Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/20/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Experimental drug called BG-12 joins fight against misunderstood disease

An experimental new drug, BG-12, has been shown to lower the number of nerve cell attacks of those afflicted with multiple sclerosis with fewer side effects. It's estimated that the treatment will cost $50,000 a year, the same as other drugs used to treat MS.

MS occurs about three times as often in women as men; especially for cases diagnosed for people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

MS occurs about three times as often in women as men; especially for cases diagnosed for people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

9/20/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: MS, BG-12, wheelchairs, genetic disposition, virus

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Affecting an estimated 400,000 Americans, there is no cure and little understanding of MS. The cause and prevention of MS remains one of medical science's most baffling unanswered questions.

BG-12 helps reduce the number of "flare-ups" associated with the disease, in the manner of the nine other drugs already approved to treat MS.

In MS cases, the immune system, specifically disease-fighting T-cells destroy the myelin sheath, the coating on the outside of brain and spinal nerve cells. This occurs during separate attacks or flare-ups, usually a year or more apart. No part of the brain or spinal cord appears resistant. People with MS can appear very healthy, but autoimmune attacks often inflict severe damage.

"MS can affect vision, movement, strength, sensation, bowel, bladder, sexual function, mood, cognition," says Dr. Robert Fox, a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic who headed the BG-12 study. "Everything the brain does can be impaired from MS."

Its possible MS may be set off by a viral infection. After the infection, the immune system starts to mistake neurons for virus or infected cells and destroys them.

MS' viral role has been suggested from studies done in the Orkney, Shetland and Faroe Islands off Scotland. While all these islands share similar geography and ethnic makeup, prior to 1943, the Orkneys and Shetlands had a high incidence of MS, while the Faroe Islands almost none. The overriding theory is that the movement of British troops spread a virus.

There also strong evidence for genetic susceptibility. This theory stems from the incidence of MS among various ethnic groups. Caucasians have the highest incidence while other ethic groups have almost no MS. These include the Inuit of Canada, Yakuts of Russia, the Hutterites, a religious group in Montana, Hungarian Romani, Norwegian Lapps, Australian Aborigines and New Zealand Maoris.

Many populations in Africa almost never suffer MS; only contracting the disease when they migrate to Europe or the U.S. their rates go up. Many Asian populations have almost no MS, and for them migration does not seem to increase susceptibility.

MS seems to occur far more often in cooler climates than those that are closer to the equator. Like many autoimmune diseases, hormones seem to play a role. MS occurs about three times as often in women as men; especially for cases diagnosed for people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

Research thus far have not yielded the cause or a cure for the disease. And although people with MS have near-average life expectancies, until there are better medications, they will likely end up in a wheelchair with many other disabilities.



Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Health

'Switching off' certain genes could extend life - by as much as 60 percent scientists say Watch

Image of The Buck Institute for Research on Ageing and the University of Washington identified 238 genes that, when


Experiments conducted on various strains of yeast have led scientists to believe that the removal of certain genes could actually extend human lifetimes by as much as 60 percent. Researchers found that small, genetic tweaks have made organisms live longer. LOS ... continue reading

Brain 'fingerprint' may lead to medical and psychological diagnosis Watch

Image of


A "brain fingerprint," an individual demarcation of brain activity could be used to determine how a patient would react to medical treatment, as well as possible mental illness, researchers say. Researchers at Yale University say that the findings are ... continue reading

British Ebola survivor suffers relapse, back in hospital Watch

Image of British nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who earlier survived the Ebola virus and survived has returned to the hospital.


Sadly, the world is not out of the woods yet when it comes to the terrifying disease of Ebola. Vaccine or not, many patients that survive the organ-melting disease suffer long-term side effects. British nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who earlier survived the virus ... continue reading

Heart attack risk can be determined through simple blood test Watch

Image of A blood test can determine whether someone is at risk of a heart attack.


Recent research published in The Lancet indicates a simple blood test can determine whether people suffering from chest pains are at risk of having heart attack. According to the study, all doctors need to do is check the amount of troponin -a protein in the blood- is ... continue reading

America drinks less soda: The soda industry sees an all-time-low in sales Watch

Image of The soda industry is changing.


Around five years ago, the soda industry fought back against Mayor Michael A. Nutter's proposal of imposing soda taxes in Philadelphia. Soda lobbyists back then organized protests and came up with campaign contributions to local politicians, with the assistance of ... continue reading

5 things people need to know about breast cancer Watch

Image of


Breast cancer is the most prevalent kind of disease that has been affecting women from all over the world. The World Health Organization estimated around 508,000 women die of this disease every year.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While some women fall prey ... continue reading

Early detection test can lead to breast cancer diagnoses before cancer appears Watch

Image of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


A recent study may make it possible to detect breast cancer before the disease develops. Researchers clarified, however, that the study was based on genetic changes from samples taken from healthy breasts and cancerous breasts. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

ACLU sues Catholic hospital over refusal to abort children Watch

Image of The ACLU is insisting that Catholic hospitals abort still-living children.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ACLU is suing Trinity Health Corporation, a Michigan-based Catholic hospital chain, because the organization refuses to perform abortions. The suit is similar to one brought by the ACLU in 2013, that case was dismissed by a Federal court. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Baby born with rare medical mystery thrives Watch

Image of Baby Angelito was born with two tubes for a nose.


Baby Angelito was born with two tubes in place of a nose but his doctors are optimistic about his condition.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail reported the medical mystery as well as Angelito's doctors' belief the infant will soon appear normal.The ... continue reading

20-million-year old flea carrying bubonic plague may be real reason dinosaurs went extinct Watch

Image of The Black Death plague devastated entire populations (Interfoto/Alamy)


Preserved in amber, a 20-million-year-old flea is believed to contain an ancient form of one of the world's deadliest bacteria: Black Death.  LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - According to the Journal of Medical Entomology, the fossilized bacteria is ... continue reading

All Health News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 1:16-25
16 For I see no reason to be ashamed of the gospel; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:37-41
37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 13th, 2015 Image

St. Edward the Confessor
October 13: Edward the Confessor was the son of King Ethelred III and his ... Read More