While the United States continues to funnel billions of dollars into an unending war in the Middle East (no bias here!), CANADA has been quietly spending some of its resources funding Multiple Sclerosis research. Yes, it's true...our polite neighbors to the north have made a big discovery in Calgary...leave it to the Canadians to discover a major break through in MS research!
Dr. Wee Young and his snap team of research experts announced yesterday that PROLACTIN (which is a hormone produced during pregnancy in females...sorry, boys!) may repair already damaged nerve cells in MS! It has long been observed and known that pregnant women with Multiple Sclerosis appear to have a remission of MS symptoms...what has not been known is "why". Prolactin appears to be that mystery key.
The Calgary research team took pregnant, female mice with spinal cord injury (sorry animal rights activists...do not kill the messenger...I'm just reporting the news!), and compared them to non-pregnant female mice. They observed TWICE as much myelin repair in the prego mice than in the non-knocked up mice. This got them thinking (which I'm not certain USA scientists are allowed to do much of anymore...think independently)...
They wondered if the higher levels of PROLACTIN in the pregnant mice might be the culprit (I'll reference a bit about PROLACTIN later), so they injected the hormone into some non-pregnant female mice and...TADA! They saw an increase in myelin repair in the "virgin" mice (hey, that's what the scientists called them...I'm not disputing the "meeces" sexual habits here!) as well.
So, what does it all mean, Alfy? Should we all run out now and get "one in the oven" ladies? Probably not...I, for one, would rather have MS symptoms than a lifetime of motherhood! LOL AND...the increase in the PROLACTIN hormone ONLY occurs when pregnant or with continued breast-feeding.
BUT...this research could become very important to the MS community. AndI'm so glad the Canadians are putting so much energy into it. If you'd like to read more about this study, here's a link: http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/story.html?id=1a47d69c-22d6-4544-b1e0-b785175ca224&k=87062 .
Now, back to PROLACTIN 101...I will neither humor you nor bore you with MY shaky medical knowledge about this hormone! If you'd like to read something more in depth, I suggest Wikipedia: Prolactin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .
I WILL, however, leave you with one of the oldest and most offensive "hormone" jokes I can dust off from the shelves of the great library of my mind...a library that closes periodically for various violations:
Question: Do you know how to make a hormone?
Answer: Don't pay her.