Knowledge Bank

How helminthic therapy helps sufferers of multiple sclerosis

A pilot study has had some success with stem cell therapy and sufferers of multiple sclerosis.

According to an article in the journal Neurology, replacing deliberately destroyed bone marrow with the patient's own stem cells has helped to stabilise aggressive forms of multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis  is a disease where the body's own immune system attacks myelin, the fatty covering that insulates nerve cell fibers in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in slower nerve signals.

According to the National Institutes of Health, no one knows exactly how many people have MS, but some estimates put the number of people worldwide at over two million.

Further clinical trials will be needed before this treatment is more widely available. In the meantime, some sufferers are turning to holistic or complementary therapies in the hope of getting help with their symptoms.

One of the therapies used for sufferers of multiple sclerosis is helminthic therapy.

What is helminthic therapy?

Helminthic therapy is the use of parasitic worms, known as helminths, in order to treat autoimmune diseases and immune disorders.

Just the thought of what is involved in this therapy may be enough to put some patients off. But helminthic therapy is so far proving to have very successful treatment results.

It has stemmed from much research into why certain autoimmune diseases, disorders and allergies are so much more rarely found in people living in less developed countries, whilst in developed and industrialised countries the numbers have been steadily increasing for some time.

There are several reasons as to why scientists believe this is happening, but the chief reason is that in developed countries people are now far less exposed to bacteria, parasites and viruses. There is such an emphasis here on cleanliness and sanitisation. Hence naturally occurring parasites which can actually do humans some good, are not being seen so often.

How does helminthic therapy work?

Helminthic therapy works by using parasitic worms, known as helminths. Being parasitic means that they feed off of their host by living inside the human body, and although sometimes this is not good for humans because the helminths can disrupt our nutrient absorption and cause disease, certain types of helminths can actually do more good than harm.

Research and actual treatments of helminthic therapy are showing extremely favourable results. It would appear that helminthic therapy is generally far more effective than orthodox medicines.

In addition, when compared to conventional medications which are commonly used for treating these conditions, the side effects suffered with helminthic therapy are actually very minimal and far less problematic than with medications.

There are very few side effects with pig whipworm eggs, though there are more reported with hookworm. There has been a huge range of side effects reported, and they vary substantially from person to person. But they have included a rash at the site of inoculation, diarrhoea, bloating, cramping, nausea and fatigue.

To learn more about helminthic therapy, and other therapies used by those who suffer from multiple sclerosis, go to The Therapy Book.