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  • New Vaccine May Help MS Patients

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An experimental vaccine against multiple sclerosis appears to be safe and may produce beneficial changes in patients' brains and immune systems, Canadian researchers reported on Monday.

    Some patients appeared to have fewer immune cells attacking their nerves, a hallmark of MS, the researchers report in the Archives of Neurology. They also appeared to have fewer lesions in their brains.

    The study was designed only to show that the vaccine was safe, and it is safe enough to continue phase 2 trials, which begin to look at whether it works, the researchers said.

    In multiple sclerosis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the fatty myelin sheaths that protect nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

    There is no cure for the disease, which affects an estimated 400,000 people in the United States alone, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Symptoms include blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, extreme fatigue, paralysis and blindness.

    Dr. Amit Bar-Or of the Montreal Neurological Institute and colleagues tested the vaccine, called BHT-3009, in 30 patients.

    The vaccine is made by Bayhill Therapeutics, a Palo Alto, California-based biotechnology company, which also paid for the study. A so-called therapeutic vaccine -- designed to treat a condition, not to prevent infection -- it targets the misguided immune system cells, called CD4 T-cells, that attack myelin.

    The patients got regular magnetic resonance imaging scans up to nearly a year after the first injections.

    "BHT-3009 was safe and well tolerated, provided favorable trends on brain MRI and produced beneficial antigen-specific immune changes," the researchers wrote. These changes included fewer immune cells programmed to target myelin, they said.

    The company has already begun a phase 2b trial of the vaccine in 290 MS patients.

    "If successful in MS, antigen-specific DNA vaccines can be developed for prevention or treatment of related diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and myasthenia gravis," the researchers wrote.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070813/...xQDMhhDrIDW7oF

  • #2
    Other than rabies are there other "therapeutic" vaccines out there? Seems if you know the mchanism of how to disrupt the disease process than a "prevenative" should be an easier to find vaccine type. Even with bullets it's easier to kill than maim specific areas of the body.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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    • #3
      This will really be quite something if it comes to fruition!
      Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

      T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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      • #4
        these drugs are probably not going to be approved by the FDA or be widely used because some states In the Us will only allow specific treatments for specific disease. any deviation of treatment from the qouta could result in imprisonment for the doctors

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        • #5
          these drugs are probably not going to be approved by the FDA or be widely used because some states In the Us will only allow specific treatments for specific disease. any deviation of treatment from the qouta could result in imprisonment for the doctors
          Where did you get this idea? States don't regulate what physicians can prescribe generally. Insurance company may limit what they will pay for, but that is not up to the state either. I have never heard of a physician being arrested or imprisoned for writing a legitimate prescription. Can you tell me of a case where this occured? What "quota" are you referring to????

          (KLD)
          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by psuedocoelomate
            these drugs are probably not going to be approved by the FDA or be widely used because some states In the Us will only allow specific treatments for specific disease. any deviation of treatment from the qouta could result in imprisonment for the doctors
            What you say is not true. There is no regulation by states that requires that "specific treatments" be used for specific diseases. Doctors are permitted to write off-label prescriptions, i.e. prescribe drugs for purposes other than what they are labelled for. There is no quota on treatments that I am aware of.

            Wise.

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