Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can Parasitic Hookworms Help In Treatment Of Multiple Sclerosis?

Date:
March 5, 2009
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Scientists will study the potential health benefits of parasitic worms as part of a study investigating treatments for people with the autoimmune condition multiple sclerosis (MS).

Scientists from The University of Nottingham will study the potential health benefits of parasitic worms as part of a study investigating treatments for people with the autoimmune condition multiple sclerosis (MS).

It is thought that hookworms may play a role in damping down the immune system, which is overactive in people with MS, the most disabling neurological condition in young adults.

The 400,000, three-year project funded by the MS Society, aims to determine whether infection with a small and harmless number of the worms can lead to an improvement on the severity of MS over a 12 month period.

If the trial is successful, the worms have the potential to provide a simple, cheap, natural and controllable treatment for MS.

The WIRMS (Worms for Immune Regulation in MS) study is led by Professor Cris Constantinescu and Professor David Pritchard and is a randomised, placebo controlled, phase 2 study in people with relapsing remitting MS and will be carried out at multiple centres up and down the country.

The 25 worms are microscopic and are introduced painlessly through a patch in the arm. They are then flushed out after nine months.

Professor Constantinescu, said: “People are really interested in this form of potential therapy because it’s a natural treatment. It’s been tested for safety and we now need to study the potential benefits and any side effects.”

Jayne Spink, Director of Research at the MS Society said: “It sounds like science fiction, but it has been shown in a previous small study that people with MS who also had gut parasite infections had fewer relapses.

“Over time, parasitic worms have evolved to be able to survive an immune system attack and have been linked to a reduction in the severity of the symptoms of MS, which can be debilitating.

“If the theories can be shown to be accurate, using hookworms as a future treatment option may prove to be science fact.”

MS affects more than 85,000 people in the UK and several million worldwide. Symptoms range from loss of sight and mobility, fatigue, depression and cognitive problems that often come on as attack - or relapses. There is no cure and few effective treatments.

Dorothy Sutton, 58, from Awsworth, has lived with MS for 32 years and is a Helpline volunteer for the MS Society. She said that although the treatment sounded unusual, anything that could potentially to help alleviate the symptoms of MS is a positive step.

“We have to explore every avenue of research to find treatments for MS. As long as it’s safe and effective in helping the horrible symptoms, I don’t think people mind where it comes from.”

The Division of Clinical Neurology at The University of Nottingham's Medical School is a strong research-led unit which draws heavily on its close relationship with people with MS to inform its work.

Led by Professor Cris Constantinescu, the department features two academic and one NHS Neurology Consultants that are affiliated with the Neuroscience Directorate of Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trusts.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Can Parasitic Hookworms Help In Treatment Of Multiple Sclerosis?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304091818.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2009, March 5). Can Parasitic Hookworms Help In Treatment Of Multiple Sclerosis?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304091818.htm
University of Nottingham. "Can Parasitic Hookworms Help In Treatment Of Multiple Sclerosis?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304091818.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins