It is important to discover the cause of any neurological symptoms, as they could indicate the presence of multiple sclerosis (MS). Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of unknown etiology characterized by the inflammatory demyelination of the central nervous system and breakdown of the blood-brain barrier. As with all autoimmune illnesses, there is a genetic component, but 85% of multiple sclerosis patients do not have an affected relative and only 30% of identical twins develop multiple sclerosis if the other twin already has it. There is also clear evidence that there is an infectious component, etiology, or contribution in the majority of cases. Infections have a possible role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases include HHV6 and Lyme disease.
Recent advances in testing have demonstrated the direct role of active HHV6 in the initiation, progression, and exacerbation of MS. In a study sponsored by the National MS Society and presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, active HHV6 infection was found in the nervous system tissue in 73% of multiple sclerosis patients and in none of the healthy control patients. Blood samples were positive in 54% of multiple sclerosis patients and 0% of the control group. The authors conclude, “In summary, most if not all patients with MS have active HHV-6 infections in their central nervous system tissues, lymphoid tissues, and peripheral blood. Such infections are not seen in normal controls. Controlling active HHV-6 infection could alter the course of the disease and give us important insights into the role of this virus in initiating and perpetuating the disease process.” Similarly, researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Institute for Viral Pathogenesis have demonstrated the presence of active HHV6, measured by viral culture, in approximately half of the patients at the time of a symptom flare-up while no virus was detected in any control subjects.
Both multiple sclerosis and Lyme disease have no diagnostic biological marker, but rather these conditions are diagnosed based on clinical criteria. In fact, Lyme and MS share multiple diagnostic criteria. For instance, demyelinating involvement of the central nervous system can develop in chronic Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis can be erroneously diagnosed. This is because the brain lesions and symptoms are indistinguishable from multiple sclerosis lesions. One study found that 38% of multiple sclerosis patients had evidence of a Borrelia infection (Lyme disease) while another review found 20% had evidence of a Borrelia infection. The incidence of Borrelia associated with multiple sclerosis is certainly much higher than those found in studies based on the commonly used tests as they are shown to miss the majority of cases. Due to this lack of sensitivity of standard testing, such cases rarely receive the correct diagnosis and thus appropriate treatment. This is especially true of Lyme-associated Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Studies have clearly shown hormonal therapies have clear disease-modifying properties for patients with MS. Estriol, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone reduce symptoms and prevent disease progression. Low vitamin D is shown to be a risk factor for multiple sclerosis and supplementation can positively affect disease activity. As with other autoimmune diseases, the majority of multiple sclerosis patients have low tissue thyroid activity and medication can result in significant symptomatic improvement.
Multiple sclerosis can go undetected, with symptoms occurring then disappearing, leading individuals to delay seeking medical help. Early detection and treatment can slow the disease process and reduce symptoms of MS. There are approximately 2.3 million cases of multiple sclerosis diagnosed worldwide, with more than 400,000 living within the United States. There are certain factors associated with individuals who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The doctors here at Holtorf Medical Group have the most advanced and result-driven treatments for multiple sclerosis as we effectively utilize hormone modulation in combination with the appropriate antivirals and antibiotics. Contact us today.