MS is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves). In severe cases, the patient becomes paralyzed or blind, while in mild cases only numbness may be experienced in the limbs. The cause of MS is not yet known; Scientists believe that the disease occurs due to the influence of environmental factors in a person who is genetically predisposed to the reaction. It should be noted that these environmental factors are still unknown. Although there is no known cure for MS, there are several treatments that have been shown to be effective in relieving the symptoms of the disease. The main goal of physiotherapy is to restore the patient's functions after an attack, prevent a new attack, and prevent the person from becoming disabled. According to the NMMS, about one million people in the US are living with this disease.
Vaccines work by triggering immune system responses among B cells and T cells. Considering many people are dependent on anti-B cell therapy to control the progression of their status, the scientists were unsure whether the COVID-19 vaccine would provoke an appropriate immune response among MS patients. Even among people with decreased B cell antibody levels, we saw strong T cell responses, in some cases even stronger than people without MS.
In other words, while not an ideal response, involving both B cells and T cells, the response is adequate. An ongoing investigation involving 600 participants will evaluate the efficacy of administering additional vaccine doses to MS patients. Although MS patients made fewer antibodies to the virus as compared to people not on immune-suppressing drugs, their T cell responses were surprisingly strong. This shows that vaccination is likely to provide sufficient protection against SARS-COV infection. While this is good news for cancer patients, it is also an academic interest to researchers who study the immune system. “This teaches us about human immune responses,” Dr. Bar-Or noted.