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plasma products

plasma products

septembre 8, 2021

For several decades, plasma, a protein-rich, yellowish liquid component of blood, has been used to treat a wide range of ailments. Patients with rare blood disorders, immunodeficiencies, and autoimmune conditions have come to rely on this form of “liquid gold” to receive the plasma-derived medicinal products they need. None of this would have been possible if it weren’t for a process known as plasma fractionation. 

Want to know more about what plasma fraction is and how it works? Read on to find out!

What Is Plasma Fractionation?

Plasma fractionation is the manufacturing process used to transform plasma that has been voluntarily donated into life-saving therapies. During the fractionation process, plasma proteins are separated in order to create various plasma protein therapies. This is done using purification techniques like precipitation, centrifugation, separation, and filtration. 

Who Discovered Plasma Fractionation?

Dr. Edwin Cohn, an American biochemist, headed the team of medical scientists, physicians, and chemists who were responsible for the first large-scale production of human plasma fractionations during WWII. He helped develop the methods of blood fractionation that were ultimately used to help soldiers suffering from shock and burns during the war.

Originally developed in the 1940s, the Cohn fractionation process involves modifying the pH, ethanol concentration, and temperature of plasma to separate its proteins into five “fractionations” through precipitation. The goal of this original process was to separate out the protein albumin, which represents 55-60% of the total protein volume of plasma. 

How Does Blood Plasma Fractionation Work?

Today, the Cohn fractionation process still plays a big role in the manufacturing of plasma therapies, as the methods used are derived from the original process. With that said, technology and the manufacturing processes used have evolved quite a bit since the 1940s, and the industry has significantly increased production yields. 

The modern-day fractionation process uses alcohol concentrations, time, temperature, and pH to extract specific therapeutic proteins. Several proteins, in addition to albumin, are now able to be separated from plasma. These proteins then undergo various viral inactivation, purification methods, and removal processes to ensure their safety. It can take anywhere from seven to 12 months for plasma to be turned into medicinal products. 

All in all, plasma fractionation is the process that makes it possible for donated plasma to be turned into life-saving therapies. Had Dr. Cohn and his colleagues not discovered the Cohn fractionation process, patients with rare diseases wouldn’t be able to receive the medications they need to manage their conditions. 

If you’d like to be part of something bigger than you and help create plasma-derived medicines, book a plasma donation appointment today. Every donation helps, and at Canadian Plasma Resources, we give our donors the opportunity to earn up to $400/month. Happy donating!

plasma products

juin 23, 2021

Plasma is a straw-coloured liquid component of blood that contains life-saving proteins. Thousands of people around the world rely on donated source plasma to get access to the treatments they need. It is an essential material that cannot be synthetically produced, which is one of the many reasons why plasma donation is so important.

Curious about who exactly benefits from the plasma donations you make? Keep reading to find out!

Who Needs Plasma Therapies?

Over 80 different autoimmune disorders, immunodeficiencies, and blood disorders can be treated with plasma protein therapies. These diseases and conditions affect a relatively small percentage of the population, so they are considered rare. Most of these conditions are also genetic and chronic. 

The plasma protein therapies created from donated source plasma are used to replace missing or deficient proteins in these patients. Patients typically require regular infusions or injections throughout their lives. When individuals with rare and chronic conditions receive plasma protein therapies, it allows them to lead healthier and more productive lives. 

Types of Plasma Therapies

There are four main types of plasma therapies that can be manufactured from donated source plasma: 

1. Alpha-1 Proteinase Inhibitor Therapies

This plasma-derived therapy is used to treat individuals living with alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency, one of the most common and serious hereditary disorders in the world. If left untreated, the condition can result in life-threatening liver disease or lung disease. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is also commonly referred to as genetic emphysema. 

2. Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg) Therapies

Life-saving IVIg therapy treatments are used to treat several rare and chronic diseases, including:

  • Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases: A group of more than 150 rare diseases that are characterized by compromised immune system function. 
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP): A rare autoimmune disorder that targets the body’s nerves and can cause weakness and/or paralysis.
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP): A blood disorder that causes reduced blood platelet levels, which are essential for blood clotting. 
  • Kawasaki Disease: An illness that causes inflammation in blood vessels and primarily affects children under the age of five. 

3. C1 Esterase Inhibitor Therapies

C1 esterase inhibitor therapies are used to treat hereditary angioedema (HAE), a disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of severe swelling. HAE is caused by a missing C1 esterase inhibitor protein (C1-INH), which is responsible for helping to regulate inflammation. 

4. Coagulation Factor Therapies

Coagulation factors, which are proteins in the blood that help with proper blood clot formation, are used to treat various bleeding disorders. Some of these disorders include:

  • Antithrombin III Deficiency: A blood disorder that is caused by an abnormal gene that may lead to blood clots forming.  
  • Hemophilia A: An inherited bleeding disorder that is caused by a lack of clotting factor VIII. 
  • Hemophilia B: A rarer form of hemophilia that is caused by a mutation in the Factor IX gene. 
  • Von Willebrand Disease: The most common bleeding disorder. It is an inherited disorder that affects men and women equally, though women are more likely to notice the symptoms of the condition. 

Donated source plasma is capable of treating a number of rare and chronic conditions, and scientists continue to find new uses for this “liquid gold” every day. Without continued plasma donations, patients wouldn’t be able to receive the plasma-derived treatments they need to live life to the fullest. Book your next appointment today to contribute to a good cause and get paid up to $400/month!

plasma products

avril 29, 2021

From autoimmune disorders to immunodeficiencies to rare blood disorders, plasma, a protein-rich component of blood, is capable of treating a wide range of medical conditions. Von Willebrand disease is one such condition. If you’d like to learn more about what exactly von Willebrand disease is and how human plasma can be used to manage it, we’ll be unpacking all of that in this blog. 

What is Von Willebrand Disease?

Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is a lifelong bleeding disorder that causes blood to not clot properly. The majority of people with this disorder are born with it and inherit it from either one or both of their parents. VWD affects men and women equally, though women are more likely to notice the symptoms of the condition. 

What are the Symptoms of Von Willebrand Disease?

Symptoms of von Willebrand disease oftentimes do not show up for many years. They can also be mild or completely absent, leaving many not knowing that they have the condition. 

The most common symptom of VWD is abnormal bleeding. Symptoms of bleeding may include:

  • Recurring or prolonged nosebleeds
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Heavy or long menstrual bleeding
  • Excessive bleeding after an injury, surgery, or dental work
  • Blood in stool or urine

Individuals with VWD may also bruise easily and/or get bruises with a lump in them. 

What Causes Von Willebrand Disease?

Our blood contains many proteins that are needed for it to properly clot. One of those proteins is called von Willebrand factor (VFW). Von Willebrand disease occurs when someone has either a low level of VWF or the VWF protein doesn’t function like it is supposed to. 

There are three major types of VWD: Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3. 

  • Type 1: People who have VWD Type 1 have lower-than-normal levels of VWF. This is the most common and mildest form of the condition. 
  • Type 2: With Type 2 VWD, the body makes normal amounts of VWF, but it does not function the way it should. 
  • Type 3: This form of VWD is the most severe. Individuals with Type 3 VWD have very little or no VWF and low levels of factor VIII, which is another essential blood-clotting protein. 

How is Von Willebrand Disease Treated?

Although von Willebrand disease cannot be cured, there are a number of treatments that can be used to manage the condition. The treatments a patient with VWD receives depend on the type and severity of their condition. 

Desmopressin (DDAVP) is a synthetic hormone that makes the body release more VWF into the blood. It can be administered via an injection or through a nasal spray and is used to treat those with milder forms of VWD. 

Plasma-derived VWF-containing concentrates, like Alphanate and Vovendi, can be used to treat individuals with more severe forms of VWD. They can also be used to treat patients who don’t respond well to DDAVP. These medications are intravenously administered to replace the missing factor in the blood. 

By donating plasma, you can help patients with rare conditions like von Willebrand disease receive the treatments they need to lead a healthier life. Visit the eligibility page of our website to find out if you can donate plasma at Canadian Plasma Resources. We’re always happy to welcome new donors to our centres! 

plasma products

janvier 21, 2021

There are a range of rare and chronic conditions that plasma, the largest component of human blood, is capable of treating. Guillain-Barre syndrome is one such condition. In this blog, we’ll be unpacking everything you need to know about Guillain-Barre syndrome and how blood plasma is used to manage this condition.

What is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder that causes your body’s immune system to attack healthy nerve cells. This leads to muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, and tingling or numbness in parts of your body. In severe cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, these sensations can spread and eventually paralyze your whole body.

What are the Symptoms of Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

Guillain-Barre syndrome causes your immune system to attack your peripheral nervous system. Since the nerves in your peripheral nervous system transmit signals between your brain and your body, when these nerves become damaged your muscles are no longer able to respond to signals from your brain.

Early symptoms of Guillain-Barre Syndrome include tingling and muscle weakness starting in your toes, feet, and legs that spread upward to your arms. Other symptoms of this autoimmune disorder may include:

·  Difficulty walking

·  Difficulty with facial movements, including talking, chewing, or swallowing

·  Difficulty with bladder control

·  Difficulty breathing

·  Severe aches and pains

·  Rapid heart rate

·  Paralysis

What Causes Guillain-Barre Syndrome?

The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown. Roughly two-thirds of people with the condition report developing it shortly after they’ve had a respiratory or digestive tract infection. Cases have also been reported following a Zika virus or COVID-19 infection.

An improper immune response to the prior illness is thought to lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome. Anyone can get this disorder, but it’s more common in older adults. A Guillain-Barre syndrome diagnosis is typically confirmed using spinal tap, electromyography, and/or nerve conduction tests.

How is Guillain-Barre Syndrome Treated?

If left untreated, the symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome can be fatal. Thankfully, plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatments can both be used to manage immune attacks and support bodily functions.

During the plasmapheresis procedure, antibodies that are attacking your nerves are removed from your blood via an apheresis machine. The apheresis machine then separates these antibodies out and returns your blood to your body.

IVIG treatments are plasma-derived products that are manufactured from the blood plasma of healthy donors. This treatment can help block the antibodies that cause Guillain-Barre syndrome when administered in high doses.

The inflammatory issues caused by Guillain-Barre syndrome will usually resolve on their own, but with these innovative treatments, the symptoms and duration of this illness can be eased and reduced. If you’d like to help patients afflicted with Guillain-Barre syndrome, book your next plasma donation appointment today.

plasma products

janvier 5, 2021

Donated plasma is used to create a variety of life-saving pharmaceutical products that treat patients with immune deficiencies, bleeding disorders, and other ailments. The wide range of uses for this yellowish liquid component of blood is the reason it is often referred to as “liquid gold”. 

In today’s blog, we’ll be unpacking the three main medications that are manufactured from the plasma collected at our centres. Keep reading to find out what they are!

Plasma Product #1: Human Albumin

Albumin is a protein made by the liver that circulates in human plasma. It helps keep fluid in your bloodstream and carries substances including hormones, vitamins, and enzymes throughout your body.

Medicinal albumin, which is composed of plasma proteins from human blood, helps increase the volume of blood plasma. It can also replenish levels of albumin. Medicinal albumin is mainly used to treat or prevent shock that is brought on by severe burns, serious injury, bleeding, or surgery. Other ailments that albumin is capable of treating include abdominal infections, dialysis, liver failure, pancreatitis, and respiratory distress.

Plasma Product #2: Intratect

This brand of immunoglobulin G-prepared treatments is more commonly known as intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg). Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the most common antibody in blood and other bodily fluids. It plays a vital role in protecting the body against bacterial and viral infections. During the Intratect manufacturing process, the functional activity of IgG is maintained and high standards of purity and viral safety are adhered to.

As with other IVIg therapies, Intratect is administered intravenously by a doctor or nurse. It is used in patients who do not have a sufficient amount of antibodies. This includes patients who are born with primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDDs) and those with secondary immunodeficiencies who suffer from severe and/or recurrent infections. Intratect can also be used to treat inflammatory disorders including chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), Guillain-Barre syndrome, Kawasaki disease, primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN).

Plasma Product #3: Haemoctin

Haemoctin is a plasma-derived medicine that contains the coagulation factor VIII. Coagulation factors are a group of related proteins that help the body form blood clots after injury, therefore preventing further blood loss. Coagulation factor VIII, which is mostly made by cells in the liver, plays an integral part in the blood clotting process.

Patients with haemophilia, an inherited genetic disorder that is characterized by an impaired ability to form blood clots, have either a mutated version of coagulation factor VIII or reduced amounts of this essential protein. Haemoctin can be used to treat and prevent bleeding in patients with haemophilia A.

Human plasma is capable of incredible things, and these products are just a few of the treatments that are manufactured from CPR-collected plasma. To donate your plasma and contribute to the creation of life-changing plasma products, book your next appointment at Canadian Plasma Resources today!

plasma products

décembre 22, 2020

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a rare autoimmune disorder that targets the body’s nerves. It is the most common form of chronic autoimmune neuropathy, and it is one of many disorders that can be treated using plasma products. Keep reading to learn more about CIDP and how blood plasma is used to manage this condition.

Symptoms of CIDP

Symptoms of CIDP progress slowly and occur over the course of at least two months. Chief symptoms of CIDP can include:

  • Impaired motor function
  • Loss of balance and your ability to walk
  • Loss of sensation in your arms and legs
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Tingling sensations or in your arms and legs
  • The gradual weakening of your arms and legs

Other symptoms may include burning, clumsiness, pain, fatigue, difficulty swallowing, and double vision. 

Causes of CIDP

Anyone can get CIDP, but people in their 50s and 60s are more likely to develop it. Men are also twice as likely as women to get this autoimmune disorder. Experts haven’t identified why people get CIDP, but what is known is that it is caused by inflammation of the nerves and nerve roots.

When someone has CIDP, their body’s immune system attacks the myelin sheaths, which are the protective covering around nerve cells. This can damage nerve fibres and impair the nerves’ ability to send signals.

Diagnosis of CIDP

CIDP is a rare disorder, which means it can be difficult to diagnose. There’s no test available that diagnosis CIDP, so doctors typically ask patients questions about their symptoms and conduct a thorough physical examination. Doctors may also do blood and urine tests, a nerve conduction study or a lumbar puncture, which is a procedure that involves extracting a small sample of your cerebrospinal fluid in an effort to detect elevated levels of specific proteins that are associated with CIDP.

Healthcare providers sometimes confuse symptoms of CIDP with those of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), which is another illness that causes nerve problems. However, unlike GBS, CIDP isn’t brought on by an illness. CIDP also tends to be a longer-term problem.

Treatment of CIDP

Early treatment is extremely important for patients who have CIDP, and it is critical to preventing irreversible damage. The sooner a patient begins treatment, the better their chances are of a full recovery. Common treatments for CIDP include steroids, plasma exchange (plasmapheresis), and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg).

Plasma exchange is used to remove immune system proteins that may be contributing to nerve damage from the blood. This treatment method has proven to be effective in up to 80% of patients.

Intravenous immunoglobulin, which is a plasma product composed of antibodies from donors, is used to mitigate the effects of an individual’s immune response. It is most effective in patients who have had symptoms of CIDP for less than a year and/or present acute symptoms of the disorder. IVIg is often used in combination with steroid treatments.

CIDP is a disorder that exemplifies just how life-changing plasma products can be. With early intervention, patients can lead relatively normal lives and avoid permanent physical impairments. If you’d like to help create therapies for patients in need, book an appointment at Canadian Plasma Resources today! Every donation helps.

plasma products

août 27, 2020

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a life-saving treatment manufactured from human plasma. It is used to treat a host of rare and chronic conditions, some of which include primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDDs), Kawasaki disease, and hereditary angioedema. IVIG has come a long way since it was first used in 1952, and today it is a widely-used product that is considered to be safe. Here’s a look at how IVIG therapy came to be.

Fractionation and Intramuscular Immune Globulin (IMIG)

There are several scientific discoveries and events that contributed to the creation of IVIG treatments. One notable discovery that helped make IVIG treatments possible is plasma fractionation, the process of separating the various components in blood plasma.

The invention of fractionation was born out of necessity during WWII. Countless American soldiers were bleeding out on the battlefield and going into shock before they had the chance to receive medical aid. Dr. Edwin J. Cohn, a biochemist and protein scientist, stepped in to help and figured out a way to individually separate the proteins in human plasma so that albumin, the chief protein constituent of plasma, could be quickly administered and increase blood volume.

In 1941, Dr. Cohn was commissioned by the Department of the Navy to develop a large-scale fractionation process to separate albumin from plasma. More than 2 million units of albumin were manufactured as a result of his invention and purified immune globulin treatments were made possible. The first human immune globulin treatments were intramuscular immune globulin (IMIG) injections that were extremely painful when administered, but life-altering for immunocompromised patients nonetheless.

First Generation IVIGs

The first generation of IVIGs came to be after Dr. Ogden Bruton, an Army lieutenant colonel and practicing pediatrician, successfully administered immune globulin as a subcutaneous treatment to an 8-year-old boy who had congenital agammaglobulinemia. Dr. Charles A. Janeway Jr., an immunologist from Harvard School of Medicine, subsequently used Bruton’s work to establish IM dosages of immune globulins as a treatment for primary immune deficiency (PIDD) patients. These immune globulin injections became a standard treatment for PIDD patients between 1950 and 1960.

By 1970, the first generation of intravenous immune globulins were created and patients were able to receive large amounts of immune globulin for the first time, which resulted in fewer infections for PIDD patients. IVIG treatments were also found to be effective against previously untreatable diseases, like Kawasaki syndrome.

Second Generation IVIGs

The first generation of IVIGs were far from perfect and the use of pepsin, a naturally occurring enzyme, to break apart proteins decreased the immune globulin activity. Thankfully, by the mid-1980s they were able to figure out a way to use sugars and amino acids to make the products more tolerable in large doses, which meant patients could receive large quantities of IVIGs with fewer associated side effects. 

Third Generation IVIGs

To improve the safety of IVIGs and prevent the possibility of virus transmission, steps such as solvent-detergent and pasteurization were added to the third generation of IVIGs. These effectively destroyed harmful viruses and unwanted organisms, making the treatment even safer. This manufacturing practice became the new standard in the 1990s. 

Fourth Generation IVIGs

The IVIGs that are available today are fourth generation IVIGs. They are safer and better tolerated than prior generations, and they are used to treat patients with rare diseases around the world. 

IVIG treatments have drastically improved over the years and their safety and efficacy have made it possible for immunocompromised patients can receive the treatments they need with minimal risk. To help create this life-changing product for patients in need, book your next appointment at a Canadian Plasma Resources centre near you. Every donation makes a difference in someone’s life.

plasma products

juin 30, 2020

Plasma has been found to be an effective treatment for a number of rare diseases, and hereditary angioedema (HAE) is one of them. Hereditary angioedema is a genetic condition characterized by recurrent episodes of swelling of the skin and other parts of the body. Read on to learn more about hereditary angioedema and how plasma products are used to manage the condition. 

What are the Symptoms of Hereditary Angioedema?

The symptoms of HAE typically begin in childhood and persist for the rest of a person’s life. The skin and tissue directly underneath the skin are usually the areas of the body most affected by swelling, though it can also happen on other parts of the body, including:

  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Face
  • Intestinal tract
  • Mouth or throat

When recurrent episodes of severe skin swelling occur in the intestinal tract, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting may occur. Swelling in a person’s airway can lead to restricted breathing and potentially life-threatening obstruction. Symptoms of hereditary angioedema can worsen during puberty.

What are the Causes of Hereditary Angioedema?

Hereditary angioedema is an inherited disorder that individuals are born with. The most common form of HAE is caused by a single copy of an abnormal gene that can be inherited from either parent. The parent that carries the abnormal gene has a 50% chance of passing it on to their offspring, regardless of gender. Sometimes it can also occur due to a spontaneous new gene mutation.

Type I and type II HAE are caused by mutations in the C1NH gene, which is responsible for making a blood protein known as C1-inhibitor. Individuals with hereditary angioedema type I, the most common form, have a deficiency of this protein. Those with hereditary angioedema type II have normal levels of the protein, but they don’t function properly.

How is Hereditary Angioedema Diagnosed?

Recurrent episodes of severe swelling that aren’t able to be treated using antihistamines or steroid therapy are a telltale sign of HAE. Doctors will usually ask patients questions about their swelling and any allergies they may have, conduct a physical exam, and have a blood test done to confirm the diagnosis.

How is Hereditary Angioedema Treated?

Plasma-derived C1-INH products, like Haegarda and Kalbitor, have been proven to be an effective treatment for HEA. Many patients living with the disease rely on these plasma products to make their condition more manageable. 

Since these products contain the C1-inhibitor (C1-INH) protein that the majority of patients with hereditary angioedema are lacking, by receiving regular treatments patients can correct their underlying deficiency and reduce inflammation in the body. These treatments can be injected or infused either in a clinical setting or at home. 

With the right treatments, patients with hereditary angioedema can manage their condition and their quality of life can vastly improve as a result. To contribute to the creation of life-altering plasma treatments that people with disorders like HAE rely on, book an appointment at Canadian Plasma Resources today. Every donation helps.

plasma products

mars 26, 2020

For several decades, donated plasma has been used to treat a whole host of conditions, and scientists continue to discover new uses for this yellow liquid component of blood every day. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration recently permitted doctors to treat some COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma from individuals who have already recovered from the virus. The antibodies in convalescent plasma have proven to be effective at treating other strains of coronaviruses in the past, and health experts are hoping that it will also be a viable treatment option for COVID-19.

There are also many established treatments that have been created using donated plasma, which is packed with several different types of life-saving proteins. These proteins each have their own unique healing properties, and some have proven to be more effective at treating specific diseases than others. Read on to learn more about the kinds of proteins that are found in human plasma and how they are used as medical interventions to help treat and cure various conditions.

Plasma Protein #1: Albumin

Albumin is a protein made by the liver and circulated throughout the body via the bloodstream. It is the most abundant protein found in plasma, and it plays a critical role in many bodily functions, including transporting substances, maintaining appropriate volume inside blood vessels, and wound healing. This water-soluble protein has been found to be an effective treatment for the following:

  • Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass Surgery
  • Shocks
  • Burns

Plasma Protein #2: Immunoglobulins

Immunoglobulins are glycoprotein molecules that are produced by antibodies in response to an immunogen. They are one of the most abundant proteins in blood plasma and can be turned into intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatments that help individuals with weakened immune systems fight off infections. The conditions immunoglobulins can treat include:

  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
  • Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases
  • Autoimmune Diseases

Plasma Protein #3: Alpha-1 Antitrypsin

Alpha-1 antitrypsin, or AAT, is a protein produced by the liver. AAT protects the lungs from inflammation that can be caused by infection or inhaled irritants. This protein is used as a treatment for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a genetic condition that can result in serious lung and/or liver disease.

Plasma Protein #4: Coagulation Factors

Coagulation factors are proteins in the blood that are essential for proper blood clot formation. Factor VII and factor IX are coagulation factors found in plasma that can be used to treat various diseases. Both of these coagulation factors are composed of cells made in the liver. They set off a chain of chemical reactions that help form blood clots that protect the body when an injury occurs. The conditions that can be treated using coagulation factors found in plasma are as follows:

  • Hemophilia A & B
  • von Willebrand Disease
  • Bleeding Disorders

Plasma proteins play an essential role in the wellbeing of individuals living with rare and chronic conditions, and no matter what is going on in the world, the need for plasma never goes away. Book your next appointment at a Canadian Plasma Resources centre near you to help provide patients with the life-saving treatments they rely on. 

plasma products

février 20, 2020

Multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) is one of many rare diseases that can be treated using intravenous immune globulin (IVIg), a therapy that is manufactured from human plasma. This neuropathy is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and muscle wasting, and without regular IVIg treatments, a patient’s quality of life can decline. In today’s blog, we’ll be unpacking everything you need to know about multifocal motor neuropathy and how plasma donations play a vital role in treating this condition.

What are the Symptoms of Multifocal Motor Neuropathy?

Multifocal motor neuropathy is a disorder that occurs when the body’s motor nerves, the nerves that control muscles, are attacked by one’s own immune system. This makes it difficult for the body to send the electrical signals needed for controlled movement, which can result in the following symptoms occurring:

·  Weakness, cramping and/or twitching in the hands and arms.

·  Weakness, cramping and/or twitching that is more severe on one side of the body.

·  Wrist drop or foot drop.

·  Wasting (atrophy) of affected muscles.

Early symptoms typically start in specific parts of a person’s arm or hand, such as their wrist. Muscle atrophy is a symptom that occurs much later on in the course of the condition.

What are the Causes of Multifocal Motor Neuropathy?

The causes of MMN are not fully understood, but scientists have identified this condition as an autoimmune disease that is the result of an abnormal immune system response. Researchers are studying MMN in an effort to better understand the underlying causes of this disease.

How is Multifocal Motor Neuropathy Diagnosed?

Diagnosing a patient with MMN typically requires a physical exam as well as nerve and blood tests that entail the following:

·  A needle electromyography that uses electrodes that are placed in a patient’s arm to measure the electrical activity in their muscles.

·  A nerve conduction study in which two sensors are put overtop the skin of a nerve and small electric shocks are transmitted to measure how quickly electrical signals can travel through a patient’s nerves.

·  A blood test that specifically looks for GM1 antibodies, which is a part of the body’s immune system that some people with MMN have elevated levels of.

·  Evidence of a purely motor disorder that affects individual nerves

Doctors sometimes mistake MMN for ALS, also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. To minimize the chance of this happening, they also check to make sure that patients aren’t showing any signs of difficulty speaking or swallowing, there’s no indication of sensory deficits, and that upper motor neuron signs like swift reflexes at the knee aren’t present. 

How is Multifocal Motor Neuropathy Diagnosed?

Multifocal motor neuropathy is not a life-threatening disease, but it can slowly worsen over time and make daily tasks more strenuous. Intravenous immune globulin is a treatment manufactured from donated plasma that can improve a patient’s muscle strength.

IVIg is administered to MMN patients through an IV that is given every two to six weeks since the effects of the treatment wear off after a few months. Regular maintenance IVIg infusions typically make day-to-day life much more manageable for those living with MMN.

The important role donated plasma plays in treating multifocal motor neuropathy is just one example of what this miracle liquid is capable of and the effect it can have on the lives of individuals that have rare and chronic conditions. That’s why we’ve committed ourselves to collecting plasma that can be manufactured into lifesaving therapies at Canadian Plasma Resources.

To contribute to a good cause and change the life of patients in need, book your next appointment at a CPR centre near you.