Tick saliva may lead to autoimmune disorder treatment

Ticks may lead to new autoimmune treatmentsNew research suggests that an element of tick saliva may aid in the treatment of a disorder that causes limb weakness and stroke-like symptoms such as slurred speech and vision issues.

A study from St. Louis University identified a protein in the insect’s saliva that keeps the host’s immune system from reacting to a tick bite.

They’re hopeful that a treatment based on the protein may treat the disorder, myasthenia gravis, by keeping the body’s immune system from attacking itself.

Current treatments come with a host of side effects, the authors of the study noted, including osteoporosis, glaucoma, diabetes, heart attacks and stroke. They’re optimistic that the new treatment may have a smaller set of adverse effects because tick bites generally don’t cause reactions.

The protein may also aid in the treatment of similar disorders, such as rheumatism, stroke and Alzehimer’s, says Dr. Henry Kaminski.

Myasthenia gravis affects 150,000 people in the United States, but millions more suffer from the related diseases that may be treated with the new discovery.ADNFCR-1960-ID-19096945-ADNFCR