When it comes down to it, we all think of bacteria as a bad thing, right? Well what if you were told that an icky bacteria that causes so many people discomfort, can potentially treat a major disease. Researchers are looking into the possibility that a simple stomach bacteria can help ward off Multiple Sclerosis. This is a major find!
For those who may not know, Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a neurological disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the healthy tissue of the central nervous system. It is most common between the ages of 20 and 40 and women are more susceptible to the disease than men. The disease progressively gets worse over time with symptoms ranging from dizziness and fatigue to inability to move limbs.
Now what bacteria could possibly help with curing Multiple Sclerosis? Good question. It’s a stomach parasite called helicobactor pylori, or h. pylori for short. H. Pylori is a bacteria that is present in the stomach. Most people have it, but don’t even know they do unless they experience the rare symptoms of ulcers and gastritis.
While researching MS, scientists noticed that in patients with MS, there is zero to little presence of H. Pylori antibodies. Patients they studied who did not have MS were more likely to have the antibodies for H. pylori than patients who have MS, suggesting that the bacteria may have a protective effect against MS. Scientists continue to research why this occurs, and while they do, they are developing a drug that can simulate the effects of H. Pylori. They feel that exposure to the bacteria at a young age is needed to prime the immune system to become resilient to it in adulthood and therefore reduce the risk of allergies and autoimmune disorders. They are developing the drug to basically act as vaccines do.
Now while this all sounds good in theory, right now, that is all it is, theory. Hopefully this theory turns into something that can benefit and possibly cure people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis.