Plasma exchange - why does it work?

I'm interested in hearing theories as to why plasma exchange reverses the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

In this double-blind trial, patients experienced relief for up to 3 years. The "treatment reversed symptoms such as paralysis and loss of speech in 42% of multiple-sclerosis patients who had recently experienced severe, debilitating flare-ups of the disease"

Perhaps it contains lots of unbound transferrin (which binds with free iron)?

Watch this:

My idea is that these pople are experiencing a renfection of Cpn so have many elementary bodies in their plasma, like me in the few years before 2003, so they experience relief for up to three years before the other stages of the infection again take over.  After all, people with meningoccal septicaemia experience total recovery if given plasma pharersis very quickly, because their infection is not an intracellular one.  This really ought to make neurologists think more seriously about Cpn infection......................Sarah

Completed Stratton/Wheldon regime for aggressive secondary progressive MS in June 2007, after four years, three of which intermittent.   Still improving bit by bit and no relapses since finishing treatment.

That quoted sentence sounds a lot like regression to the mean.  (If you take people who have recently experienced MS flare-ups, many of them will get better even with no treatment -- that's what relapsing-remitting MS is like.)  Of course addressing that issue is what the placebo arm of the study is for, but the sentence doesn't give the percentage of people in the placebo arm that similarly recovered.

And "up to three years" is reminiscent of those sales that are "up to 90% off".

I did a quick search of the Mayo Clinic website, and they say they use this when someone has just had an attack.  In that event, there are plenty of things it might be doing to tamp down immune system overreaction, since the blood plasma carries antibodies as well as immune system signaling molecules ("cytokines").

(Even those of us who believe that MS is basically an infection should acknowledge that the attacks of RRMS are overreactions by the immune system: there's an enemy there, but it doesn't deserve a "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" type of reaction.)

thanks for the responses. The reason I thought the plasma may reduce the amount of free iron is that Swank used to use plasma exchange routinely for female patients after childbirth:…

 I wish I knew what was in the synthetic plasma used at the Mayo Clinic - thanks for the link Sarah.



Doing Thibault protocol (NAC/mino/roxi/tini/nattokinase)...but considering morphing to Stratton protocol