Research breakthrough offers hope for MS Suffers

TWO research breakthroughs could provide new hope for almost 4000 people living with Multiple Sclerosis across Queensland.

In the first, a Queensland researcher has published results of a new treatment that involved using a glandular fever vaccine along with immune cells from blood to ease symptoms in a 43-year-old man with MS.

The disease affects the central nervous system, with 30 being the average age of diagnosis.

It can cause blurred vision, numbness, weakness in the arms or legs, loss of balance and severe fatigue.

Lead researcher Professor Michael Pender worked alongside the QIMR Berghofer Medical Institute, University of Queensland and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

It is the first time such a treatment has been used on progressive MS.

According to MS Research Australia, the study had "profound implications" globally for understanding the cause and for the treatment of MS.

Meanwhile, a new treatment named "Lemtrada" for those with active, relapsing MS has been approved by the national Therapeutic Goods Administration although it is yet to be made publicly available.

A spokeswoman for MS Australia said MS was a complex disease there was no "one-size-fits-all" treatment.

"That's why it is always encouraging to see new treatments become available," she said.

MS Queensland offers services in Dalby, Oakey, Gatton, Gladstone, Ipswich, Kingaroy, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Warwick and Stanthorpe for those needing help.

MS Australia operates in New South Wales with branches in the Northern Rivers region and Coffs Harbour.

  • MS occurs when myelin - which protects nerves - deteriorates.
  • It can lead to blurred vision, poor co-ordination and severe fatigue, although no two people have the same symptoms.
  • It is most likely to affect people between 20 and 40 years old, with women at a higher risk.
  • There is no cure, but some treatments are available.

Topics:  research

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