Welcome! This blog contains research & information on lifestyle, nutrition and health for those with MS, as well as continuing information on the understanding of the endothelium and heart-brain connection. This blog is informative only--all medical decisions should be discussed with your own physicians.

The posts are searchable---simply type in your topic of interest in the search box at the top left.

Almost all of MS research is initiated and funded by pharmaceutical companies. This maintains the EAE mouse model and the auto-immune paradigm of MS, and continues the 20 billion dollar a year MS treatment industry. But as we learn more about slowed blood flow, gray matter atrophy, and environmental links to MS progression and disability--all things the current drugs do not address--we're discovering more about how to help those with MS.

To learn how this journey began, read my first post from August, 2009. Be well! Joan

Friday, September 21, 2012

Oxidative Stress, MS and CCSVI

September 21, 2012 at 9:07am

We've just learned that one target of BG-12/Tecfidera, the new oral super drug /furniture fungicide, and Nrf2 activator from Biogen,  is oxidative stress.  This drug uses the Nrf2 pathway to combat oxidative stress.

What is oxidative stress, and how does it impact multiple sclerosis?

I first started reading about oxidative stress when I began researching the Endothelial Health program to help my husband Jeff.  I did this because his blood and body showed signs of oxidative stress.  The following info is from the program. 


Oxidative stress
Our bodies constantly react with oxygen as we breathe and as our cells produce energy. However, our use of oxygen is a double-edged sword: we need oxygen to survive, but as a consequence of using oxygen, highly reactive molecules, known as “free radicals,” are produced. 

Free radicals are atoms or molecules with electrons which have lost their partner electron, often as a result of our respiratory or metabolic process, or from outside influences. Free radicals can disrupt the balance of nitric oxide, damage the endothelium and leave it overly permeable, allowing toxins to pass into our tissues9. 

In most instances, our body has an adequate supply of antioxidants obtained from food to neutralize these free radicals, but if the body is depleted, or if there are too many coexistent factors, injury to the endothelium and a change in the balance of NO may occur.


People with MS have lower levels of antioxidants in their blood.  It's a scientific fact, pwMS have serious oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress in patients with multiple sclerosis.
We have investigated the oxidative stress in the blood (plasma, erythrocytes and lymphocytes) of 28 patients affected with multiple sclerosis (MS) and of 30 healthy age matched controls, by performing a multiparameter analysis of non-enzymatic and enzymatic antioxidants--

 In conclusion, the blood of patients with MS shows the signs of a significant oxidative stress. The possibility of counteracting it by antioxidant administration plus an appropriate diet, might represent a promising way of inhibiting the progression of the disease. 
Oxidative stress in multiple sclerosis
Accumulating data indicate that oxidative stress (OS) plays a major role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to OS, generated in excess primarily by macrophages, have been implicated as mediators of demyelization and axonal damage in MS. ROS cause damage to main cellular components such as lipids, proteins and nucleic acids (e.g., RNA, DNA), resulting in cell death by necrosis or apoptosis. In addition, weakened cellular antioxidant defense systems in the central nervous system (CNS) in MS, and its vulnerability to ROS effects may augmented damage. Thus, treatment with antioxidants might theoretically prevent propagation of tissue damage and improve both survival and neurological outcome. Central nervous system is particularly susceptible to ROS-induced damage due to the high oxygen demands of the brain and low concentration of endogenous antioxidants.

There are many more published papers on MS and oxidative stress, and all of the end with something to the effect of ---gosh, we really should have more studies done on how antioxidants help keep pwMS  healthy!  

But no one does these studies, because there is NO MONEY TO BE MADE!!  

You can simply go and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, take some antioxidant supplements, vitamin D, stop smoking and drinking, exercise and take care of yourself.  
This is what I explained to Jeff when our family started doing the Endothelial Health Program together.  Dr. Terry Wahls, Dr. George Perlmutter and Dr. George Jelinek would tell you to do the same.  

Now---how does oxidative stress fit into the CCSVI scenario?  

Oxidative stress is actually found in all neurodegenerative disease---Alzheimer's, Parkinsons, MS and dementia.  These diseases share two things that contribute to oxidative stress:

1. Iron deposition in brain tissue
2. Hypoperfusion, or slowed blood flow through the brain.

So, we can see that pharma is figuring out there's more to MS treatment. They've seen the papers on CCSVI research, hypoperfusion, oxidative stress and gray matter atrophy.  But they will never tell you that in those words, because the want to keep selling you Tysabri, chemotherapies and other immune ablating drugs.  They will, however, figure out a way to sell you a pill that addresses oxidative stress.  

And you can bet your bottom dollar they are working on a drug to increase cerebral perfusion.

That's why we have to share this information, and help each other and those newly diagnosed with MS.  
Because there is hope, but there will be no miracle pill.
be well,

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