MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Cannabis and Inflammation, Exercise and MS, a New MS Subtype
There’s quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that the use of marijuana can help reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Here’s a report about a study that suggests a reason that could be happening.
Non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD), one of the active compounds in medical cannabis, significantly reduced clinical signs of MS-like disease in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mouse model. Researchers found that CBD promoted the increase of inflammatory-suppressor cells called myeloid-derived suppressor cells.
The findings were reported in the study “Cannabidiol Attenuates Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Model of Multiple Sclerosis Through Induction of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells,” published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
I swam 15 laps today and also did some walking in the pool. I felt good the rest of the day. The same is true in cold weather, after I do some upper-body exercise in the gym. Sometimes, I have to force myself to exercise, but I’m glad that I do. So, I’m not surprised by the comments made by people with MS who were interviewed for this study, but it makes for interesting reading anyway.
People with MS value exercise and physical activity far beyond the concept of “staying fit,” and consider exercise essential to maintaining a reasonable level of independence and being able to engage in social activities, a small U.K. study based on interviews reports.
The study, “The meaning of exercise and physical activity in community dwelling people with multiple sclerosis,” was published in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation.
The results of this Cleveland Clinic research show that contrary to conventional MS wisdom, nerve cells in the brain can die without evidence that myelin has been damaged. Because of this, these doctors are proposing a new MS subtype that may point to a different approach to some treatments.
Researchers have identified a new subtype of MS, one marked by nerve cell degeneration that occurs independently of immune system attacks against myelin, a process known as demyelination and considered a hallmark of MS.
The new subtype — called myelocortical MS — is indistinguishable from others in the MS spectrum using conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), highlighting the need for more sensitive MRI imaging techniques.
This finding unmasks a previously unknown heterogeneity within MS, and may make possible more personalized therapies for patients.
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