Plasma Exchange Seen As Effective Treatment For MS Relapses

A new recommendation from the American Academy of Neurology provides a new guideline for using plasma exchange as a means to treat people with severe MS relapses as well as those suffering from certain kinds of nerve disorders called neuropathies. The said guideline is published in the January 18 print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Plasma exchange is a process previously known as plasmapheresis. It involves taking the blood out of the body and then removing the elements in the plasma that are considered to be harmful. The rest of the blood containing mostly red blood cells are then transfused back to the body mixed with the replacement plasma. The new guideline suggests that plasma exchange be considered as a secondary treatment for severe bouts of relapsing forms of MS and other related diseases. The said treatment however, was found to be ineffective against secondary progressive and chronic progressive MS types.

According to Irene Cortese, MD and neurologist with the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. And the lead author of the new guideline, “These types of neurologic disorders occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly causes damage to the nervous system. Plasma exchange helps because it removes factors in the plasma thought to play a role in these disorders.”

The said guideline was endorsed by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the section that was related to the use of plasma exchange for MS treatment.

Source: American Academy of Neurology. “Plasma exchange effective in treating severe MS relapses, neuropathies, new guideline recommends.” ScienceDaily 17 January 2011. 18 January 2011 <http://www.sciencedaily.comĀ­ /releases/2011/01/110117161437.htm>

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