My wife has secondary Progressive MS. She also has two children with Down's Syndrome. Could they be the cure? Could the children have been born with spectacular anti-neurological strengths? We propose the hypothesis that despite a propensity in DS for certain autoimmune diseases there is a negative association of DS and MS. Genes located on chromosome 21 may thus confer protection against MS. Candidate genes for protective immunomodulation might include interferon receptor I and II and S100b. Substantiated by further epidemiologic data, the identification of these and other chromosome 21 gene products may provide new hints for the understanding of modulatory genes in the pathogenesis of MS. In more general terms, this negative association also may allow to study basic principles of how certain candidate genes might act on autoimmune disease expression. So why not give blood from my kids to my wife (Type matches)?
Thank you for you email and the issues raised. Your thoughts about the effects of genetics on risk of MS have some merit and are intriguing. Indeed, we know that some individuals are genetically engineered to be more resistant to developing MS and more able to repair after MS occurs. While there are no direct connections between the genes found on chromosome 21, the sample sizes in studies may be too small. Unfortunately, transfusions of blood from one individual to another will not convey the genetically engineered properties from that blood. Red blood cells have no DNA and do not replicate. What is needed is an ability for a persons own cells to express protective genes."
Benjamin M. Greenberg, MD, MHS
Director, Transverse Myelitis, Neuromyelitis Optica and Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Programs
Director, Neurosciences Clinical Research Center
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Childrens Medical Center