Category Archives: Uncategorized

MS and Stem Cell Particles

A picture of me.

Bill Walker                                                                   

This is a reprint from a recent study:

Dr. Metcalfe, who is based at Cambridge University in England, is currently looking for funding to further develop her theory that using a stem cell particle called a LIF would switch off the body’s auto-immune cells and help repair the brain.

In addition to being able to switch off the body’s autoimmune response, LIF also protects the brain and spinal cord — the areas affected by multiple sclerosis — and aids in repairing tissue, including brain tissue.

The research has not been smooth sailing. Metcalfe has found that LIF cannot survive outside the cell for more than 20 minutes before being broken down by the body, making it difficult to use as a therapy. However, she has found that nanoparticles could be the answer to the problem, as they can be used to help deliver the LIF therapy. By using antibodies with the nanoparticles, the therapy can be directed to certain areas of the brain — helping to repair damage caused by multiple sclerosis.

Metcalfe is now looking for research funding and hopes that one of the big pharmaceutical companies will step in. She hopes to begin clinical trials of the therapy by 2020.

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MS and Gut Bacteria

A picture of me.

Bill Walker

This is a reprint from a recent study.

A study has found that microbes in your gut may influence the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS). It could be a key step towards specific treatment, and help solve what causes MS.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, two different teams conducted separate research and made the same findings. One was from the University of California, San Francisco, and the other from the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

The first team investigated the gut microbiomes of 71 MS patients and 71 control subjects. They identified specific species of bacteria that were more common in the former than the latter. Next, they exposed these bacteria to human immune cells, and found that two species triggered cells to become pro-inflammatory. One found at lower levels triggered immune responses.

In tests on mice, they found that these bacteria had a similar effect. Replacing mice microbiomes with those from an MS patient caused the mice to lose immune-regulatory cells and develop neurodegeneration, a pathway to MS.

The second study came to a similar conclusion, finding that microbiome transplants could increase symptoms in mice.

“Two different groups, using two separate cohorts of patients and controls, and two distinct mouse models of the disease, saw very similar results,” Egle Cekanaviciute said in a statement, who was involved in both studies. “This is very promising evidence that we’re on the right track.”

MS affects about 2.5 million people across the globe, and is known as an autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder. It can lead to loss of vision, weakness, and even paralysis. It’s caused by the immune system attacking the insulation around nerve cells, called myelin, but scientists have been at a loss to explain why this occurs.

These latest studies could provide an answer. While the microbiome probably isn’t the only trigger, it could play a role. This could lead to some new treatments in the future to help tackle MS.

“The microbiome is very malleable,” said Sergio Baranzini, also involved in both studies. “You could relatively easily change it in an adult who has MS or is susceptible – something you cannot do with their genetics. This is not a magical approach, but it is hopeful.”

MS and Reducing Summer Car Heat

A picture of me.

Bill Walker

We all know that summer heat and humidity are absolutely brutal on people with multiple sclerosis. And escaping it is almost impossible to do. But one area where everyone, ms or not dreads is getting into a car that has been sunbathing for a few hours and the internal temperature is usually somewhere in the 120 degree range.

There is a somewhat easy choice to reduce some of that direct sunlight. You’ve probably already seen them and perhaps laughed at some of the more goofy ones. If you’ve ever wondered if those car screens in the front window, and occasionally in the back as well, work? They do, and are very effective in keeping your car from becoming a roaster oven.

You can buy these screens at Walmart and other similar stores. And also keep your windows cracked open just enough to let any heat that may build up to escape. You can also invest in solar powered window fans that run off the power of the sun while your not in the car keeping the air moving so the heat moves out any cracked windows.

Try to stay cool and have a great summer everybody!

Bill Walker

Do you know a literary agent or book publisher that would be willing to read my book? If so please email me and let me know. 

MS Oral Medications Cholesterol Constipation and Metamucil

A picture of me.

That would be me!

Multiple Sclerosis, being a nerve disease, often can cause the person with ms to experience constipation. But did you know that if you use one of the approved oral medications for multiple sclerosis, or any oral medication for that matter, and also taking metamucil which uses psyllium husk as its main ingredient you could be blocking your bodies ability to absorb your medication?

Bulk-forming fiber like psyllium husk can effect how well your body can absorb medicines taken by mouth. If you are on a oral ms drug or other oral medication you need to take your medications either two hours before or after you take something like metamucil no matter whether it is in pill form or mixed in water and drank. And this would also include the use of bulk-forming fiber as a treatment for high cholesterol as well.

For more dietary suggestions ask your doctor or get a referral to a registered dietitian!

MS Halloween and Chocolate

Fred Meyer Holiday Pumpkin Patch

Yea, not very scary! LOL

As we rapidly approach Halloween, probably the second biggest holiday where chocolate is indulged upon with Valentines Day being the first, I once again broach the subject of a few of chocolates healthy benefits. I’ve already discussed how chocolate is a huge anti-inflammatory treat as long as you eat the purer forms of chocolate with higher amounts of cocoa then the regular milk chocolate that is mostly available in grocery stores candy counters. And as long as you eat it remembering that moderation is the key here. And also remembering that chocolate, no matter what kind you eat, also has a high fat content that can make weight gain a real possibility if you consume to much.

I also wanted to add information that is new about a study using athletes. This study found that athletes who consumed small amounts of dark chocolate with a high cocoa content once a week of about 1.4 ounces just before working out found that their endurance was greatly enhanced. It appears that this rich chocolate acts to open veins and arteries allowing for greater blood flow which increases stamina. And if it helps athletes with their workouts I don’t see any reason that dark chocolate wouldn’t also help people with other diseases or disorders do the same thing during their exercise workouts including people with multiple sclerosis.

So please enjoy your Halloween and allow yourself a small indulgence without guilt as you celebrate All Hallows Day. The day we all chase away all of those negative spirits from our past. Be safe, and please, try to enjoy yourselves as we begin a long march towards the Fall and Winter Holidays to come!

And now I have a small favor to ask of anyone who might have either an Editor at a Book Publishing House or a Literary Agent in the family or as a friend. I’m trying to find either an Editor or an Agent that would give my book VISUS a serious read with the hopes of getting  my book out into the literary hands of the general public. Even if you get them to read the first chapter that is listed above in the title bar would be greatly appreciated by me.

Again, please have a safe Halloween weekend and enjoy your family and friends!

Bill Walker

MS and Pain Relief Using Lidocaine Creams

    Small bottle aspercreme lotion! Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that is often accompanied by varying amounts of pain both muscle, through inactivity, and more often nerve pain because that is the nature of this awful disease. I’ve used all kinds of pain relief medications such as pills that often leave you with brain fog as well as having to deal with a whole host of other unsavory side effects including addiction and even death. I’ve also tried several kinds of pain lotions that do in fact seem to help a little but they are messy and difficult to apply to the point where even what relief they do provide seems almost not worth the bother.

     Recently though I saw a commercial for a new aspercreme rub with 4% lidocaine added for additional pain relief beyond its other active ingredients. I was intrigued enough to go out and spend eight dollars on a 2.7 oz bottle to see if it actually worked? And surprise, surprise, it worked like a charm. I have not found any product, pill or otherwise, that reduced my pain in a matter of minutes like this product does.

     At times I suffer from extreme lower back pain as well as sciatic nerve pain in the upper portions of both my legs and I almost can’t believe the amount of relief I get after just a few minutes from the time of application of this lotion. I’m sure that there are probably some side effects of over use of these products but I’m also pretty certain that they can’t be any worse then what most doctors prescribe for pain when it comes to MS.

     Give it a try. If it doesn’t help, all you lose is a few dollars. Let me know if you try this and what your thoughts are!

 

Bill Walker

Could the Zika Virus be Devastating to People with MS?

100_0262      The Zika virus is being called a worldwide health crisis mostly because of its apparent effects on pregnant women and a high rate of microcephaly which is a rare birth defect. This virus is already suspected as having a link to Guillain-Barre syndrome which has also been suspected as a possible trigger of multiple sclerosis in people who are, or might, be genetically predisposed to developing this auto-immune disorder. And Guillain-Barre syndromes symptoms can include severe fatigue and varying degrees of temporary partial paralysis. Sound familiar?

     The good news is that this mosquito-borne virus has so far been contained in more tropical environments than where MS is generally to be found. But even this offer’s only a minimal amount of comfort as this virus also seems to be able to be transmitted from one human host to a mosquito while being bitten. If this does in fact turn out to be the case then any person who travels to an area where Zika is prevalent could be infected and return to a home in the northern hemisphere during summer months and quite possibly transmit the disease to the local mosquito population thus spreading it to a brand new geographical location where MS is much more prevalent. And if all of that isn’t bad enough it has already been discovered that this disease can also be transmitted through sexual contact much like a sexually transmitted disease.

     At the moment, main street science is saying that they doubt that the Zika virus is a cause for panic as the symptoms in healthy individuals have for the most part been mild and short lived something akin to having the flu virus for a few days or up to perhaps a week. But as yet we don’t know how this virus might affect someone with a compromised immune system like those of us with multiple sclerosis who already suffer from some very similar symptoms as to what some of the more severe cases are reporting.

     What bothers me the most is that I remember this other little virus that was supposed to be nothing more than a wimpy little pest that otherwise shouldn’t be much to worry about? And that wimpy little virus HIV, turned out to be the cause of AIDS!

 

Bill Walker