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Hookworms 'could be used to treat MS'

Hookworms 'could be used to treat MS'
12th March 2009

The treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) could be more effective if parasitic hookworms are used on the immune system, according to scientists from the University of Nottingham.

A three-year project funded by the MS Society, which is worth £400,000, will determine whether or not infection with a "small and harmless" amount of hookworms could lessen the severity of MS over a 12-month period.

It is believed that if the trial is successful, a natural, cheap and simple treatment - which is easily controlled - could be rolled out to assist sufferers.

Professor Cris Constantinescu, a leading researcher, said: "Over time, parasitic worms have evolved to be able to survive an immune system attack and have been linked to a reduction in the severity of the symptoms of MS, which can be debilitating."

The MS Society currently supports and funds research into the condition, which is believed to affect around 85,000 people in the UK.

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