Wednesday, December 21, 2005

PRO: 58 Percent of MS Patients had 'Significantly Positive Result' Benefit From BVT

Bee Stings: Poison or Panacea?
Lorilyn Rackl, Chicago Daily Herald, 10/11/1999

But anecdotal evidence - especially about alternative therapies - rarely makes the pages of prestigious, peer-reviewed medical journals.

Oak Park physician Ross Hauser knows this.

The conventionally trained medical director of Caring Medical and Rehabilitation Services also knows that bee venom therapy has appeared to work in some of his patients.

So he set out to prove that in a scientific setting.

Hauser enrolled 51 patients with chronic MS in a study, overseen by the institutional review board of the American College for Advancement in Medicine, an organization of natural-medicine doctors.

Like many of the physicians who practice apitherapy, Hauser used purified bee venom in syringes rather than live bee stings.

He started by giving each patient a sample "sting" to check for allergic reactions, which occur in roughly 2 percent of the general population. Reactions are more likely from yellow jackets or wasps than run-of-the-mill honeybees.

Based on where the MS patient had problems, injections were given at various trigger points on the body.

"The first symptoms to respond were fatigue and endurance," Hauser said. "Significant improvements were also made in balance and bowel control."

After one year, 58 percent of the study's patients had a "significantly positive result," Hauser said. Nearly 30 percent saw no benefits, and one patient's condition actually got worse.

There's plenty of debate among apitherapists about how long patients should stick with the therapy before bailing on the bees.

Some patients say they see results right away; others endure stings for months without any noticeable change. How long a person has to stay on a stinging regimen varies widely, too.

Bee-Venom Therapy for Treating Multiple Sclerosis: A Clinical Trial

Bee Venom Therapy References

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