old friends’ hypothesis

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Many articles came out today about the case study of a man with ulcerative colitis who used human whipworms  (trichuris trichiura) as therapy for UC, with colonoscopy samples to supply information on inflammatory pathways and mucus secretion in relation to these helminths:

http://www.livescience.com/health/worm-therapy-stimulates-gut-mucus-101201.html

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/la-heb-worm-healing-20101201,0,2645483.story

http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-heb-worm-healing-20101201/10

From Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=helminthic-therapy-mucus

For the Good of the Gut: Can Parasitic Worms Treat Autoimmune Diseases?

Helminths could suppress immune disorders by promoting healthy mucus production in the intestine

By Ferris Jabr December 1, 2010

human-whipworm-eggs PROPITIOUS PARASITE: Human whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) eggs from a patient who deliberately infected himself with parasitic worms to treat his ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. The worms may have sent his sent his disease into remission. Image: Kimberley Evason, UCSF Read the rest of this entry »

My slides:

http://openetherpad.org/deborawade-bter-slides

My talk:  (numbers in parentheses are the slides)
(1)My name is Debora Wade and I have had Crohn’s disease for over 20 years.  Since December of 2007 I have been experimenting with helmitherapy.  In other words, (2)I have approximately 15 of these hookworms living in my small intestine as I speak. Read the rest of this entry »

Thank God, my symptoms have started improving the last few days.  I’ve slept through the night twice, and am having mostly formed stools.  I started drinking 2 bottles of kombucha a day, which has 2 billion s.boulardii as well as other organisms in it.  S. Boulardii was one of the few probiotics to be found beneficial for CD.  I also take take 750 mg. of supplemental s. boulardii along with 4 capsules of VSL#3, a probiotic also studied in IBD.  Whether or not these probiotics, the steroids (I’m down to 25 mg., coming down 5 mg. a week), or the hookworms are what are helping, I don’t know. I’m just glad I’ll be well enough to travel to Los Angeles in a week and give my talk on my helmintherapy experience at the BTeR conference.

I did only 1 egg count since the TSO disaster, and it was 500 epg.  I will do another tomorrow and assess my current worm population.

I’ve finished my slides for the BTeR Foundation, and am now practicing my talk.  I plan on borrowing a conference room on Sunday and filming a trial run, so I’ll give you all a preview in a few days.

Here’s a link to the BTeR conference:

http://www.bterfoundation.org/icb/icb2010.htm

I encourage you all to come.

In my talk, I discuss my reaction to hookworms, both the initial side effects and benefit by month 4.  I talk about how adding worms in “trickle doses” caused me to regress, and ultimately I lost my worms by the end of the first year.

I reinfect, get good efficacy for about 6 months, my egg count starts to drop.  I reinfect, get another 6 months.  Then Jasper Lawrence is raided by the FDA, flees the country, I go 9 months without being able to infect.  I discuss the lack of legal rights as patients; can we safely incubate and self infect?

I add 15 more worms in June, get worse, go on Prednisone, get better.  I add 3 doses of TSO and get substantially worse.

I talk about the microbiome and the slow pace of research on the hygiene hypothesis.  How patients cannot wait.  How we are willing to be case studied, to document our effects, but often our doctors are disinterested.  I ask how the autoimmune community can unite with the researchers to help propel helmintherapy research forward.

We’ll see what comes of it.  Hopefully it will be an inspiring evening.  Then I’ll get more worms….

http://evmedreview.com/?p=457

The light of evolution points toward reconstitution of the biome as the only reasonable therapy for a wide range of immune-associated disorders, including allergy, autoimmunity and perhaps autism.

By William Parker, Duke University

It is now widely appreciated that humans did not evolve as a single species, but rather that humans and the microbiomes associated with us have co-evolved as a “super-organism”, and that our evolution as a species and the evolution of our associated microbiomes have always been intertwined. This co-evolution has biological consequences that are readily apparent. For example, decades of work with gnotobiotic (microbe-free) animals consistently demonstrate that the painstaking separation of a mammal from its associated microbiome results in an underdeveloped immune system that is a mere shadow of its naturally occurring counterpart.

The vital role of the microbiome in shaping the development of the immune system is, thankfully, becoming widely appreciated and the subject of more intensive inquiry. On the other hand, it is less well appreciated that, like the microbiome, a wide range of our fellow eukaryotes have co-evolved with us and have become intertwined with the development of our immune system. All mammalian species with the exception of humans in post-industrial societies and their domesticated animals co-exist with a wide range of intestinal worms, called helminths. Unfortunately, we are only now beginning to appreciate the consequences of our deceptively painless separation from these animals. Read the rest of this entry »

Article after article extolling the virtues of helminths’ ability to prevent allergies and autoimmune diseases always end in quotes like this:

“The hope is that the work could aid the development of new treatments which work in the same way as gut parasites, by dampening down or rebalancing the immune system so that the body does not respond to allergens and trigger asthma attacks.”

“Here, the view is presented that assessment of the immunophysiological response to helminths could identify that infection with specific parasites would be therapeutically useful (although many helminths could not fulfil this role) and lead to precise knowledge of the immune events following infection, to identify ways to intervene in disease processes (in the absence of infection per se) that can be used to treat, and eventually cure, inflammatory and autoimmune disease.” Read the rest of this entry »

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