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The 10th Annual English Tea benefiting members of the Brazos
Valley Multiple Sclerosis Support Group (BVMSSG) was hosted at the
College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University on May 15,
2004 by Dr. Jane Welsh, Associate Professor in the Department of
Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health and her scientific team.
The English Tea provided a forum for discussion of advances in
Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and allowed graduate students to present
their research to members of the BVMSSG, demonstrating the vital
role that veterinary medical research plays in promoting public
This year's discussions focused on the impact of stress on the
MS patient and the important role of the blood brain barrier.
In MS patients, the immune system attacks the virus and the
myelin membranes making it difficult for the sensory nerves to
conduct electrical impulses. When myelin dissolves as a result of
MS, a scar forms in its place. These scars prevent signals from
traveling through the body and can be aggravated by stress levels.
At the onset of MS more than 80 percent of those diagnosed had
suffered a highly stressful life event in the preceding year.
Current research suggests that neurological disease combined
with stress can initiate the breakdown of the blood brain barrier
thereby allowing an influx of immune cells to cross over.
The theory is, that if you have the genes that predispose to MS
and high stress levels, which often interfere with the ability to
generate an effective immune response to MS causing agents, then
the agent will persist and lead to illness, Welsh commented.
Members of the BVMSSG welcomed the scientific information and
shared their own unique perspectives on living with MS, which
included suggestions on which medications to take, how to deal with
depression and finding the right doctor or neurologist to care for
The English Tea proved to be a tremendous success and allowed
researchers to meet and discuss their findings with the patients
that they hope will one day benefit from their work.
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843
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