MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Cannabis Pill, Stem Cells in Outer Space, Gut Bacteria and T-cells, Herpes and MS

Ed Tobias avatar

by Ed Tobias |

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Stanford Researchers Open Medical Cannabis Company with Oral Therapy for MS Pain, Spasticity as Initial Goal

Let’s be clear up front. There’s no indication that you’ll be able to buy a cannabis pill from this company anytime soon — or ever. The company’s website says that testing has only been done using animal models, so far. I haven’t been able to find any development timeline. But an affordable cannabis pill that would improve my pain and spasticity is certainly a concept that catches my eye.

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A new medical cannabis company called Katexco Pharmaceuticals aims to develop oral therapies that harness the brain’s endocannabinoid and nicotine receptors to treat inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). …

Endocannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system present in the brain and elsewhere. Binding the receptors to cannabinoids can regulate functions such as pain, memory, mood, and the immune system.


Stem Cells from MS, Parkinson’s Patients Voyaging to Space Station to Study Disease Impact on Brain in Microgravity

I’m a spaceflight buff. I even have a first-day cover envelope that flew on board one of the space shuttles. So, I love to read about experiments that are taking place in near-zero gravity. This experiment will explore the impact of microgravity on the International Space Station (ISS) in the formation of a specific type of brain cell and its role in inflammation.

Stem cells from patients with Parkinson’s disease and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) are soon to voyage into space and be brought aboard the ISS so cell-to-cell interactions in these neurodegenerative diseases can be studied without gravitational forces acting on them.


Enzyme Produced by Gut Bacteria Linked to T-cell Attacks on Myelin in Study

Some recent studies have made a connection between bacteria in the gut and MS. This small study links a form of that bacteria to the rogue cells that attack myelin. The researchers hope to determine what causes these bad T-cells to act the way they do.

An enzyme produced by bacteria in the gut was seen to activate immune cells linked to the development and progression of multiple sclerosis, a finding that may pave the way for a vaccine that could alter autoimmune mechanisms involved in MS. …

“It is crucial to elucidate the target antigens responsible for inducing T and B cell activation to understand MS pathogenesis. In addition, it is a prerequisite for developing antigen-specific tolerization strategies,” the researchers wrote.


Infection with Common Herpes Virus Speeds MS-like Disease Onset and Progression in Primate Model, Study Reports

The herpes virus HHV-6 is believed to play a role in MS. This study provides a very interesting look at how this may happen. And it supports the idea that anti-viral medications might be useful to fight MS in its early stages.

Infection with the most common member of the herpes virus family, HHV-6, may pass unnoticed and without symptoms, but the very act of being infected significantly accelerated the development and progression of a multiple sclerosis-like disease in nonhuman primates, a study reports.

Its findings support the role of viral infection in triggering “inflammatory-mediated neurologic conditions” like MS, it concluded.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Tammy Donaldson avatar

Tammy Donaldson

I have had m.s. since1991.I was told by my neaurologist that the type of m.s. that I have is relapsing remitting.I personally do not suffer any pain.

J.Hill avatar


Hi, are you currently taking any medications or treatments? i was just recently diagnosed 3 weeks ago and still learning to accept this. And haven't decided on what treatment i would like and just would like some personal feedback?

Cathy avatar


Please do your research. It can be overwhelming at first, but keep talking to your doctor about questions you might have.

Eric avatar


I hope it stays that way! My RRMS pain has crippled me , cluster headaches, spasticity from my chest down and etc. We all suffer from the same MS but develop lesions in different areas.

Gia D. avatar

Gia D.

I normally don't have any pain either. I do have these fast stinging sensations in my legs and feet sometimes. It feels like a needle but it is very fast and goes away. No chronic pain for me and no seizures. I do have all the rest though.

J.Hill avatar


Hi, are you currently taking any medications or treatments? i was just recently diagnosed 3 weeks ago and still learning to accept this. And haven't decided on what treatment i would like and just would like some personal feedback?

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi J. Hill,

I don't know where you're located but in the US there are about 16 disease modifying treatments (DMTs) approved for MS. Some are shots, some are pill and some are IV infusions. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. I'm on Lemtrada which is, perhaps, the most powerful of the current meds. But I've had MS nearly 40 years. I began with Avonex, went to Tysabri, then to Aubgio before my current med. It's really a discussion you should have with your nerologist.

Gia D avatar

Gia D

I had severe problems with the Copaxone injections several months into it. I now take Tecfidera pill daily. It seems to cut down on the major relapses but I always feel week, every day of the year, even when not having a relapse. Glad to cut the relapses down though.


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