Bring Multiple Sclerosis under control

Recently approved in the country, new drug Jove autoimmune attacks the nervous system and gives carriers the problem in a more advanced stage chance to return to a normal life.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease sneaky, which causes a kind of short-circuit nervous. And thus stripping the neurons responsible for the exchange of information the command center with the rest of the body, compromising in a matter of years or decades, functions such as speech, vision, memory and locomotion. Those responsible for this tilt are some mad agents of the defense system, which begin to attack myelin sheaths, layers of fat that cover the tail of nerve cells, and create gaps in your network connection in communication. The good news is that the therapeutic gains a new ally to counter the effects of hardware failure: a drug that could preserve the nerve shielded wires.

The drug, tested in 75 000 patients worldwide, primarily gives hope to people with relapsing-remitting type of the disorder, which represents 85% of cases and has no cure. The drug called natalizumab, an injectable antibody developed by pharmaceutical companies Biogen Idec, the United States, and Elan, Ireland. Approved by the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency since 2008, he received the stamp in 2010 to integrate the guidelines for treatment of multiple sclerosis recognized by the Ministry of Health and should be released soon, the patients in the National Health System "is between the natalizumab 70 and 80% effective in reducing inflammation of the nervous system, as against 30 to 40% of conventional drugs, "attests to the neurologist Rodrigo Thomaz, Santa Casa de Misericordia de Sao Paulo.

He said at least 200 people have taken the treatment in Brazil, including the actress Claudia Rodrigues, who recently returned to TV after more than a year away. The drug grants to individuals in more advanced stage of the disease the opportunity to not spend your life in bed. "The indication of the remedy, however, should happen only after attempts with therapy based on immunomodulators, the drugs of first choice," says Thomas. That's because, despite so much benefit, therapy with natalizumab also includes risks, especially of severe opportunistic infections. "This is why it only be applied in reference centers in multiple sclerosis, empowered to monitor patients," says neuro.

Multiple sclerosis usually manifests itself in people aged 20 to 50 years, mainly women - and their origin remains unknown. In the initial phase, the person may have speech and difficulty swallowing and, over time, come endless fatigue and memory lapses. There are also reports of depression and mood swings. Other symptoms include bowel and bladder problems, blurred or double vision, poor balance and coordination, stiffness or tingling in the limbs, and sexual dysfunction.

When the disorder is not progressive, treatment depends on immunomodulators, drugs that help suppress the attack of the host cell defense crazy. In cases more aggressive, the immunosuppressive drugs are used, all that upset the patient's immunity. Some doctors, however, betting on other control strategies. The neurologist Cicero Galli Coimbra, Federal University of São Paulo, for example, defends the treatment with vitamin D. "The lower levels of this molecule, the disease is most active. In other words, the seizures become frequent and increase the risk of sequelae," he says. For the doctor, the deficit of the vitamin would be one of the triggers of the disorder.

In the field of promises, there is a stem cell transplant, carried out experimentally for ten years by the staff of Julius Voltarelli immunologist, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo. "Early results indicate that the procedure prevents disease progression in 70% of cases," says the researcher. According to rheumatologist Daniel Moraes, Immune Therapy Unit of the institution, was completed about 50 transplants this goal. "The disease does not regress, but a patient who was still on crutches walking on crutches," exemplifies the doctor. A step forward if we think that their fate could be a bed.

Preserved Network
The new drug natalizumab neutralizes the action of aggressive defense cells by preventing their passage from blood to brain

The disease
In disease, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, whitish mass and fat that covers the tail of the neurons. This undermines or destroys the cell's communication with its neighbor. On a larger scale, there is a nervous system involvement and communication between the brain and body, affecting motor, sensory and cognitive.

The drug action
The natalizumab is injected into the vein and connects to the defense cells attack the myelin sheath. With this connection, the lymphocytes can not leave the blood vessels to detonate the nerônios. This reduces inflammation, a phenomenon that limits communication between nerve cells.

Stem Cells
Treatment resets the immune system so that it does not harm the nerves

1. The patient is hospitalized and undergoing chemotherapy sessions to kill the cells of your immune system was compromised by disease and attacks the nervous system.

2. Stem cells not affected by environmental factors are taken from bone marrow of the individual in advance. These are units that later will turn into defense cells brand new, without that memory that would encourage the target neurons.

3. The cells, after a period in the laboratory, are returned to the patient and multiply to form a new immune system, this time not aggressive. Treatment involves risks, since the patient is no immunity for a while, but its effectiveness is 70%. Even after the procedure, patients continue to take medications for safety.

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