Histamine, LDN & Lyme Dx MS Therapies

Fri Aug 10, 2018 14:57

Copper Deficiency & Demyelination: An MS Mimic?

In addition to collagen formation, copper plays a central role in myelin formation. Prolonged deficiency can result in demyelination and neurodegeneration, which shows up as spastic gait, optic nerve inflammation, peripheral neuropathy, and fatigue. In many ways, it is a near-perfect mimic of multiple sclerosis.

According to Dr. Neeraj Kumar, of the Department of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, unrecognized copper deficiency is a common cause of idiopathic myelopathy in adults. "The clinical picture bears striking similarities to the syndrome of subacute combined degeneration associated with vitamin B12 deficiency," wrote Dr. Kumar, summing up a study of 13 Mayo Clinic patients (Kumar N, et al. Neurology. 2004; 13; 63(1): 3339).

All had polyneuropathies, with pronounced gait difficulty and sensory ataxia. In addition to measurable copper deficiencies, 7 had high or high-normal zinc. Copper supplements restored circulating levels to normal or near normal in 7 of 12 evaluable patients; parenteral supplementation restored another 3. In all cases, repletion prevented further neurodegeneration; improvement of neurological function was variable.

Copper supplementation fairly easily reverses anemia and neutropenia, but neurologic deficits may be less responsive. "Improvement, when it occurs, is often subjective and preferentially involves sensory symptoms," he noted (Kumar N. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Oct; 81(10): 13711384).

An earlier paper by University of Oklahoma neurologists details two cases of myelopathy, neutropenia and anemia linked to copper deficiency and zinc excess (Prodan CI, et al. Neurology. 2002; 12; 59(9): 14531456). In both cases, "Hematologic recovery followed copper supplementation, both initially and after relapse off copper therapy, while serum zinc levels remained high and the neurologic abnormalities only stabilized."

Dr. Grabowski believes many patients diagnosed with MS actually have copper deficiencies. The idea is not so far-fetched. Neurologists have long recognized the value of vitamin B12 for MS, because the vitamin plays a key role in myelination. Most routinely check B12 in patients suspected of having MS. They tend to overlook copper, though it is just as important in myelination.

"It's not that copper deficiency causes MS. It's that copper deficiency causes demyelination, which can mimic or be mis-diagnosed as MS," Dr. Grabowski explained. "We don't really know if copper deficiency is involved in MS, or if giving copper to MS patients will help. But it is certainly worth thinking about."

    • Very Interesting, Thank you. GoodShape , Sat Aug 11 13:25
      Wish I had read that 14 years ago.
      • Re: Very Interesting, Thank you. johannef, Sun Aug 12 19:07
        I'm going to ask my neuro (does stem cell research) wht he has to say about this.I hope this is good research.
        • Re: Very Interesting, Thank you. johanne f, Thu Aug 16 13:00
          I just got my neuro's rasponse to this study. Jack Antel, Dr. A good study disorder is different from MS. So I imagine this test is good to eliminate other illnesses. It isn't a cure for MS
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