MS: glucosamine and curcumin

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Multiple Sclerosis - OTC Glucosamine may provide some relief

    28 Nov 2005

    Glucosamine, the over-the counter natural product that has been touted
    to help with joint and cartilage problems associated with arthritis, may
    also provide some relief to individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), a
    degenerative, nervous system disease with no known cure.

    Using a mouse model of MS, neurologists at Jefferson Medical College
    found that doses of glucosamine similar to those taken for
    osteoarthritis dramatically delayed the onset of symptoms and improved
    the animals' ability to move and walk.

    The scientists, led by A. M. Rostami, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair
    of the Department of Neurology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas
    Jefferson University and the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in
    Philadelphia, and Guang-Xian Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of
    neurology at Jefferson Medical College, say the treatment's
    anti-inflammatory effects may be useful in conjunction with more
    mainstream therapies such as beta-interferon in helping patients with MS
    to delay or perhaps stave off some of the debilitating effects of the
    disease. They report their findings in the December 1, 2005 of The
    Journal of Immunology.

    "It would be fantastic if glucosamine works in humans because we have a
    product that has a long track record for safety, and most importantly,
    can be given orally," says Dr. Rostami, who is also director of the
    Neuroimmunology Laboratory in the Department of Neurology at Jefferson
    Medical College. He notes that current treatments for MS are given by
    injection. He hopes to test glucosamine in clinical trials in the near

    MS, one of the most common neurological diseases affecting young adults,
    is thought to be an autoimmune disease (in which the body attacks its
    own tissue) affecting the central nervous system (CNS). In MS, the
    myelin coating of nerve fibers becomes inflamed and scarred. As a
    result, "messages" cannot be sent through the nervous system.

    Dr. Rostami and his group used an animal model of MS called experimental
    autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), which mimics the human disease, to
    investigate glucosamine's potential immune system-suppressing
    properties. Such animals gradually develop the disease.

    In the studies, some of the mice received glucosamine, while others did not.

    They gave glucosamine to the mice three ways: orally, intraperitoneally
    and intravenously. They also tested the drug in one set of animals
    before the onset of symptoms, and in another group at the time the
    animals began to show symptoms.

    In each case, the researchers showed they could significantly prolong
    the onset of disease. That is, those animals that got glucosamine took
    longer to get ill and once they became ill, the disease was much less
    severe. It was just as effective when given early in the disease or when
    the animals became sick.

    They examined the animals' spinal cords and found less inflammation and
    "demyelination" in those that were given glucosamine. "As a therapy, it
    might be used in combination with other proven treatments, such as
    beta-interferon and copaxone," says Dr. Rostami.

    The research team has some ideas of how glucosamine exerts its effects.
    According to Dr. Rostami, EAE and MS are caused by abnormal responses
    from the immune system's T cells. There are two types: TH1, which
    promotes inflammation, and TH2, which is anti-inflammatory. "We've shown
    the glucosamine modulates the immune response by producing more TH2
    responses, suppressing brain inflammation," he says. "At the same time,
    it suppresses TH1 response."

    The researchers currently are testing the effectiveness of combinations
    of glucosamine and standard drugs for MS in the same mouse model to look
    for adverse effects. They are also trying to find out if glucosamine can
    suppress the relapses in the relapsing/remitting form of the disease.

    Relapsing/remitting is the most common form of MS. Patients experience
    clearly defined "flare-ups," acute episodes in which neurological
    functions worsen, followed by partial or complete recovery periods.

    Over 400,000 Americans acknowledge having MS; however, many neurologists
    believe that nearly one million Americans are living with MS in the
    United States today. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of coordination,
    muscle weakness, numbness, inability to walk or use hands and arms,
    pain, vision problems, slurred speech, decline in the ability to think
    and reason, and bladder/bowel dysfunction.

    Steve Benowitz
    Thomas Jefferson University


    Curry spice may fight multiple sclerosis: study

    Apr 24, 2002
    By E.J. Mundell
    NEW ORLEANS, (Reuters Health)

    Preliminary studies in mice suggest that curcumin, a compound found in
    the curry spice turmeric, may block the progression of multiple
    sclerosis (MS).

    According to researcher Dr. Chandramohan Natarajan of Vanderbilt
    University in Nashville, Tennessee, mice with an MS-like illness showed
    little or no signs of disease symptoms after being injected with
    curcumin, while animals without the treatment went on to severe paralysis.

    "We got a very good inhibition of the disease by treating with
    curcumin," Natarajan told Reuters Health. He presented the findings here
    Tuesday at the annual Experimental Biology 2002 conference.

    No one knows what causes multiple sclerosis, in which the body's immune
    system attacks the protective myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers in
    the brain and spine. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis include muscle
    weakness and stiffness, balance and coordination problems, numbness and
    vision disturbances.

    Interest in the potential neuroprotective properties of curcumin rose
    after studies found very low levels of neurological diseases such as
    Alzheimer's in elderly Indian populations. Added to this were studies
    confirming curcumin as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, effective in
    wound healing. And just last fall, researchers at the University of
    California, Los Angeles reported that curcumin appeared to slow the
    progression of Alzheimer's in mice.

    In their 30-day study, Natarajan and co-researcher Dr. John Bright gave
    injections of 50- and 100-microgram doses of curcumin, three times per
    week, to a group of mice bred to develop a disease called experimental
    autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)--an autoimmune condition used by
    researchers as a model for multiple sclerosis because it also results in
    the slow erosion of myelin. They then watched the mice for signs of
    MS-like neurological impairment.

    By day 15, mice who had not received curcumin developed EAE to such an
    extent that they displayed complete paralysis of both hind limbs,
    according to Natarajan.

    In contrast, mice given the 50-microgram dose of the curry compound
    showed only minor symptoms, such as a temporarily stiff tail. And mice
    given the 100-microgram dose appeared completely unimpaired throughout
    the 30 days of the study.

    The results didn't really surprise Natarajan. "In Asian countries, such
    as India, China, who are eating more spicy foods, more yellow compounds
    like curcumin...there are only very, very rare reports of MS," he
    pointed out. He said the doses the mice received were roughly equivalent
    in human terms to those found in a typical Indian diet.

    Just how curcumin might work to thwart the progression of
    demyelinization remains unclear. But the Nashville researchers believe
    it may interrupt the production of IL-12, a protein that plays a key
    role in signaling immune cells to launch their assault on the myelin sheath.

    Natarajan stressed that "we have to do a lot of work on this," including
    examining other potential mechanisms by which curcumin slows EAE and,
    potentially, MS.

    The work remains preliminary, and MS patients should follow their
    doctor's advice when it comes to treating the disease. Still, Natarajan
    said adding a little curry to the diet couldn't hurt. "I think using
    this spice in their food could be of help," he said.
  2. darude

    darude New Member

    Good info I take both of these.

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