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