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Research Shows Plasma Exchange Helps Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Date:4/29/2009

rally do not see any improvement in their condition. This is what makes the plasma exchange therapy all the more remarkable, according to Dr. Khatri. Not only did the majority of patients with worsening symptoms respond to plasma exchange, over time many patients found their weak limbs became stronger, their steps steadier and their speech clearer. Some grew strong enough that they could return to work.

Plasma exchange is a process where the patient's blood is run through a centrifuge, which separates out the plasma. The plasma is replaced with a synthetic fluid, and the blood is returned to the patient. Plasma exchange is thought to work because it filters out the agents that attack the nervous system. Once the bloodstream is cleared, the body has the opportunity to repair itself.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease where the body's immune system attacks the protective sheath surrounding the nerves. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates 400,000 people in the United States have the disease. There is no cure for multiple sclerosis though there are several drugs that can slow or stop its progress. Symptoms can include blurred vision, loss of coordination and short-term or long-term memory loss.

Multiple sclerosis has been linked to vitamin D deficiency, and its geographic distribution is tied to sunshine. One in 500 Wisconsin residents have multiple sclerosis, while one in 10,000 Texans have the disease.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers care at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Aurora's online newsroom: http://www.aurora.org/newsroom

The Regional Multiple
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SOURCE Aurora Health Care
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