Monday, February 13, 2012
Chang Shan vs Multiple Sclerosis
"A new study suggests the Chinese herb known as Chang Shan selectively weakens the runaway immune response implicated in many autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis."
As we begin this 27th year since Patti’s diagnosis of MS, I wish I could embrace hope with the enthusiasm of a quarter century ago.
Now before everyone goes digging up neighborhoods, nurseries, and botanical gardens for roots of blue evergreen hydrangea let’s take a moment.
At the risk of oversimplifying … Our healthy immune system depends on T Cells. ‘Rogue’ T Cells have long been considered a culprit with MS. ‘Rogue’ T Cells cannot distinguish friend from foe and target the body’s own myelin as if it were a bacteria or virus. Finding a way to suppress the ‘rogue T Cells’ without suppressing all T Cells has been the challenge.
Back in July 2009 …
Compound from Medicinal Herb Thwarts Turncoat Immune Cells “A small molecule (halofuginone) better known for its anti-malarial properties can block the birth of the immune cells involved in autoimmune diseases without blocking crucial infection-fighting cells”, report Harvard Medical and Dental School researchers.
Now in Feb 2012 after peer review and further retesting ...
“We recently demonstrated that halofuginone (HF) …inhibits the development of TH17-driven autoimmunity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis” Halofuginone and other febrifugine derivatives inhibit prolyl-tRNA synthetase
With publication in Feb. 2012 Nature Chemical Biology, associated media and more are picking up the story.
Again at the risk of oversimplification, Chang Shan is the herbal form, Halofuginone is the synthetic.
Interestingly back in 2003, SunCatcher Herbs, developed Sclero-Eze, a herbal supplement that uses Chang Shan as a base. Their website announces “may Treat - Rheumatoid Arthritis - Scleroderma - Lupus - M.S.”
From a quarter century of experience I can share that breaking research on mice can take a decade before availability to humans, if ever. On the other hand while the herb is available it was not the herb that was tested.
However, no one can imagine another’s hope.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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