BBC News report on failure of MS drugs

To quote the first paragraph and give the essence of the article:-


Scientists have identified why a once-promising class of drugs do not help people with multiple sclerosis.

An Oxford University team say an genetic variant linked to MS means the drugs which work for patients with other autoimmune diseases will not work for them.

The team, writing in Nature, say the drugs can actually make symptoms worse.

Experts say the work shows how a person’s genetic make-up could affect how they responded to treatment.

The drugs, called anti-TNFs, work for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, but they have not done so for patients with MS and researchers were unsure why.


I saw that this morning.

For those who might not follow the link to the original article, I think it's important to point out that these were trial drugs, and NOT the widely-prescribed DMDs that anyone here is likely to be on.

What I did find more encouraging was that this finding demonstrates the potential for genetics ultimately to be able to predict who will or won't benefit from a drug.

We might one day have treatment tailored to our own individidual genetics, and not have to rely on trying things that only work for some people.

That would be a great step forward - for other conditions, as well as MS!




Once more it is being reported that MS is an auto-immune disease.


'An Oxford University team say a genetic variant linked to MS means the drugs which work for patients with other autoimmune diseases will not work for them.'


There may be strong indications MS is auto-immune but could someone show me something that proves it is?


I know this is an old article but



Sorry George, I believe that it's an autoimmune disease. My genetic link is with my mum who had R/arthritis which was also autoimmune. 




Hi George. I also believe that ms is an auto immune disease. My mother has graves disease and rheumatoid arthritis as have I along with my ms. My brother also has ms. My sister rheumatoid arthritis and another sister has SLE Lupus. Enough evidence for me unless of course somebody comes up with something more convincing.




Just looked up 'auto immune disease' on Wiki.  THis is what it says

Autoimmune diseases arise from an inappropriate immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the immune system mistakes some part of the body as a pathogen and attacks its own cells

It is nothing to do with genetics (there is a predisposition that the gene is passed down through the maternal side).  It is where the body turns rouns and attacks its own cells.  In the case on MS the myelin sheath around the nerve is attacked and scarred.  The lack of complete myelin sheath  means that the impulse cannot pass down the nerve.  Eventually the nerve dies.This is being very simplistic

Proof, I do not have the medical knowledge at my finger tips, suggest you read this blog  It discusses MS and the research that is being done into it.


Pklease check out my website -, info & self help guide for disabled people


Hi Patrick,


I think the point they are making is the gene that causes an auto-immune response is passed down family members.


Sorry but nobody can say that MS is definitely an auto-immune response.  To my mind MS is a reaction caused by many different pathogens from EBV to Hep B vaccinations and many others.


Why does it not affect everyone who has a Hep B vaccination?  Because there must be a fault in your Gene’s; the vaccination is just a trigger (alright whammel not the Lone Ranger’s horse).


Wendy and Mary believe their MS has been passed down.  I went back a couple of generations in my family tree and found nobody who could have passed it to me.


I firmly believe my trigger was a smallpox vaccination but he ho I’m here.  That’s why; even at my stage; I’m sure Stem Cells will prove to be a cure without a cause found.


Thanks Patrick but I am positive nobody can prove MS is an auto-immune response.



Another example of researchers covering their backs??

In reality they have no idea why a drug doesn't work.

George (.."ggood"),

So you're saying that in MS, the immune system doesn't attack itself?

In that case, I'd be most interested as to how you understand this condition?

(..and I completely agree that it's not hereditary.)

I'm completely convinced that my instance was triggered by a virus many years ago - not an inherited illness - that prompted an incorrect immune-response!

With best wishes,


Dom blush

Hello everyone,

I just wish I had a good enough medical understanding of MS and the facts, No one knows for sure what actually causes MS.  People seem to be more likey to get it if for example not enough Vit D, it can be passed through the maternal side if the family, summer born children are more likely to get MS, EBV nould appear to be a factor and I am sure people will cite other reasons for getting the wretched illness.

When the myelin sheath round the nerve is damaged and then scarred this is known as Multiple Sclerosis.  The scars to the myelin makes it more difficult for impulses to pass down the nerve, eventually nothing passes down the nerve because of the scarrs.

I believe those are the basic facts. 

George (ggood), can you please tell me what you believe causes the damage to the myelin sheath.



Hi Patrick (good discussion),



I’m not explaining myself well enough.  Like the whole medical profession I have no idea what causes MS.


In me I feel sure it was an adverse affect to a smallpox vaccination; Dom feels his was a wrong immune response to a virus; Wendy and Mary believe theirs was passed down but none of our theories answer the one question ‘why.’


Others have had smallpox injections; others have caught viruses; children of parents with MS only have a slightly increased chance of getting MS so what causes the lurgy.


I’m not wasting my time worrying about it; I’m coming up to 40 years since my diagnosis and if I’ve learnt anything is don’t worry about it.  I’m going to live to 100 at least; diagnosed in 1973.


I’ve heard and tried many so called answers; I’ve heard so many so called causes from the Viking theory to the death of Oligodendrocyte’s.  The one thing that really excites me is Stem Cells.  Youth is wasted on the young but good luck to them.


I can remember being 6ft 2ins and built like a brick house but after spending the majority of my life in a wheelchair believe it or not would find a normal existence a little disconcerting.


Sorry going off topic again.  Anyway Patrick you can’t answer a question with a question ‘prove MS is without question an auto-immune disease?



talkinh about auto immune illness,,is asthma an auto immune illness,,my mother had bad asthma

Hello Geoirge,

I am convinced MS is an auto imimune disease..  Send your email address to me [ email address removed - PM user to make contact] .  i will keep you posted.

In case you are interested my first relapse was 1979, diagnosd in 1995 and i'm 57.  Got SPMS,yhad to stop work in January this year and diagnosed as a stubborn bastard., Take a look at my website

Hope to talk soon,