According to a story from cbc.ca, Lyle Daniels became one of the first patients to try an experimental treatment called Ocrevus for his progressive multiple sclerosis. Just recently, the province where he lives, Saskatchewan, announced that the new treatment would be covered in Canada’s health system for residents. However, Lyle was hesitant to try the experimental therapy at first, which came with the risk of significant side effects.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease which is characterized by damage to the myelin sheath, a fatty, insulating, protective covering that surrounds nerve cells and allows them to communicate effectively. Although a precise cause has not been determined, multiple sclerosis is considered an autoimmune disease, in which a certain trigger, such as an infection, may cause the immune system to mistakenly attack healthy tissue. Smoking and certain genetic variants are also considered risk factors for the disease. Symptoms include blurred vision, double vision, blindness in one eye, numbness, abnormal sensations, pain, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, difficulty speaking and swallowing, mood instability, depression, loss of coordination, and fatigue. There are a number of treatments available for the disease, but no cure. Life expectancy for patients is slightly reduced. To learn more about multiple sclerosis, click here.
Lyle was one of around 50 people in the province who had been using the drug at the time of the announcement. Lyle agreed to try the drug when it was clear that he was out of options. His wife Sara said that she began to wonder if he was going to die as his health plummeted. Lyle has a form of the disease called primary progressive multiple sclerosis. This variant progresses rapidly and there are far fewer treatment options compared to more common types of multiple sclerosis.
Some patients that had tried Ocrevus had died in the past, and the drug also has serious impacts on the immune system. Despite the risks, Lyle ultimately decided to try the drug, not only for himself, but for his family as well. The drug has helped slow down the progression of Lyle’s disease, and he now has more stamina and energy than before.
Sara says that she plans to receive some medical training so that she can take part in some of Lyle’s care. While Lyle’s condition is far from normal, at least the threat of death has been averted.