Cutting Edge Multiple Sclerosis Research

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Key Points to Understanding the Potential Causes of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  1. Molecular pieces of bacteria (mimicry) have been identified that can cause autoimmune response against nerve insulation (myelin).
  2. Accidental discovery that Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) in 3 MS patients led to a reversal of the disease.
  3. Dietary changes have been reported to reverse disease symptoms in some people.
  4. Vitamin D deficiencies are widely observed across many autoimmune diseases.
  5. Abnormal obstructions in the veins in the necks of MS patients are being studied with MRI and the blood flows are being measured with Doppler MRI techniques.  Some have claimed reversal after balloon angioplasty to open the blockages.  Many trials are on the way.  This remains a controversial bit of research.

The five items above are described further below.

Professor Westall Discovers the Connection Between Gut Bacteria and Multiple Sclerosis

Professor Frederick Westall has a doctorate degree in chemistry and worked with Dr. Jonas Salk, the inventor of the Salk vaccine for polio, for over 12 years at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.  Dr. Salk chose Professor Westall to be in charge of the experimental development of the multiple sclerosis vaccine that occurred in the 1970′s and 80′s because Professor Westall was the first person to discover and synthesize a chemical that could induce an experimental version of multiple sclerosis in animals.  The vaccine worked in animal trials but did not perform as expected in human trials due to subtle differences between the immune systems of the animal and human.  After leaving wrapping up his research at Salk, he accepted a position to teach chemistry at Cal Poly Pomona.  After retiring from Pomona, Professor Westall has continued to self-fund his research to find the cause and cure for multiple sclerosis.  In 2006 he published the following landmark paper in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology where he discovered that pieces from a person’s normal gut bacteria could provide the irritating chemicals, known as antigens, to drive the autoimmune condition for multiple sclerosis.  By utilizing the vast genetic database of the National Institute of Health, he identified candidate bacterial species that were capable of producing the antigens that excited the immune system to attack the nerve tissue in the brain.

Molecular mimicry revisited: gut bacteria and multiple sclerosis.

Westall FC.

Institute for Disease Research, P.O. Box 890193, Temecula, CA 92589, USA.


Molecular mimicry is a possible explanation for autoimmune side effects of microorganism infections. Protein sequences from a particular microorganism are compared to known autoimmune immunogens. For diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), where the infectious agent is unknown, guesses to its identity are made. Mimics are assumed to be rare. This study takes a radically different approach. Reported sequences from all known human bacterial and viral agents were searched for autoimmune immunogen mimics. Three encephalitogenic peptides, whose autoimmune requirements have been studied extensively, were selected for comparison. Mimics were seen in a wide variety of organisms. For each immunogen, the mimics were found predominantly in nonpathogenic gut bacteria. Since the three immunogens used in this study are related to MS, it is suggested that a microorganism responsible for autoimmune activity in MS could be a normally occurring gut bacterium. This would explain many of the peculiar MS epidemiological data and why no infective agent has been identified for MS and supports recently found MS gut metabolism abnormalities.

Click here to view paper at the National Institute of Health

Fecal Microbiota Transplant and Multiple Sclerosis

Professor Thomas J. Borody is world renown gastroenterologist and prolific medical inventor who invented the cure for stomach ulcers. He wrote the recommendation to the Nobel Committee to nominate a couple of remarkable Australian scientists named Robin Warren and Barry Marshall to get the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the Helicobacter Pylori bacterium that caused stomach ulcers.  He owns a successful gastrointestinal clinic called the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Five Dock, a suburb of Sydney, Australia where he treats patients with standard pharmaceuticals and performs his research.  He also owns a publicly traded pharmaceutical company.

Professor Borody was the first to discover that the incurable autoimmune disease, Ulcerative Colitis (UC), could be treated with a Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) therapy (for complete explanation of the FMT click here).  He has published cases in peer reviewed journals where seriously ill UC patients who did not respond to standard pharmaceutical therapies were cured from the condition with FMT after many years of follow up.  During a trip to his facility near Sydney, Australia, to discuss the science of the bacteria in the gut and UC, our conversation happened to change from the FMT’s application to multiple sclerosis (MS).  Professor Borody told me he discovered the connection between MS and gut bacteria by accident. He was treating the MS patients for their chronic constipation, not MS, with the FMT and they unexpectedly recovered.  Since our discussion, I have been prodding him to publish his finding which he finally did below in the fall of 2011.    Below is his poster that he presented American College of Gastroenterology 2011 in Washington, D.C..

Dietary Changes Reported to Have Improved Research Physician with MS

Dr. Terry Wahls TEDxIowaCity uses Diet to Get Out of Wheelchair (click link if you cannot see the video below)

Vitamin D and Autoimmunity/MS

Click on the titles of peer-reviewed journal papers found on a PubMed search of the National Institute of Health database to see the full reports regarding the recent flurry of vitamin D research.

Could combating vitamin D deficiency reduce the incidence of autoimmune disease?

Efficacy of Vitamin D Supplementation in Multiple Sclerosis (EVIDIMS Trial): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis: Correlation, Causality, and Controversy

UV radiation, vitamin D, and multiple sclerosis.

A phase I/II dose-escalation trial of vitamin D3 and calcium in multiple sclerosis.

Estrogen controls vitamin D3-mediated resistance to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by controlling vitamin D3 metabolism and receptor expression.

Multiple sclerosis and vitamin D: don’t (yet) blame it on the sunshine

Reversal of MS Symptoms Following MRI Imaged Blockage Followed with Balloon Angioplasty of Vein in Neck

YouTube Video of the Wife Helping Her MS Stricken Husband with MRI and Balloon Angioplasty (click link if you cannot see the video below)

YouTube Video of Dr. Hubbard – Neurologist Who Became MRI Pioneer for MS After His Son Fell Ill with MS (click link if you cannot see the video below)

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The FDA has not evaluated any of the statements on this website.  Nor are any of these statements intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.  Only and FDA-approved drug, diet, or device can legally make such claims in the U.S..