Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by Changing Autoimmune Response with Parasite Infection; Showing Hope
Parasites that live inside the body of the host are called endoparasites (e.g., hookworms that live in the host's gut) and those that live on the outside are called ectoparasites (e.g., some mites). An epiparasite is a parasite that feeds on another parasite.Necrotrophs are parasites that use another organism's tissue for their own nutritional benefit until the host dies from loss of needed tissues or nutrients. Necrotrophs are also known as parasitoids. Biotrophic parasites cannot survive in a dead host and therefore keep their hosts alive. Many viruses, for example, are biotrophic because they use the host's genetic and cellular processes to multiply.Some parasites are social parasites, taking advantage of interactions between members of a social host species such as ants or termites to their detriment.
Parasites living in or off humans are a favorite theme in the science fiction and horror genres, particularly in the subgenre of body horror. The fear of the human mind and body being used in such a way by another being is an understandably disturbing idea. In such work, the parasite often is responsible for a metamorphosis of the host, or takes control of the host mentally.
Recent trials of a drink containing thousands of pig whipworm eggs appeared to significantly reduce symptoms of IBD, such as abdominal pain, bleeding and diarrhoea, in study participants.
Parasitic infections may actually benefit people with multiple sclerosis (MS), suggests a study by researchers in Argentina.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, potentially debilitating disease that affects your central nervous system, which is made up of your brain and spinal cord. Multiple sclerosis is widely believed to be an autoimmune disease, a condition in which your immune system attacks components of your body as if they're foreign.Recurrence (relapse) is common although non-stop progression without periods of remission may also occur. These infections may affect the body's immune response in a way that changes the course of the disease.
As is true with other chronic diseases, living with multiple sclerosis can place you on a roller coaster of emotions.MS affects 62 people per 100,000 in the white population and 31 people per 100,000 in the nonwhite population. MS rarely involves people of Asian descent.Women are more than twice as likely to develop MS as men.MS usually affects people in the fourth and fifth decade of life, and the average age is approximately 34 years.Death usually results from other causes such as pneumonia or heart attacks and often takes up to 35 years from the time of diagnosis.
Previous studies found that parasite infection could affect the course of autoimmune diseases in animals. This is the first study to examine the relationship between parasite infections and MS in humans.
The study included 12 MS patients with a parasite infection and 12 MS patients who were parasite-free. The patients in both groups had a similar disease course. The patients were followed for an average of 4.6 years.
During the study period, there were three clinical relapses of MS among patients infected with a parasite, compared to 56 relapses in the group of uninfected MS patients. Patients in the infected group were less likely to suffer increased disability due to MS.
The researchers also found that infected patients had much higher numbers of cells that produce cytokine suppressants. MS involves an inflammatory response associated with the production of cytokines, which are regulatory proteins.
The findings provide evidence to support the idea that an autoimmune response caused by a parasite infection can decrease the normal inflammatory response associated with MS, the study authors suggested.