Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Source: BBC news

Gene found that helps combat MS

MS is a disease of the central nervous system
A gene that helps to stave off the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) has been discovered by scientists.
A Danish-UK team found that a known risk gene for MS, called DR2b, is always partnered by a twin gene - DR2a.
The researchers, writing in the journal Nature, said DR2a tempers the effects of the risk gene and reduces the severity of MS symptoms.
They believe in the future the gene's symptom-fighting features could be exploited for potential treatments.
There are about 85,000 people with MS in the UK.
The precise cause of the disease, in which the body's immune system attacks the central nervous system, is unknown, but a range of genetic and environmental factors are being explored.
Two-thirds of MS sufferers carry the pair of DR2 genes, but carrying the genes does not necessarily mean a person will go on to develop MS.
Natural selection
The researchers looked at mice that carried different combinations of the twin genes.
They discovered the mice with just the risk gene, DR2b, had a form of multiple sclerosis with extremely aggressive symptoms.

This is a new way to assess how genes contribute to autoimmune diseases overall

Professor Lars Fugger
Those carrying both genes were less likely to get MS, and if they did, they had a milder form of the disease.
The scientists said they believed the two genes were interacting.
They said the risk gene, DR2b was "influencing" the immune system to attack the body, while the DR2a gene was counteracting this attack and dampening the effects.
Professor Lars Fugger, one of the researchers in the study and a clinical immunologist at the Medical Research Council Human Immunology Unit, Oxford University, said: "The DR2b gene clearly tells the immune system to go hard into battle against the body's own tissue, so it starts to work in a way that actually damages the person.
He added that when the team looked through different populations, the genes were always found together. He said this was most likely down to evolutionary pressures.
"For this reason, natural selection has eliminated the gene on its own, but allowed it to be inherited only when it is accompanied by another gene [DR2a] which tempers its effect.
"This is a new way to assess how genes contribute to autoimmune diseases overall."
The researchers said they hope their findings may be useful in helping to find possible treatments for MS.
Professor Fugger said that the mechanisms that reduce MS symptoms could potentially be exploited.
Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, said: "This is a very interesting finding which adds another piece to our understanding of the MS puzzle.
"Genes are known to be one of a combination of factors which can lead to the development of MS. We share the researchers' hope that it could eventually play a part in helping to treat this very variable and unpredictable condition."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Joey Ramone - What a wonderful world.

Not brave just want my life.

People keep telling me that I am brave and I keep telling them that I am not brave.

Just trying to live my life through this horrible ordeal of progressive ms.

There has been no choice, if there were would have been I would have chosen anything else.

No choice posssible for me as I refuse to give up on my life and my love for my darling Richie.

In 2006 when the diagnosis was made, we thought it would be a slow progression.

But it has not been slow its gone fast.

Scarily fast.

Was not prepared for the constant pain, pain from the never ending tingling and electric shocks which start at my toes and goes up my body.

And it is progressing up my body.

Its got to above my waist now and that means that soon my arms and hands will not function.

Then I will use the headmouse to use the keyboard.

Not using it yet as while I can still use the keyboard prefer doing that despite the frustration of fingers that don't function well.

Can't believe this is happening to me and to Richie.

In 2005 when the fall at work broke the cartilage in my right knee did not realise that our happy life was being invaded by an unwanted visitor.

Did not find out until the next summer that the reason that my recovery was so slow was that it was ms.

The unwanted and uninvited visitor that won't leave again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

But still have moments of panic that come and go.

"Considering everything is so dangerous,

I find it difficult to find anything particularly frightening."

Virginia Woolf.

Totally agree and still do except for the moments when I realise how quick the MS is progressing.

But thinking about that can lead to making lists about things I can not do anymore and would take too much precious time so have been avoiding that.

Have moments of panic that come and go.

great picnic

It was a great picnic on 5th of july.

28 people were here, adults and kids.

The weather went nasty, so instead of a street picnic it was a picnic out on the covered landing outside our door.

It was our neighbour Rachida's idea on wednesday when the weather went from hot summer to wet, wet, wet summer.

Despite the rain it was great.

Shame you all could not be here too.

Bet your apple pie would have been very good Stephen.