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

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New research: MS as a disease of Endothelial Dysfunction

We have a brand new peer-reviewed paper from the researchers of the ISNVD which is considering the vascular connection to MS.  It is called:
"Blood circulating microparticle species in relapsing–remitting and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. A case–control, cross sectional study with conventional MRI and advanced iron content imaging outcomes" This paper is published in the Journal of Neurological Sciences.

The researchers looked at serum markers of healthy individuals and compared them to people with MS. (Can I just inject a "Hallelujah" here?  This was my dream eight years ago, and it is now a reality.)  What they found were that in people with MS, there are circulating microparticles in the blood that aren't found in healthy people.  These markers  (CD31+/CD51+/CD61+/CD54+)  are microparticles which are shed from the lining of the damaged endothelium.  We see the same markers in cardiovascular disease.  These markers are associated with coronary artery disease, hypercoagulation, thrombosis (clotting) and stroke.

Endothelial microparticles (EMP) are shed by dying and injured endothelial cells.  They cause hypercoagulation, inflammation and contribute to vascular disease.   They slow blood flow.

It's been eight years since I first put together research on MS as a disease connected to blood flow and the vascular system.  What I saw in Jeff's blood results when he was diagnosed during his first severe flare---hypercoagulation, high c reactive protein, high inflammatory markers---looked to me like a vascular reaction caused by endothelial dysfunction.  I sent the research I compiled to university researchers, and created a nutrition and lifestyle program for Jeff, to address this issue.  My hope was that he could find stability in his disease process, by reducing the impact of vascular endothelial dysfunction.  I saw that cardiovascular researchers, like Dr. John Cooke, were having great success with their heart patients, and that encouraged me!  And sure enough, after three months on the Endothelial Health Program, Jeff's serum markers of endothelial dysfunction were lowered, and his MS stayed in remission.

What I saw in Jeff's serum markers was real.  Although his neurologist claimed it had "nothing to do with MS"---it appears that wasn't true, and Jeff is not alone.  These markers were shown to be correlated with lesions and brain atrophy in MS using SWI and MRI scans.

Here is the conclusion from the researchers:  These results indicate that circulating microparticles' profiles in MS may support mechanistic roles for microvascular stress and injury which is an underlying contributor not only to MS initiation and progression, but also to pro-inflammatory responses.

This means that stress and injury to the endothelial lining, also known as endothelial dysfunction, may be a contributor to MS initiation and progression.

The good news is that there are things we can all do today to reduce endothelial dysfunction,  cellular stress and injury and bring these serum markers down.  The hope is that by helping the endothelium heal, we can limit microparticle shedding into the blood, and reverse this inflammatory process.

What would be the next step?  Retest the microparticle levels in pwMS after they have been on the endothelial health program for months/years---and see if this correlates to a slowing or stopping of MS disease progression.  If Jeff is any indication, there is great hope. 

Here's the Endothelial Health Program.

Talk to your own doctor, see if it might be something you can do.  I am not a doctor, so it's always best to consult one before beginning a new regimen!  Keep an eye on your blood levels of Crp, hypercoagulation, d-dimer, AST and ALT, and serum cholesterol--as well as vitamin D and B12 levels.  

Keep learning, keep moving and keep hoping!  More answers ahead,


  1. Thank you always from me here in UK Joan

    Joan ... I knew from the get go you were onto something big.
    Prof. Zamboni et al and you deserve all the recognition for this conclusion. Not the nay Sayers. Who will try their damnedest to claim it all. Grrrrrrrrrrr
    Thank you again and always. xoxo

    1. thanks, Shriley. Quite honestly, I couldn't care less who gets credit!! As long as people with MS get treatments that really can help them do better, and slow disease progression. No more EAE/mouse models of an autoimmune disease that simply doesn't exist. Let's get humans with MS feeling better. xox

  3. Thank you Joan for sharing. We will keep shouting from the rooftops until those diagnosed with MS are given the treatment they truly need. Bonus - all those mice will be saved from future EAE torture models

  4. Dear Joan...
    Just to let you know, the last link, to the endothelial health program isn't working for me..?

    1. Thanks, Sheryl---have fixed the link. Take Care!