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Another Positive Report on LDN for P
(just how DOES the immune system work?)
from Allen E.

Backstory:  Might Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Help P? 

Ed:  LDN has worked for me.  Been on it now for a year and am about 90% clear.

It is slow but no side effects.  Main thing is to be sure you do not compound time release Naltrexone.  –Allen E.

*****

Ed’s Response:  The original correspondence at FlakeHQ about low dose naltrexone (LDN) was posted by Linni in January, 2005 (see link, above).  Since then, discussions about suppressing or boosting immune system functions to treat P have been many, varied, and typically surrounding other products. 

Frankly, I’m more confused than ever — but I believe I have an excuse.  Common knowledge about the immune system isn’t very reliable.  Here’s a quote from the low dose naltrexone web site:

Up to the present time, the question of "What controls the immune system?" has not been present in the curricula of medical colleges and the issue has not formed a part of the received wisdom of practicing physicians. Nonetheless, a body of research over the past two decades has pointed repeatedly to one's own endorphin secretions (our internal opioids) as playing the central role in the beneficial orchestration of the immune system, and recognition of the facts is growing. [http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/index.htm#What_is_low_dose_naltrexone]

I like the expression “orchestration of the immune system.”  It’s a better way of describing how the immune system functions than counter positioning the words “boost” or “suppress.”  One of the reasons we get such conflicting reports on the role of our immune system in psoriasis is that we do not know (or we fail to describe) what precisely is being boosted or suppressed.  I don’t think one can say “my immune system is hyperactive (or boosted)” and mean anything relevant. 

We know now that immune response is “orchestrated” through a language between cells that is expressed by the differences between molecules.  There are two general ways of affecting the outcomes of this process: one is to block or instigate the communication entirely, the other is to change its meaning (alter the messages).  By focusing on the communication we can potentially be very specific; we may be able to diminish some certain consequence without affecting other communications and their outcomes.  You could say we are suppressing or boosting something but not everything.  As I understand it, this is the difference (at some level, probably not the most specific possible) between systemic drugs like cyclosporine and methotrexate and biologics like Enbrel and Raptiva.  Cyclo and MTX suppress the immune system at large whereas Enbrel and Raptiva disrupt certain specific “communications” that result in types of inflammation.

LDN is billed as an immune system booster.  “LDN boosts the immune system, activating the body's own natural defenses.”  Ten years ago I would not have spent much time looking into this product because the concept of having my immune system boosted was “just the opposite” of what I thought I needed to subdue my flaking.  But today it’s a different story.  Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Allen.  -Ed

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