Progesterone for multiple sclerosis- question received by email:
I am writing with questions specific to the use of natural progesterone as a therapy for multiple sclerosis.
It seems that there is new research in the US that has determined the importance of progesterone for the health of myelin, and indeed that it is able to heal damaged myelin sheath. I believe that I can attest to this from my own experience. I began using progesterone cream for menopausal symptoms three years ago. Over the time I noticed that my MS symptoms improved, but didn’t know why. My neurologist’s explanation was that I was just having a really good remission. However, I felt that there was more to it than that, and wondered if it had something to do with the fact that I had managed to get my menopausal symptoms under control. I have always wondered if there is a hormonal link to MS, given the exacerbation of symptoms at certain times of my menstrual cycle, and also the fact that I was so unbelievably well during pregnancy and then had a major relapse within months of the birth. You can imagine my excitement when I began to read about the importance of progesterone to myelin health. I am hoping that you can provide me with further information on this subject, and given your own resources, perhaps research this further.
Like most things medical there is much that is unknown and yet to be researched.
I have little doubt you are on the right track – if progesterone is making you feel better then I’d stay with it.
I found this review article “Progesterone Synthesis in the Nervous System: Implications for Myelination and Myelin Repair“.
It gets very technical but I think you are living proof of what it outlines. Basically, it explores how progesterone could protect the brain from injury, or help it heal after injury.
There has been some good work done in the area of early brain injury management with progesterone which ties in with your MS experience.
I came across this news report a couple of years ago which does provide some scientific support for progesterone use in brain injury.
Dr Wright who is heading this study has published some papers on the subject in recent years.
The study: “Effect of progesterone administration on prognosis of patients with diffuse axonal injury due to severe head trauma” is also worth a read. The study concluded: “the use of progesterone may significantly improve neurologic outcome of patients suffering severe traumatic brain injury(TBI) …considering this drug [progesterone] had no significant side effects, [it] could be used in patients with severe TBI as a neuro-protective drug.”
If you want to research the medical databases for published papers on the neuroprotective effects of progesterone, use PubMed – it is an excellent resource. Search things like progesterone, multiple sclerosis and myelin and you’ll see most of what’s been published.
For more information on progesterone in women , see http://www.hormonesolutions.com/female/progesterone/what-is-progesterone.php
Take the online Female Progesterone Deficiency Self-Assessment quiz here.