Multiple sclerosis (MS): In humans, BCG has been shown to substantially reduce recurrence of symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients. The frequency of new enhancing lesions as detected by Gd-enhanced MRI was reduced by more than half in 12 patients, comparing the six-month run-in phase to the six-month post BCG phase of the experiment. Persistence at subsequent MR scan was reduced from 18 to 1 lesion, and evolution to black holes was reduced from 28 to 6 lesions. The conventional explanation of such protection is that parasites (including bacteria) modulate the sensitivity of the immune system. BCG appears safe as a treatment for multiple sclerosis although it is not commonly used.
That's a new one on me. I'm not surprised if it isn't used commonly in the US. We rarely use the BCG vaccine here, period.
Interestingly enough, I was given this vaccine when I was 18 years old and I still ended up here. I'm happy my symptoms have progressed very slowly since the first debilitating flare in 1990. I doubt that vaccine can take any credit in my case though unless it delayed those initial symptoms a full 20 years.
Just an FYI. This was not a fun vaccine. It's one of those leave-a-scar behind-to-show-it-worked types. I doubt it's any better now and I doubt it ever protected me from the things I was told it would.
I hope the infectious disease expert spots this and leaves an opinion.
Hi Mary. Sounds like they were saying it could help as a treatment, though didn't say anything about prevention. Who knows... I didn't investigate further.
My kids were both given the BCG at birth (outside the US) and my daughter had a bump that kept draining and scabbing, draining and scabbing. Caused trouble back in the US, because you subsequently always test positive for TB and that causes trouble in school (yearly x-rays required, or months of isoniazid antibiotic therapy, your choice!).
Yup, sounds familiar. My original spot festered until it burst it's nastiness (I think) about 2 months later. It's been 42 years and I would still have to get a chest x-ray if everyone else is having a skin test. I forgot once and took the test. That lump took several years to disappear but at least it wasn't huge or discolored. Copaxone every day seems easy by comparison. LOL
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