Here are some interesting things

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Thursday, August 05, 2004

Encephalitis lethargica, sarcoidosis, multiple sclerosis and pleomorphic bacteria (cell wall-defective bacteria)

Encephalitis lethargica

BBC - Health - Encephalitis lethargica is a mysterious disease that was the subject of the film Awakenings, starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. People with encephalitis lethargica may develop fever, headache, weakness and other symptoms, which can lead to a prolonged state of unconsciousness or to Parkinson's disease. But the cause remains a mystery.

Between about 1917 and 1928 a puzzling illness appeared and swept around the world. Doctors called it encephalitis lethargica, which simply meant 'inflammation of the brain that makes you tired'. Younger people, especially women, seemed to be more vulnerable but the disease affected people of all ages.

Hundreds of thousands of people were struck down and many survivors were left to battle difficult symptoms for years. Some thought it was caused by a virus, some confused it with the epidemic of Spanish flu at that time while others blamed weapons used in World War I. But even now, more than 80 years later, scientists are uncertain what causes the condition.

More ...

Now being implicated, or at least flagged, as a possible cause of encephalitis lethargica, is a strain of streptococcus, as a likely trigger for the ensuing autoimmune response where the brain becomes inflammed, through some unknown mechanism.

Which is very interesting if you are into that sort of thing.

Due to the range of autoimmune diseases which attack the CNS (Central Nervous System), not least, multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder or indeed, does it hold the key to the as yet undetermined cause of Parkinson's Disease?

There has been some suggestions of cell wall-defective variants of well known bacteria such as E.Coli, initiating and fuelling the inflammatory processes in autoimmune disorders such as sarcoidosis; however, the road is a rocky one and a skeptical scientific community is still trying to pin down the significance of these pleomorphic bacteria, although some slow progress is being made.


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