Interferon: A group of proteins that are produced by cells in response to viral infections. Your body produces these cells to interfere with viruses that are replicating. They were first discovered in 1957.
There are two types of these cells produced by your white blood cells and fibroblasts, which are connective tissue cells. The two types are alpha and beta. Another type is gamma.
The gamma cell is produced by T cells which have been activated. T cells are a substance in your body that actually cause inflammation. When researchers tried using the gamma type to treat MS, the disease got worse instead of better.
The beta group reduces the inflammation caused by the gamma cells. There are three interferon based treatments currently used to treat multiple sclerosis. All three are made from the beta types.
Interferon Beta-1a was the first to be approved by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration). It is used to treat relapsing forms of MS. It's sold under the brand name, Avonex.
It slows the progression of MS by reducing lesions in the brain. These lesions show up on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests. Avonex also lessens the amount of relapses (sometimes called exacerbations or flare-ups).
Scientists make this from the same amino acids that are made in your body naturally. When used to treat MS - in this case through a once-a-week injection - there is less inflammation.
One study began treatment when patients had only had one incidence of demyelination. In these cases, the studies showed that the second incident took much longer to happen. A definite diagnoses of MS didn't come until much later.
To read more about Avonex, click the link. You will find out information about the side-effects, also.
This type of cell helps to stop your body's immune system from attacking the myelin. It has been shown to:
Unlike Avonex, which is an intramuscular (in the muscle) injection, Betaseron is subcutaneous or under the skin. And instead of a once-a-week injection, you would take it every other day. To read more about Betaseron, click the link.
It is also made from the same human proteins as Avonex. It basically performs the same way.
There's more to this story. Click here to go to - Part 2.
"Life in Spite of MS is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com."
We'd also like you to know it doesn't cost one cent more when you click through the links here on our blog. Not one single penny. And we willl make a little extra cash when you do click through. We'll be ever so appreciative. You also have our word that we'll only link to things that we would use ourselves, (or wish we could have or use.
Cir & Akrista
You are reading original content written by Akrista or Cir L'Bert of Life in Spite of MS. If you enjoyed reading this blog, please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. See you there!