Multiple Sclerosis: A Trigger Identified

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a serious chronic neurological disorder in which the insulating cover of nerve cells (myelin sheathing) is destroyed. This is referred to as demyelination.

As of 2008, between 2 and 2.5 million people are affected globally.

As the disease progresses, the nerves malfunction leading to an inflammatory cascade that damages the brain and spinal cord (CNS).

Four common symptoms of MS include:

  1. Eye pain
  2. Numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles sensation anywhere in the body that doesn’t go away after two weeks
  3. Swelling of the limbs or trunk
  4. Intense itching sensation, especially in the neck area

There are four types of MS.

1: Relapsing-remitting MS– this is where a person will have a period of symptoms followed with a period  where there will be no symptoms.This is the most common type of MS.

Unfortunately, the next three are progressive and symptoms tend to not go away.

2: Primary progressive—this is associated with the disease being progressive with no remission.

3: Secondary progressive—this is associated with initially having remissions followed with progressive deterioration and more remissions.

4: Progressive relapsing—this is associated with an initial progressive onset where there were no remissions. However, later as the disease progresses a person may experience remissions.

Diagnosis

Unfortunately there are no specific antibody tests for MS. The disease is confirmed “only” after the person has neurological symptoms twice and lesions are found on an MRI. It is important to note that one episode of the common symptoms that resolve and never come back is considered negative for MS.

Triggering Theory

Scientists in the field of immunology have been searching for the potential “triggers” that cause the immune cells to attack the myelin sheathing.

Scientists have posed the question, “is something damaging the insulation of nerve cells”? The literature including functional medicine practitioners has supported a few triggers such as gluten, Epstein Barr, vitamin D deficiency, heavy metals toxicity and microbial pathogens.

Today we will spend a little time on the issue of infectious disease as a potential trigger of MS.

The medical research has identified elevated amounts of immunogobulins in 95 percent of MS patients. This suggests that the brain is aggressively battling an infection.

It is interesting to note that the pathogen most commonly involved in this fight infecting the brain is Chlamydia pneumonia.

Researchers from the Department of Neurology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine have found that 50% of C. pneumoniae are also made inside the central nervous system as well as the brain.

Further studies have revealed enthusiastically that the eradication of Chlamydia pneumonia via the antibiotic, minocycline helped improve the symptoms of rapidly worsening MS patients.

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

Dr. Grisanti’s Comments:

Functional medicine practitioners specialize in seeking to identify the root cause(s) of auto-immune diseases. It is quite common to see patients with an auto-immune disease improve both subjectively and objectively when the “cause(s)” has been appropriately treated. As a practitioner of chiropractic for over 33 years, I have treated thousands of patients who were told that nothing else could help their pain except drugs and surgery. In fact, I have had many patients who were surgically treated and still had severe pain and found permanent relief with chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic ancillary services. I am rather bold in saying that my journey in the field of functional medicine has seen hundreds of patients achieve a level of health improvement not seen with their traditional medical management. Many of my students at FMU have a strong passionate desire to uncover what is at the root of their patient’s health challenges.

 References:

Contini C1, Seraceni S, Cultrera R, Castellazzi M, Granieri E, Fainardi E. Chlamydophila pneumoniae Infection and Its Role in Neurological Disorders. Interdiscip Perspect Infect Dis. 2010

Chen X1, Ma X, Jiang Y, Pi R, Liu Y, Ma L. The prospects of minocycline in multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol. 2011 Jun;235(1-2)

Fainardi E1, Castellazzi M, Tamborino C, Seraceni S, Tola MR, Granieri E, Contini C. Chlamydia pneumoniae-specific intrathecal oligoclonal antibody response is predominantly detected in a subset of multiple sclerosis patients with progressive forms. J Neurovirol. 2009 Sep;15(5-6):425-33.

Szczucilski A1, Losy J. Infectious agents in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. Przegl Epidemiol. 2006;60 Suppl 1:160-5.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com for more information on our training in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University’s Certification Program (CFMP) www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required.

 

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