed nerves!

Well butter my biscuits, and serve me grits! (SO NOT PALEO! *gasp*)

It looks like, according to the Journal of Neuroscience Research, there is a new procedure that has been developed that can repair severed nerves!

“We have developed a procedure which can repair severed nerves within minutes so that the behavior they control can be partially restored within days and often largely restored within two to four weeks,” said Professor George Bittner from the University of Texas. “If further developed in clinical trials this approach would be a great advance on current procedures that usually imperfectly restore lost function within months at best.”

According to Science Daily, “The team [of scientists] were able to repair severed sciatic nerves in the upper thigh, with results showing the rats were able to use their limb within a week and had much function restored within 2 to 4 weeks, in some cases to almost full function.”

“We believe this procedure could produce a transformational change in the way nerve injuries are repaired,” concluded Bittner.

So how does this relate to Multiple Sclerosis?

In multiple sclerosis, once the myelin is removed from our nerves, we develop lesions in places in our nervous systems which act similarly to having severed the nerve completely sometimes. It’s entirely possible that they have found a new treatment for the symptoms that those of us who suffer with MS must endure.

For folks who can no longer walk, I would think that this procedure might prove to be helpful. At least, this article gives me reason to have hope.

Fatty Foods May Cause Brain Lesions In Your Hypothalamus.

According to a study just released in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, consuming a diet filled with high-fat foods could lead to multiple sclerosis, with the lesions appearing in your hypothalamus.

In the study, scientists fed rats a high-fat diet that is typical in the United States and were astonished by results that showed them that within 1 day, there was inflammation within the hypothalamus. After an eight month-long extension of this diet, the doctors believed that gliosis occurred while the brain tried furiously to heal from the inflammation.

Gliosis, for those of you without a medical dictionary handy, is just another way of saying “scarring of the nervous system.” It’s the step after demyleniation. Gliosis is the term that is used when a lesion has been created.

To make sure that it wasn’t entirely rodent related, the doctors took 34 obese humans to an MRI machine to check how their hypothalamus activity was looking. They found inflammation and repair activity taking place, but nothing was reported for those subjects regarding lesions or gliosis.

Some scientists believe that, like our pancreas’s insulin jump right after eating, our brains may react similarly with this inflammation. Others are more skeptical, especially since the rodents on a high-fat diet lost about 25% of their POMC cells during the 8 month trial, and those protein cells are critical to regulating appetite.

In any event, it’s clear that there is more research to be done, and that it is wise to watch your intake of fatty foods, not just to keep you fit and trim, but also for your brain health.

A New Hypothesis: MS as a Metabolic Disorder

in the December 2011 issue of The Quarterly Review of BiologyDr. Angelique Corthals, a forensic anthropologist and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, suggests that MS is not an auto-immune disorder, but rather that it is caused by faulty lipid metabolism.

The Lipid Hypothesis

Dr. Corthals article asserts that the basic cause of MS can be brought back to transcription factors in cell nuclei that control the uptake, breakdown, and release of lipids (fats and similar compounds) throughout the body. Disruption of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), causes a toxic byproduct of “bad” cholesterol called oxidized LDL to form plaques on the affected tissue. The accumulation of plaque in turn triggers an immune response, which ultimately leads to scarring. This is essentially the same mechanism involved in atherosclerosis, in which PPAR failure causes plaque accumulation, immune response, and scarring in coronary arteries.

“When lipid metabolism fails in the arteries, you get atherosclerosis,” Corthals explains. “When it happens in the central nervous system, you get MS. But the underlying etiology is the same.”

So basically, if I understand Dr. Corthal’s writings correctly, instead of screwing up your heart, the diet you’ve been eating has been screwing up your brain. (Heck, it may have been doing both!)

A major risk factor for disruption of lipid homeostasis is having high LDL cholesterol. So if PPARs are at the root of MS, it would explain why cases of the disease have been on the rise in recent decades. “In general people around the world are increasing their intake of sugars and animal fats, which often leads to high LDL cholesterol,” Corthals said. “So we would expect to see higher rates of disease related to lipid metabolism—like heart disease and, in this case, MS.” This also explains why statin drugs, which are used to treat high cholesterol, have shown promise as an MS treatment.

The lipid hypothesis also sheds light on the link between MS and vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D helps to lower LDL cholesterol, so it makes sense that a lack of vitamin D increases the likelihood of the disease—especially in the context of a diet high in fats and carbohydrates.

This weirds me out a little as I had high cholesterol as a child but not as an adult. I know I’m not everyone.

Dr. Corthals’s framework also explains why women are more apt to get multiple sclerosis than men. It has to do with how our bodies metabolize lipids. Men metabolize them in their vascular tissue, while women’s bodies are more likely to metabolize it differently.

Dr. Corthal’s said, “[W]omen metabolize fat differently in relation to their reproductive role. Disruption of lipid metabolism in women is more likely to affect the production of myelin and the central nervous system. In this way, MS is to women what atherosclerosis is to men, while excluding neither sex from developing the other disease.”

There are several other risk factors for reduced PPAR function: pathogens like Epstein-Barr virus, trauma that requires massive cell repair, and certain genetic profiles. In many cases, Corthals says, having just one of these risk factors isn’t enough to trigger a collapse of lipid metabolism. But more than one risk factor could cause problems.

“In the context of autoimmunity, the various risk factors for MS are frustratingly incoherent, but in the context of lipid metabolism, they make perfect sense.” Dr. Corthals said.

Research is necessary to fully understand the role of PPARs in MS, but we all hope that this new understanding of the disease could eventually lead to new treatments and prevention measures, and maybe even a cure.

In any event, as the scientific community known as “they” go on and study this hypothesis, I’ll be sticking to the Paleo Diet to bring down my inflammation by staying away from dairy, grains, and legumes, lower my LDL cholesterol levels by sticking with lean meats and lots of fresh veggies, and keep up my Vitamin D levels with fresh whole food, time outside, and supplements.

We might not yet have a cure, but we certainly have ways to help ourselves in the meantime.

Who Can You Trust?

One of the things that really drives me nuts about having multiple sclerosis is that there are so many unknowns about the disease.

In Europe, for example, CCSVI (Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency) is widely thought to be a leading cause of multiple sclerosis, while here in America, we still believe it to be largely auto-immune. Because of the difference of opinion, many more people in Europe are likely to get the surgery to fix their bloodflow.

Many people posit that the difference in opinion exists because our neurologists here in America are “in bed” with “Big Pharm” while others say it’s because we’re extra cautious and want to make sure all the appropriate studies are done before having vein surgery that affects our brains!

And then, of course, there are the diets that have been researched and designed to help us! The Swank Diet, the Best Bet Diet, the McDougall diet, the MS Recovery Diet, the Wahls Diet, the Paleo Diet, and the fact that throughout the USA the hardline recommendation is simply to stick to the FDA’s recommended diet for a healthy heart! 😛

Clearly, you can tell my opinion on that. Our neurologists are not food scientists or nutritionists! But they are brain doctors who are looking out for your best interests and will tell you when the work you have done for yourself is making a positive difference in your health.

So, who do you trust? I say trust yourself.

Only you know what your body feels like, so only you will know what difference a change in diet makes to your condition.

I was never an advocate of a diet before I tried the Paleo diet for 6 weeks and saw a massive change in the amount of physical pain I was enduring. Waking up without being in pain after 5 years of waking up in pain was like having a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. Your experience may vary!

But you’ll never know if you don’t let yourself try something different, in earnest, for a significant period of time.

Besides, what do you have to lose?

Dr. Oz’s Show on Medical Marijuana

Hey everybody!

My momma let me know that Dr. Oz did a show the other day on medical marijuana, and she was all excited because with me having MS & seizure disorder (and currently dealing with PTSD, though it’s starting to get much better!), it’s been a 180 in my family’s ethics going from a hardcore straight-edge no-drugs stance to being happy with the effects of medicinal cannabis, which has greatly improved the quality of my life. (One of the benefits of livin in CA!)

I believe that the decriminalization of medical marijuana is not only important but necessary to help thousands of people who share similar pains to me. Some of you might be interested in seeing the clips from the show too, so I tried to put them in the order of the show for you.

Medical Marijuana: The Hot Debate, Pt 1.

Medical Marijuana: The Hot Debate, Pt 2.
Montel makes the best points ever about how medical MJ helps and the current hypocrisy in federal law.)

Medical Marijuana and MS: One Woman’s Story,Pt 1.

Medical Marijuana and MS: One Woman’s Story,Pt 2.
My theory is that the bald guy with the glasses is totally unaware that he is the epitome of what a TV pinhead is supposed to be. Real asshole or paid asshole? You tell me. 🙂

Marijuana: Why It’s Prescribed, Pt 1.

Marijuana: Why It’s Prescribed, Pt 2.
This video actually has an epilepsy patient in it!

My seizure disorder is very similar to epilepsy and reacts very much like it. The only major difference between my seizure disorder and epilepsy is that it is not considered epilepsy because the electric activity of my seizures lines up directly with the footprint of the lesions in my brain that were caused by my MS. This is why the Ketogenic Diet (which was developed by my neurologist) won’t work for me, and why many of the usual medications that help folks with epilepsy tend to not work for me. Fortunately medical marijuana does! 🙂

Medical Marijuana: Is It Safe? Pt 1.

Medical Marijuana: Is It Safe? Pt 2.

Medical Marijuana: What This Means to Your State

Also, I thought folks might be interested in what states currently allow medical marijuana and what the laws are, so here is the NORML page that keeps current on all of that.

I hope y’all enjoy! Happy Saturday!