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Sodium buildup in brain linked to disability in multiple sclerosis

Interesting article. Additional thoughts as they occur to me:
- Some people with MS have to supplement their salt intake and get a lot of cramping and spasticity if they need more salt.
- Mum used to heavily salt vegetables, rice and pasta when boiling them. I have rarely added salt to any cooking for years.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2013 10:55 am (UTC)
Huh, I wonder if the immune system is targeting the sodium channel proteins on the nerve cell surface... that would explain the symptoms. Of course, if that's the case, then given that it's a specific protein means it would be a single antibody that's the problem.. I wonder if you could produce an anti-antibody to target that and inactivate the auto-immmune response, putting the MS into remission, or at least, preventing it from getting worse. [depending on the amount of damage and scarring already].

I know, speculative at best, but I hope someone else thinks that through because it is a possible line of research leading to a treatment.
Jul. 12th, 2013 02:32 pm (UTC)
Bear in mind that "the symptoms" of MS are different for each PwMS. Anything and everything that is controlled by the CNS (and some others that are controlled by the autonomic NS like the bowels) can be affected by MS.

Other than that I agree with your comment.

More likely is that we are urged to avoid salt from now on, even though this is about a potential initial cause of MS (I have had symptoms since I was about nine) not something that makes MS worse or faster progressing. *sigh* People who are not medics seize hold of something like this and see a potential and easy "CURE!!!" I will wait until a doctor or my MS Nurse tells me to do X Y or Z, to be honest.

Edited at 2013-07-12 02:40 pm (UTC)
Jul. 12th, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
Well, of course the visible symptoms are going to be different, it would depend upon what section of the CNS is damaged and when.. and if it's attacking sodium transport channels it'll have other metabolic affects too, because those aren't just found in the nerve cells after all. But I was referring to the cellular level symptoms, the primary ones, not those caused by the nerves malfunctioning.

Come to think of it, if this was the result of a chemical weapon, it would rank up there with saren and VX... although obviously akin to a sub-lethal dose.

And yeah, you'll probably get idiots misunderstanding the science [or deliberately misstating it] and claiming all you need to do is cut sodium out of your diet... same as how everyone goes on about how everyone needs to reduce the cholesterol in diet when the 'evidence' between that and heart disease is one flawed series of experiments 20 years ago. [but hey, it's multimillion industry, so lets not let science get in our way!]

And a cure is more than likely going to involve stripping out your entire bone marrow, reprogramming the stem cells to make modified T-cells that won't attack yourself, and reinjecting the modified cells. And even then, it won't do anything for the damage already done. You'd probably need direct CNS injections of of neurogeneis stem cells for that, maybe...

Edited at 2013-07-12 04:09 pm (UTC)
Jul. 12th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)
Ah, good point. The word "symptoms" always triggers such a response from me, I am afraid, because of all the other people that try to tell me their friend/relative/budgie's-left-nostril has MS and they do not get *that* symptom and so it cannot be due to the MS and anyway don't I realise that XXX magical-thinking cures MS and worked 100% for this person they see once a year at best? Apologies for my reaction.
Jul. 12th, 2013 08:41 pm (UTC)
Yeahhh.. I get that with Dyslexia. Either it doesn't really exist and I'm lazy/stupid and just need to try harder, or it'll be magically cured by wearing pink glasses or whatever... and a side-order of "but you can't have dyslexia, you can read!".. well yeah, it doesn't affect everyone the same way. In my case I can read fine, it's writing [and spelling] that gets scrambled.

Thats the visible symptom in my case... the primary symptom is a developmental disorder in how the brain organises itself and allots which functions to which hemisphere, leading to various sub-systems not entirely talking to each other correctly because instead of a direct link, it has to be shunted though the hypothalamus, or the cerebellum...

See what I mean, the visible symptoms are usually a secondary affect whenever you're talking about the nervous system. largely because it mostly doesn't do anything on the visible level itself directly, it's a command and communication network for the stuff that does.

Edited at 2013-07-12 08:48 pm (UTC)
Jul. 12th, 2013 09:47 pm (UTC)
Uh huh. *empathy*
Jul. 12th, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks, right back at you [in case I wasn't clear on that point before].

Kinda sucks, really. As if our respective problems weren't enough to deal with, we have to deal with this s**t from 'well meaning but ignorant' people as well...and then they wonder why we're so pissy at times and why we're not grateful for their 'sympathy' and 'help'...


Yeah, sorry about that. I think I maybe hijacked this a little... I hear ya. Hope they do find a cure that really is one. The sodium thing is signpost in what might be the right direction at least.
Jul. 13th, 2013 02:13 am (UTC)
Feel free to hijack! I post these things with the aim to cause interest and maybe conversation.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Nat S Ford
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