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Hookworm Treatment Trial for MS Does Not Reduce MRI-Detected Brain Lesions but Alters Immune Profiles

June 18, 2020

Researchers in England and Romania report that administering hookworm treatment into the skin via an arm bandage did not reduce disease activity on MRI scans – the primary goal of the study – but did increase the numbers of regulatory immune cells. This strategy is based on the ”hygiene hypothesis,” which suggests that the reduced exposure to microbes in countries with higher sanitation standards may make the immune system over-react to infections, possibly leading to MS.

In an accompanying editorial, Drs. Daniel Ontaneda and Jeffrey Cohen of the Cleveland Clinic comment that, although this therapy was shown to be safe, its limited effectiveness make it unlikely to become a standalone treatment for MS.

Read more from HealthDay

Read a summary of the paper in JAMA Neurology

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.

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