In this medical video learn how a new vaccine may give patients with a debilitating illness their lives back.
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Jennifer Mathews: Sue Carlson works up to 12 hours a day helping others feel better. Sue Carlson: There’s nothing I can’t do. Jennifer Mathews: But four years ago, Sue could barely muster enough energy to work a half day. Multiple sclerosis weakened the entire right side of her body. Sue Carlson: I had to move the body part predominantly with my left side propet on pillows or towels or blankets in order to do the work I needed to do. Jennifer Mathews: But after six months on an experimentally vaccine called NeuroVax, her strength came back. Sue Carlson: And I just kept getting better and better and better. Jennifer Mathews: NeuroVax works by increasing the number of disease fighting white blood cells of the immune system. It did that for all 40 patients who received it. Unlike standard treatments, which have to be given daily or weekly, the vaccine only has to be given once a month and it doesn’t cause flu like side effects. Dennis Bourdette: With patients want our treatments are not only effective but also aren’t impacting the quality of life as side effects. Jennifer Mathews: Researches say the results are encouraging but larger studies are needed before it can be approved. Dennis Bourdette: So we still have to have a large enough trial that goes on for a minimum of two years, where we see a difference between the vaccine in patients and a controlled group, placebo group. Jennifer Mathews: After a year without an injection, Sue was waiting for a new trail to begin, hoping that another dose of the vaccine will give her even more strength. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.