Monthly Archives: April 2014

Can MS Burn Itself Out?

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Freeze MS in its Tracks!

     100_0260My very first Neurologist, and the one who eventually diagnosed me, made a comment during one of my appointments that perhaps my Multiple Sclerosis would just burn itself out eventually. At the time I kind of thought that he was just trying to give me some hope in the face of this awful diagnosis. And now, just a few days ago, I had my first appointment with my fourth Neurologist since that time sixteen years ago. And he also stated that there was some evidence that MS can perhaps burn itself out over time.

     Recently I was reading a report out of Australia where a man with a diagnosis of both Multiple Sclerosis and HIV was given one of the new generation antiviral drugs that are currently in the trial phase of their studies. And a remarkable thing happened, not only did it knock out his HIV which is what it was being tested for, it also seemed to cure him of his MS. Which leads one to believe that it is possible that the under lying cause of Multiple Sclerosis may be a virus, or retrovirus, after all. Scientist have long been looking at the Epstein Barr virus as a possible disease inducing event in MS but no conclusive evidence has yet linked the two positively.

     We already know that virus’s like the Cold and Flu virus do in fact burn themselves out, thankfully, or we would all have been dead a long time ago, so if Multiple Sclerosis were confirmed to be from either a virus, or pieces of a retrovirus, then the answer to the question about MS being able to burn itself out should be yes. But even more important than that, is these new antiviral drugs that will soon be coming on the market, because if MS is being caused by a response to a viral attack then perhaps a cure for Multiple Sclerosis is only a few years away which of course is something that we have all prayed for as long as we’ve had this devastating disorder.

     I do know this, if they need any volunteers for that clinical trial, I sure wouldn’t say no if asked to participate in it. This sounds just to promising to not be interested in following the future research!

 

Bill Walker

 

MS and VITAMIN D3

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Vitamins by Nature Made

     Apparently in the scientific field there is some question as to whether Vitamin D3 is really a vitamin or a hormone.  This vitamin seems to have some unique properties that fit into either or both groups but for my purposes here I’ll just refer to it as a vitamin.

     If you’ve been watching research about multiple sclerosis lately you may have noticed that a lack of Vitamin D3, is suspected of playing a major role in the development of this disease.  The theory is that many of us with MS may not, especially as children, had the ability to produce enough of this essential vitamin in our skin to keep this disease from developing as we got older in life. They came up with this theory based on the fact that people who live closer to the equator, with its more intense sun light, have a much rarer occurrence of MS then do people who live farther away from it. In fact those people who live very close to our planets equator have almost a zero rate of MS compared to the rest of us.

     With all of that in mind I decided that it would be in my best interest to start taking Vitamin D3.  In fact many neurologists are starting to tell their MS patients that it is probably a good idea to supplement their daily vitamins with an additional 5000 units of D3. In my case, and with my doctors blessing, I started taking 10,000 units a day. My doctor ran blood levels every six months for almost two years while I was on this high dose regimen and each time the results came back with in the normal range. After two years she no longer ordered them figuring that it was not going to be a factor.

     And yes, after many years of being on high dose Vitamin D3 I do think I have had a positive response to this as a therapy against my disease progression. I still have an attack every couple of years that lasts a few months but they don’t seem to be nearly as intense as they were before I started my high dose intake. And what’s even more encouraging to me is that I used to have several smaller attacks that would last for a few days and then subside and now since taking this vitamin it has been several years since I have had any of these less intense events. And to be fair I also started Copaxone injections three years ago as well and that also could have made a significant difference in my disease progression but I am satisfied enough with this vitamin to continue its use.

     As always, if you decide to look into adding Vitamin D3 in your morning vitamins and supplements, always ask your doctor first and it would probably be a good idea to have your blood levels checked from time to time as I did just to make sure you’re not over doing it. And who knows, maybe soon they will find that Vitamin D3 mixed with something else will be the magic cure that we all pray and dream for!

 

Bill Walker