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

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vascular inflammation in MS

January 24, 2012 at 11:42am

The Buffalo team has recently published a study on Lp-PLA2 levels in the blood of people with MS.

Lp-PLA2 is an enzyme that circulates in the blood and attaches to cholesterol in the blood stream.  It is an important marker of inflammation, just like C reactive protein.

Here's more information on Lp-PLA2

Lp-PLA2 is also an important marker in endothelial dysfunction.  This means that the lining of the blood vessels is breaking down and inflamed.

What the Buffalo researchers found is that this enzyme shows up in the blood of pwMS---and levels are significantly higher than in controls.

Lp-PLA2: Inflammatory Biomarker of Vascular Risk in Multiple Sclerosis.

A member of the A2 phospholipase superfamily, the enzyme lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), is involved in atherogenic processes. Lp-PLA2 mass and activity were measured by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and by a colorimetric method, respectively, and compared among 63 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and 47 age-matched healthy controls (HCs). Lp-PLA2 plasma levels were significantly higher in MS patients (236.7 ± 10 ng/ml) compared to HCs (197.0 ± 7 ng/ml) (p = 0.003)

Here is a study of plasma levels of Lp-PLA2 in those with coronary disease and normals.  Lp-PLA2 is a marker of endothelial dysfunction. ( Note that pwMS had a 236.7 ng/ml level, and those with coronary arterial disease had a 246.2 ng/ml level.  Normals have around a 200 ng/ml level.)

Patients (172) with no significant coronary artery disease ( Patients with coronary endothelial dysfunction had significantly higher serum concentrations of Lp-PLA2 than those with normal endothelial function (246.2+/-71.6 versus 209+/-56.7 ng/mL; P=0.001). The odds ratio for coronary endothelial dysfunction in patients with Lp-PLA2 in the highest tertile was 3.3 (95% CI, 1.6 to 6.6).
Lp-PLA2 is independently associated with coronary artery endothelial dysfunction and is a strong predictor of endothelial dysfunction in humans.

What does this mean for people with MS?
The blood matters.  Inflammation matters.  Diet and lifestyle matter.
Notice in the Buffalo study that the higher the levels of inflammation, the worse the disability in MS
I've been writing about the importance of monitoring serum levels of inflammation in pwMS since the beginning.  It was Jeff's sky high inflammation markers that started me looking at the blood.

Here is the Endothelial Health Program I created for Jeff, to help get his serum numbers back to normal.
It's worked for him, for four years now.  I hope it can be of help for others.
If you haven't read it yet, please check it out.

I believe these inflammatory markers can help us understand restenosis in CCSVI.  I believe the high level of restenosis is due to the inflammation of the vessels and the blood, and that dealing with just the veins and not the blood will not bring lasting results from venoplasty for CCSVI.   We need to look at both blood and vasculature.  But I'm not a doctor.  I'm just someone who loves someone with MS.  Aways talk to your own doctor before beginning a new health regimen.


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