I intend this blog to be a mixture of my personal experiences with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and news related to MS. Hopefully, I can shed an optimistic light on MS even though it is difficult to be an optimist living with MS.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Research Only Ends with a Cure

Happy Easter!

Found a very exciting article today!  It is entitled, "Drug that could stop MS discovered after scientists pinpoint chemical 'driving force' behind the illness."  Might we be close to a cure?  How nice that would be - I continue to be optimistic, but I will not get my hopes up too high just yet.  Here are some excepts from the article:

A drug that could stop multiple sclerosis in its tracks has been discovered by scientists.
In a major breakthrough in the battle against the devastating disease, researchers have pinpointed the chemical ‘driving force’ behind MS.
Without it, the disease does not develop.  And when it is mopped up, symptoms are greatly eased, even in brains already ravaged by the illness.
The ‘shockingly good’ results come from experiments on mice but the researchers say they are ‘quietly optimistic’ that taking the same tack with humans will also work – and the first trials on MS patients are penciled in for later this year.
The excitement centers around two studies published today that show an immune system chemical called GM-CSF to be the ‘vital piece in the jigsaw’ of MS.
In the healthy body, it is part of our defense against disease, attacking viruses and other invaders.
But in MS, it triggers a series of devastating reactions that culminate in ‘scavenger cells’ destroying myelin, the fatty protective sheath around nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord, disrupting the transmission of vital signals.
Swiss researcher Burkhard Becher said: ‘When they see GM-CSF they eat anything they can get their hands on.’
When, Professor Becher, of the University of Zurich, gave an anti-body that counters GM-CSF to mice with an MS-like condition, it greatly improved their health.
He said: ‘It is relatively easy to stop mice from getting the disease, so we waited until they had the disease and were pretty sick.
‘This is similar to the clinical situation – patients don’t go to the doctor because they think they might get MS, they go when they have MS.’
The drug was also given to mice whose disease was similar to the most common form of MS, in which relapses are followed by periods of remission.
Here, mopping up the GM-CSF prevented any further relapses, the journal Nature Immunology reports.
Professor Becher told the Daily Mail: ‘I am not sure this is going to work in patients but, based on the mouse data, I believe GM-CSF is a sexy target – it may actually do the job.’
This will still need to undergo extensive testing and it "usually takes at least seven years from when a drug is first tried out on patients until it hits the market."  So, it may be awhile before we know anything for sure, but it sure is a reason to stay OPTIMISTIC!

To read more about the research, go to:

"Research Teams Implicate GM-CSF in the Pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis"

"Neutralization Cytokine GM-CSF Cures MS in Mice"

In church this morning, the pastor spoke of the tradition of wearing new clothes on Easter and that the reason for this is that Easter signifies a re-birth or a new birth.  With this news breaking today, on Easter, it gives me even greater hope because maybe this is God's way of telling us that a "new birth" is coming for MS patients. 

Happy Easter!


  1. I am so happy to hear this news! I will keep praying for this cure and reaching out to others to help support research for a cure.

  2. Does anyone know how you could put your name down for the trials

  3. Check http://clinicaltrials.gov/

  4. Groundbreaking news! Sounds unbelievable. Wait these mice had "MS like" symptoms. I want to ask,,,how is that? Nicole