How does this fit my own history? I was born and raised in a Northern Latitude with scarce sunlight during the winter months. And even during the summer I didn’t take advantage of the sun as I might have. During adolescence I either spent time in the dance studio or read a book a day downstairs in my basement room. My mother remonstrated that I should go out to enjoy the sun. It turns out she was right. (This reminds me of Thomas Mann contrasting the healthy athletic outdoor types with the sensitive, bookish souls like himself. It could well be his observation held more truth than one might suppose. Does the sun mean health? Is the pasty white bookworm inherently unhealthy?)
Every February my health begins to decline and by March I am really unwell. This very clear pattern began in 1966 and I’ve just accepted it as a natural cycle ever since, though I must say that since I began my own self help “Liberation Therapy”, March energies have improved. Now let’s say I really try to get sunlight on my skin for 10 to 15 minutes a day even during the winter cold. And when there is no sun, I use phototherapy to get the UV rays that I need. Will I feel better next February? Will I be able to plan things for the month of March? Well, it’s worth a try and will prove a very interesting self experiment.
I realize this entry is brief. I had intended to go into greater detail on the Nitric Oxide issue, but my family is visiting me here in France so Nitric Oxide will have to wait. I’ll be lazy instead and quote Joan Beal directly from the Thisisms.com website.
Re: Reversing Endothelial Dysfunction
by cheerleader » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Here's the complete paper from Columbia Un., Scott---
This study is focused on the vascular endothelium and blood vessels' response to oxidative stress. The researchers wanted to understand how this affects cerebral blood flow and neurovascular coupling. Vasodilation is dependent on eNOS and prostanoids. Endothelial health is essential for good blood flow.
It's actually a ground breaking study, because the previous model was that neurons and neuronal stimulus controlled blood flow. Neurologists have said that hypoperfusion in MS occurs because damaged neurons do not require as much blood flow. But these researchers showed how the vascular endothelium initiates blood flow, and neuronal dysfunction may be created by hypoperfusion.... They've turned the current neurological paradigm of cerebral blood flow initiation upside down. It's the damaged blood vessels that come first!
If both slow and fast endothelial pathways (as described above) are involved in functional hyperemia, then, as shown in Figure 5, components of stimulus‐evoked vasodilation would be dependent on both endothelial‐derived NO and prostanoids generated by endothelial COX pathways. Equally, endothelial hyperpolarization‐mediated vasodilation, which is unaffected by COX and NO inhibition, would remain.22 No previous neurovascular coupling studies have attributed a loss of attenuation of vasodilation under COX or NO inhibition to action on the vascular endothelium.7 We propose that endothelial involvement in neurovascular coupling can explain many of the seemingly complex and paradoxical effects of these agents on functional neurovascular coupling, including the presence of residual responses.
In this study, we disrupt the vascular endothelium of cerebral arteries in vivo and demonstrate that this disruption halts retrograde propagation of vasodilation during stimulus‐evoked functional hyperemia. We further show that wide‐field disruption of the endothelium of superficial arteries can profoundly alter functional hemodynamics in the cortex. These findings suggest that the vascular endothelium is a critical component of the functional hemodynamic response to somatosensory stimulus in the living brain.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Quoted from Joan Beal’s blog http://ccsvi.org/index.php/helping-myself/endothelial-health
New research on UV rays and MS symptom reduction Most of you know about my suggestion that people with MS seek UV ray therapy, by spending ten to fifteen minutes in sunshine daily, or using UVB phototherapy in less sunny locales. Not just to maintain healthy Vitamin D levels, but to boost levels of Nitric Oxide (NO)…
In the following note, I wrote about the ground-breaking, Noble prize winning research of Dr. Furchgott--he discovered the importance of Nitric Oxide and the process of "photorelaxation" or the vasodilation that occurs thanks to UVB rays.
Dr. Furchgott discovered the process of photorelaxation over 40 years ago. What he noted in the lab was that exposure to UV rays changed the endothelium, encouraging nitric oxide production and vasodilation of arteries.
It would be decades later Dr. Richard Weller discovered exactly how UVB rays released nitrates via our skin--and explained how this could explain the connection of latitude and heart disease.
Dr. Richard Weller of Edinburgh University reports on research finding that when skin is exposed to UV rays for 20 minutes, vasodilating nitric oxide is released. This effect is independent of vitamin D levels--and may explain why even if D levels are raised by supplementation, the full benefit is not received.
So, I was understandably interested to see a group of neurologists looking at the effect of UVB rays on people with MS.
The neurologists first look at the murine model of MS, called EAE. But, as Dr. Weller explains in his wonderful TED talk---mouse models do not work when we're discussing UVB rays and their affect on humans....because mice do not process UV the same way we do. They do not have the same skin. After learning this, Dr. Weller did all of his research on his student lab assistants, and as he quips, "They are cheap, and no one pickets you saying, save the lab assistants!"
Here's Dr. Weller on his discovery of what UVB rays do in humans. If you haven't watched this TED talk yet--please do! You'll thank me later. (For a scientist, he's really entertaining!)
Alright, back to the new paper from the Department of Neurology in Munster, Germany, which is titled:
UVB light attenuates the systemic immune response in CNS autoimmunity.
The neurologists use the EAE in mice part of the research to back up the "CNS autoimmunity" in the title.
Here's what they saw in humans....an anti-inflammatory response in MS due to UV ray exposure...
Now, in English :) When people with MS were exposed to UVB rays, their lymph nodes responded by sending out regulatory t cells to areas of inflammation. These Treg cells are"good guys." They calm inflammation. And Tregs are enhanced by UVB rays via skin cells. People who got UVB rays had a reduction of MS symptoms. No prescription necessary.
That's right---neurologists are telling us that UVB rays helped pwMS!
In fact, we already know this happens. It's why UV ray phototherapy is used for patients with psoriasis. UV light increases Treg cells, which in turn reduce inflammatory cells.
How, exactly, does this happen? Although it's not mentioned here, other researchers have explained it ...Wait for it.....it's Nitric Oxide!
Nitric Oxide (NO), the marker of endothelial health, is also responsible for helping those treg cells leave the lymph nodes and head to sites of inflammation, calming MS inflammation and symptoms. The same Nitric Oxide that Dr. Weller has shown to be released from human skin cells by UVB rays. It's all connected.
The endothelium is the interface between our vascular and immune systems. The lining of our blood vessels connects every inch of our body. Nitric Oxide is essential for our health. And we can boost NO with nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, meditation, and sunshine.
I continue to hope that neurologists will reach out across the aisle, and work with endothelial specialists, to understand the intricate interplay between our vascular and immune systems. To move beyond the credo of EAE and autoimmunity, which may exist in mice, but not in men. To understand the connection of the heart and the brain, via the vasculature. The ISNVD is looking at this connection, and they want neurologists to join them.
MS Cure Enigmas again.
The message today is: Enjoy the Sun everyday of your life. And when the sun hides behind clouds or is at an angle too oblique to be of much benefit, use a sun lamp.