MS & HIV: A Unique Research Opportunity?

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In summary, the conversation discussed the idea of using HIV to treat multiple sclerosis by eliminating the immune system. However, this approach was deemed barbaric and unlikely to be effective. It was also pointed out that there is a difference between an autoimmune disease and an immunodeficient disease. The conversation also touched on the potential for biomedical research to uncover new treatments for various diseases. Finally, the participants considered the possibility of finding an antibody that causes the immune system to attack the myelin in MS.
  • #1
munky99999
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Now bare with me :)

MS is basically the immune system attacking the nervous system.
HIV is a virus attacking the immune system.

If you contract HIV and have your immune system eliminated. Your immune system than cannot attack your nervous system.

Obviously this is a pretty barbaric way of fighting the disease of multiple sclerosis. It would be analogous of amputating an arm because of a broken finger.

Wouldn't this perhaps be an interesting application for research to be done?

Ofcoarse chances are that I'm likely quite incorrect on how it works.
 
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  • #2
There is already research into, and existing therapies for MS that manipulate the immune system (immunosuppressants). Using such a blunt hammer as HIV would be more a set-back.

Of course, that doesn't mean that one field cannot benefit from the other, and that sort of thing does happen with biomedical research quite often...someone studies the mechanism of action for one thing, and along the way, finds a way to manipulate something relevant for another disease, and the research jumps disciplines. So, there's always the chance that someone studying HIV will learn something about the mechanism it uses to suppress the immune system that will turn out useful as a more targetted therapy for something else (whether MS, or other things like immunosuppression for organ transplants).

To say much more than that, though, would be far too speculative at this time.
 
  • #3
Now bare with me :)

WHAT?? :confused: You want us to get NAKED with you?! :smile:

Plus, there is a difference between an autoimmune disease (where the body actually attacks itself) and and immunodeficient disease (where a virus attacks the body). MS attacks the CNS. HIV attacks the T-cells. I don't think using one to cure the other would work.
 
  • #4
Tsu said:
WHAT?? :confused: You want us to get NAKED with you?! :smile:

Plus, there is a difference between an autoimmune disease (where the body actually attacks itself) and and immunodeficient disease (where a virus attacks the body). MS attacks the CNS. HIV attacks the T-cells. I don't think using one to cure the other would work.
I think what the OP is saying is, if MS causes the T-cells to attack, and HIV attacks the T-cells, then HIV could stop MS. (I don't know whether MS causes the T-cells to attack.)
 
  • #5
A case of the cure being worse than the disease?
 
  • #6
EnumaElish said:
I think what the OP is saying is, if MS causes the T-cells to attack, and HIV attacks the T-cells, then HIV could stop MS. (I don't know whether MS causes the T-cells to attack.)

Right. And I'm saying that won't work. :smile: The MD's I've talked to about it here at my hospital also agree. The HIV is widespread and attacking all of the body's T-cells, not just the ones that attack the myelin sheath in MS. No Time is correct. It's a case of the cure being worse than the disease.
 
  • #7
So, the only thing we have to do is to find the Antibody that is making the immune system attack the myelin and get ride of it.

Any Ideas?
 

Related to MS & HIV: A Unique Research Opportunity?

1. What is the connection between MS and HIV?

MS, or multiple sclerosis, is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus that attacks the immune system. Recent studies have shown that individuals with HIV have a higher risk of developing MS compared to the general population. This suggests that there may be a shared underlying mechanism between the two conditions.

2. How does HIV affect the progression of MS?

While the exact mechanism is still being studied, it is believed that HIV may increase the activity of immune cells that contribute to the development of MS. This can potentially lead to a more severe and rapidly progressing form of MS in individuals with HIV.

3. What are the benefits of studying MS and HIV together?

Studying MS and HIV together can provide valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms of both diseases. It can also help in identifying potential treatment strategies for individuals with both conditions, as well as improving overall understanding of autoimmune and viral diseases.

4. What are the challenges in conducting research on MS and HIV?

One of the main challenges in studying MS and HIV together is the limited number of individuals with both conditions. This can make it difficult to gather a large enough sample size for statistical significance. Additionally, there may be ethical considerations in conducting research on individuals with HIV.

5. How can the findings from this research be applied in clinical practice?

The findings from this research can potentially lead to the development of new treatments for both MS and HIV. It can also help in identifying risk factors and potential preventative measures for individuals who are at risk of developing MS or HIV. Furthermore, the knowledge gained from this research can improve overall healthcare for individuals living with both conditions.

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