Navigation Links
Some Severe MS Flares Helped by Blood Filtering Treatment

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A blood-filtering procedure called plasma exchange helps ease severe flares of multiple sclerosis (MS), but does not help with more advanced, progressive forms of the disease, new guidelines say.

Plasma exchange, or plasmapheresis, is also effective in treating severe forms of Guillain-Barre syndrome and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and it may be considered to treat some other kinds of inflammatory neuropathies, according to the American Academy of Neurology guidelines.

Periodically, the academy reviews the available research on various procedures, ranks the evidence according to quality of the research and issues new recommendations that many neurologists use in their practice.

The updated guidelines, based on a review of research published between 1995 and 2009, are published in the Jan. 18 issue of Neurology. The previous guidelines were issued in 1996.

"With multiple sclerosis, plasmapheresis works, but only with the acute attacks, and it should also be used only when steroids do not work," said guidelines co-author Dr. Vinay Chaudhry, a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "If the MS is chronic or progressive, not the relapsing or remitting type, plasmapheresis does not work."

In plasma exchange, developed in the 1970s, a patient's blood is removed from the body and filtered. The patient's blood and platelets are returned, but the plasma is replaced with donor plasma.

Though physicians aren't entirely sure why plasma exchange works, it's generally believed that filtering removes harmful proteins and antibodies in the plasma that attack the central nervous system.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune system attacks myelin, or the sheath that insulates nerve fibers of the central nervous system. The damage disrupts nerve signals traveling to and from the brain, which can lead to numbness, movement difficulties, blurred vision, fatigue and cognitive issues.

About 85 percent of those with MS start with a relapsing-remitting course, in which attacks are followed by partial or total recovery. Eventually, more than half go on to develop a more progressive form of the disease with fewer and shorter symptomless periods.

At the outset of the disease, doctors usually treat MS flares with steroids, said Dr. Lily Jung, medical director of the neurology clinic at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle.

According to the guidelines, if the attack is particularly severe and the steroids are not helping, doctors should consider using plasma exchange.

However, the treatment is not effective for more advanced and aggressive forms of the disease, including chronic or secondary progressive forms, the guidelines say.

Researchers also looked at the evidence for the use of plasma exchange for other neurologic disorders, including myasthenia gravis and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus infection, but there was not enough evidence to determine whether it is an effective treatment.

The recommendations make sense, Jung said. Plasmapheresis can be grueling and generally requires a hospital stay of about 10 days. Complications can include infection and blood clots, so it should be reserved for patients with a severe flare, which may include an inability to walk and the possibility of months of physical rehabilitation.

"In patients with relapsing disease who are not doing well with steroids, and their deficits are great enough to warrant it, this may not be a bad thing and might allow them to get out of the hospital sooner," Jung said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on multiple sclerosis.

SOURCES: Vinay Chaudhry, M.D., professor, neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore; Lily Jung, M.D. medical director, neurology clinic, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle; Jan. 18, 2011, Neurology

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Less invasive techniques help manage complications of severe pancreatic disease
2. Chronic Nasal Congestion May Be Linked to Severe Asthma
3. Cancer Patients Who Smoke Report More Severe Pain
4. Mount Sinai first in US to implant aortic valve prosthesis to treat severe aortic stenosis
5. Obesity increases risk of death in severe vehicle crashes, study shows
6. Nasal congestion can mean severe asthma
7. Severe Pain Can Trigger Suicide in Hospital ERs
8. Severe Bacterial Strain Found in Cystic Fibrosis Patients in Canada
9. Rare, Severe Form of Morning Sickness Appears to Be Genetic
10. Severe Acne May Up Suicide Risk: Study
11. A comparison of severe outcomes during the waves of pandemic (H1N1) 2009
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Some Severe MS Flares Helped by Blood Filtering Treatment 
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who ... Cleveland, OH , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) ... in Cleveland, OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... The ... announce a recent successful appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex ... Adcock v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , According to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... a double board certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical ... of The Skin Spa at Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ongoing Clinical Study ... (RMC) in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of its product and ... care units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result ... from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... SAN FRANCISCO , November 26, 2015 ... 1.82 billion by 2022, according to a new report by ... as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is ... convenient and cost effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> ... 1.82 billion by 2022, according to a new report by ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Surface Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Competitive ... offering.  --> ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... "Advanced Wound Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy ... User (In-Patient Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global ... --> --> The ... definition and forecast of the global advanced wound care ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: