NDG is on holiday, probably trying to avoid killing herself by hanging from her fingers on some mountain ledge in the backwaters of somewhere. So I fill her slot with some COVID news that could have implications for MS.
The major killer associated with COVID-19 is……….AGE. When I get infected with COVID-19 it is probably time to pop my Clogs, as I have most of the risk factors. ProfG says “Bring it On” but he and MD2 have turned into “stick-boy”.
We all know that will time you start to fall apart, bit my bit. It all moves Southwards and stops working. As you age you do not repair and this is part of the problem with MS.
Repair in MS involves clearing up the debris from immune-attack. Doctor Franklinstein from Cambridge and chums stitched an old mouse to a young mouse together and made them share the young mouse’s heart and blood (Yep a yucky experiment). They showed that the young macrophages could repair.
Now before you turn into a vampire and go off sucking Virgin’s (Ask your father) blood, the Boffs at Cambridge also suggested that if you take a diabetes drug called metformin you can turn the macrophages into young macrophages.
Will this work in MS?
I don’t know, but I do know that there are plans to test this in trials in MS. Are they going ahead. I don’t know as COVID-19 has stemmed MS research.
Now if you remeber we have been saying that the macrophage is probably your first line of defence against SARS-CoV-2. Now here is an hypothesis.
Age is a risk factor for COVID-19 because your macrophages are less effective as anti-viral cells. So old foggies tend to snuff-it but children are often asytomatic, because they deal with it so well.
Now I am not suggesting that you stich yourself to your grand-kids but if the boffs from Cambridge have got the right idea then metformin should protect you from COVID-19.
We know that diabetics have been having a rough time with COVID-19 but there must be enough diabetics taking metformin who get COVID-19.
Is there any data…yes there is
METFORMIN USE IS ASSOCIATED WITH REDUCED MORTALITY IN A DIVERSE POPULATION WITH COVID-19 AND DIABETES.Crouse A, Grimes T, Li P, Might M, Ovalle F, Shalev A.medRxiv. 2020 Jul 31:2020.07.29.20164020. Diabetics are twice as likely to get COVID-19 and are over 3.5 times more likely to die, but if you take metformin your risk of death drops by two thirds (OR 0.33; 95%CI 0.13-0.84)
Metformin and COVID-19: From cellular mechanisms to reduced mortality.Scheen AJ.Diabetes Metab. 2020 Aug 1:S1262-3636(20)30098-7
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with both poorer clinical outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased risk of death in such hospitalized patients. While the role of glucose control has been emphasized to improve the prognosis, the impact of different glucose-lowering agents remains largely unknown. Metformin remains the first-line pharmacological choice for the management of hyperglycaemia in T2DM. Because metformin exerts various effects beyond its glucose-lowering action, among which are anti-inflammatory effects. Data from observational retrospective studies that have shown a reduction in mortality in metformin users compared with non-users.
So this bodes well for the MS studies, but I find it hard to believe that there is not enough data in the registries to adddress the effect of metformin on MS…Come on MSBase, MSRegistry and if NARCOMS can’t do this I don’t know who could