Testing a Worm Egg Cocktail to Treat MS

It sounds like a remedy straight out of a witch’s brew: a cocktail of worm eggs, destined to hatch inside the bodies of those who swallow them.

But make no mistake, there’s science behind this remedy. And doctors who are embarking on a small initial trial of the worm egg cocktail in patients with the degenerative condition multiple sclerosis have high hopes that it will one day offer another fight against the debilitating disease.

Scientists are looking at the possibility that a cocktail of worm eggs, intended to hatch inside the bodies of those who swallow them, could be used as an MS treatment.

A recent study suggested that people already infected with this kind of worm, known as helminths, experienced fewer symptoms of MS. This has led the FDA to approve a small trial of the therapy next month on five patients.

It is hoped that the therapy will prove to be a useful treatment with few of the side effects associated with some other MS treatments. Similar therapies have proved useful in treating some sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease.

ABC News March 17, 2008


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