MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: aHSCT, Myelin Vaccine, Bone Health, MIND Diet

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by Ed Tobias |

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Blood Stem Cell Transplant May Help Immune System Longer

I’m a proponent of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (aHSCT) to treat MS. The process entails extracting a patient’s own stem cells, usually from the bone marrow, treating them to kill immune cells that trigger MS attacks, and then infusing them back into the person. The treatment is available in several countries, but generally not in the U.S., where aHSCT is still considered to be experimental.

An earlier study had reported that the effects of an aHSCT treatment could last one year. This latest study increases that length of time to as many as three years. Is this success long enough for an MS treatment to be worthwhile? You be the judge.

Treatment with an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (aHSCT) seems to reboot the immune system in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients for at least three years, a small study found.

The study, “Sustained immunotolerance in multiple sclerosis after stem cell transplant,” was published in Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

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Pasithea Plans to Develop Vaccine to Prevent Immune Attacks on Myelin

Is this the “something” we’ve all been looking for? While it’s not intended to repair damaged myelin, this potential vaccine holds out hope that a way can be found to block our immune systems from launching the attacks that damage our nerve coatings. Preclinical data has been called promising. The lead researcher says the investigational vaccine “can provide a novel method of treating a fundamental cause of the disease.”

But don’t expect to see this vaccine as a treatment anytime soon. Mouse studies of it are just starting.

Pasithea Therapeutics announced plans to develop a tolerizing vaccine that would treat multiple sclerosis (MS) by “training” the immune system in ways that prevent its damaging attacks.

The vaccine will be developed under Pasithea’s new chemical entity development program for MS in collaboration with Hooke Laboratories in Massachusetts.

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Weak Bones That Are Prone to Fractures May Affect Many With MS

My hips have been aching, and I’m worried that my MS may be catching up with me. It’s not necessarily the illness itself that’s responsible. Rather, the steroid treatments that many of us receive can eat away at our bones. I was diagnosed with low bone density in my hips many years ago, and I’m worried that it may have progressed to full-blown osteoporosis. I guess I’m overdue for a DEXA scan to see how those old bones are holding up.

Almost half of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients show reduced bone density (osteopenia) and about 17% have osteoporosis, a progressive disease characterized by weak bones that are prone to fractures, a review study of data covering almost 14,000 patients reported.

These findings suggest that people with MS should be monitored for bone health, its researchers noted.

The review study, “The prevalence of osteoporosis/osteopenia in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS): a systematic review and meta-analysis,” was published in the journal Neurological Sciences.

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Eating Beans, Vegetables May Reduce MS Risk

The MIND diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet. Followers eat “brain-healthy” foods and spurn those considered unhealthy, including red meat, butter, sweets, fried and fast foods. Many people are proponents of the MIND diet, and they’re probably right, at least to some extent. But at my age of 73, “MIND” isn’t on my menu.

Eating a lot of green, leafy vegetables as well as beans, nuts, and berries seems to significantly lower the likelihood of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study from Iran.

The findings also suggest that the chances of developing the disease may be higher in people who eat more cheese, poultry, sweets, and fried foods.

The study, “MIND Diet Adherence Might be Associated with a Reduced Odds of Multiple Sclerosis: Results from a Case–Control Study,” was published in the journal Neurology and Therapy.

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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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


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