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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sphingosine Fights Deadly Cytokine Storm Especially in Flu

With flu season approaching it is important to note that many flu deaths are related to strong immune reaction resulting in what is termed a cytokine storm.

Not all strains of flu cause this reaction so it may not matter this year, but this is something to remember.

The flu causes death one of two ways – either by overwhelming the system of very young, old, or otherwise already ill individuals – this happens with the ordinary seasonal flu and the Type A H1N1 which is now spreading like wildfire.

A really dangerous influenza virus actually causes deaths among the strongest and most healthy individuals by causing the person’s normal immune system to overreact and flood the lungs with fluid.

An abstract from PubMed related to this reads, "Cytokine storm defines a dysregulation of and an excessively exaggerated immune response most often accompanying selected viral infections and several autoimmune diseases. Newly emerging and re-emerging infections of the respiratory tract, especially influenza, SARS, and hantavirus post considerable medical problems. Their morbidities and mortalities are often a direct result of cytokine storm. This chapter visits primarily influenza virus infection and resultant cytokine storm. It provides the compelling evidence that illuminates cytokine storm in influenza pathogenesis and the clear findings that cytokine storm is chemically tractable by therapy directed toward sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor (S1PR) modulation, specifically S1P1R agonist therapy. The mechanism(s) of how S1P1R signaling works and the pathways involved are subjects of this review."

Fortunately, as I have reported elsewhere, there is an easy fix, Sphingosine-1-phosphate differently regulates the cytokine production and can be used to treat the patient experiencing a dangerous cytokine storm.

Researchers at the La Jolla, California-based Scripts Research Institute have recently reported that the sphingosine drug directly impacts the cytokine response and therefore may be a vital tool in reducing the mortality of any new pandemic flu virus which has a high mortality rate caused by the cytokine storm.

Unlike existing drugs which attack the virus itself, this drug doesn’t attempt to stop the flu infection and is therefore independent of the particular strain involved – rather it targets what is the real danger, leaving the patient time to recover on their own.