Helminthic therapy and multiple sclerosis (MS)

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    Research findings

    In 2007, Correale and Farez demonstrated that patients with multiple sclerosis who were accidentally colonised by one or more of a variety of helminths experienced a reduced number of disease exacerbations compared with patients who were helminth-free.

    In 2015, socio-medical research revealed that the human hookworm, Necator americanus (NA), is extremely effective as a treatment for MS, with a success rate of approximately 50% for the progressive forms of the disease (PPMS and SPMS), and more than 90% for the relapsing-remitting form (RRMS).

    In 2020, researchers at Nottingham University reported the results of a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trial in which patients with RRMS were experimentally colonised by NA, and in which half of the treated patients did not develop any new lesions during the nine-month trial period.

    The conclusion published in their formal report by the authors of this study that NA appeared to be ineffective against MS was based on the fact that the particular statistical endpoint determined for the trial by its designers had not been reached. [1] This conclusion is a glaring example of the endemic failure within the mainstream medical research community to understand, and accommodate, the unique requirements of living organisms when they are being trialled as a therapy. To read more about this, see, Problems with clinical trials using live helminths.

    In 2022, a narrative review of the literature on MS and the microbiota included consideration of how the re-introduction of complex eukaryotic symbionts, especially helminths and protists, halts the progression of RRMS by direct modulation of the host immune system, providing conclusive evidence to support the idea that the loss of eukaryotic symbionts is the pivotal evolutionary mismatch that underlies the pathogenesis and progression of MS.

    For more research on helminths and MS, use the search function on your device (Control+F on a PC, Command+F on a Mac or 'Find in page' in the drop-down menu from the three dots icon on a mobile) to search the following page for references to “multiple sclerosis” (rather than “MS”).

    Comments by researchers

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    In developed countries, where we are well nourished, worms are potentially good. If I had Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or multiple sclerosis, I would infect myself without hesitation.” (Prof Alex Loukas, Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine) [2]

    For more comments by researchers about helminthic therapy in general, see the following list.

    The anecdotal evidence

    To read the experience of those who have adopted helminths to treat MS, see the following section of the Helminthic Therapy Personal Stories page.

    Reporting your own experience

    To report your personal experience of using helminthic therapy to treat MS, please use our bespoke reporting tool.

    Best helminth species to treat MS

    The 2015 socio-medical study by Cheng et al [3] reported that:

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    NA is extremely effective at treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, with a success rate exceeding 90%. The success rate for treating progressive multiple sclerosis is less, at about 50% (source: provider interview).

    This study found a couple of individuals who had used HDC to treat MS. One of them reported a 40% success rate using HDC alone, while the other reported 100% success by combining HDC with NA. Seven NA users with RRMS all reported a 100% success rate, as did someone who combined TSO with NA.

    The MS personal stories reported in this wiki are almost exclusively from NA hosts (see, Helminthic therapy personal stories: MS), so NA is clearly the go-to species for MS. For details of how to use NA, see Self-treating with NA.

    Further reading

    Given that helminthic therapy can take a while to begin producing benefits (up to 2 years in the case of NA [4]), it can help to have alternative treatment options to turn to while waiting for the worms to begin to work. The following document contains a wide range of alternative, mostly science-based, natural approaches.