Plasma exchange refers to the procedure in which the vein of the MS patients is connected to the plasma exchange machine. The machine separates plasma from the blood, and removes antibodies from plasma. This practice is not commonly used, as antibodies are yet proved to be the only component in causing myelin destruction in MS. This removal practie, however, is used in autoimmune diseases that antibodies have a crucial role, such as myasthenia gravis and GBS.
Glucocorticoids are a type of steroids. It has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. Glucocorticoids may strengthen blood-brain barrier, so that myelin-specific T cells can’t cross the barrier to the central nervous system to attack myelin sheaths. MS patients treated with glucocorticoids have induced cortisol production. Cortisol is increased when persons are experiencing physical or physiological stresses. Cortisol is also found to increase brain’s glucose consumption and decrease other biological functions.
Though side effects of glucocorticoids are recorded, including sleep disturbances, weight gain, mood swing, etc.
It is interesting to note that the population of MS patients is skewed toward female. And MS doesn’t usually start before the age of 18 and after 65. It is also interesting to point out that White has a much higher incidence of MS compared to other races. It is possible that genetic predisposition partakes in controlling responses that can result in multiple sclerosis.
Healthline just launched a video campaign for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) called “You’ve Got This” where individuals living with MS can record a short video to give hope and inspiration those recently diagnosed with MS.
You can visit the campaign homepage and check out videos from the campaign here: http://www.healthline.com/
Healthline will be donating $10 for every submitted campaign to the National MS Society, so the more exposure the campaign gets the more the videos it’ll receive and the more Healthline can donate to MS research, support groups, treatment programs, and more.