Biogen Idec, the makers of Tysabri has developed a blood test that measures antibodies to JCV. About 70 to 90 percent of the people in the world have JCV in their system but it's only dangerous when your immune system is weak or suppressed. The purpose of Stratify-2 is to understand whether an MS patient who has antibodies to JCV is at higher or lower risk of developing PML. Details about JCV and PML can be found in my previous posts such as Risky Business or My MS Theory.
Blood samples were collected from at least 8000 patients in the US with MS. This includes me. I am participating in this clinical trial and my blood was drawn last year and again today. The study lasts for 2 years so I have one more draw next year to finish this study. My blood is sent to a lab for testing and it will be kept in long term storage for future JCV research or until destroyed by Biogen idec. Future testing related to JCV research may be conducted on my samples. Last year I discovered that I tested positive for the antibodies to JCV. The pros and cons of taking Tysabri were considered when I chose Tysabri for my MS therapy. The risks were weighed before I knew that this virus was dormant in my system. It doesn't change anything for me.
I will continue to keep my doctor informed of any new or worsening symptoms and evaluate things as they come. Tysabri has changed my quality of life for the better. I took a leap of faith and I know that God did not give me a spirit of fear but power, love and a sound mind. What that means for me is to live is Christ and to die is gain. My purpose in life is to bring glory to God the best way that I know how. I will always pray for His guidance, knowledge and wisdom in everything that I do. My decision to choose Tysabri was with much prayer and acknowledgement of God's purpose for me. He cannot use me if I am unable to have life and have it abundantly. All my faith is in Him and Him alone. When I die, it will not be when or how I choose but I trust God to keep me and sustain me for as long as He sees fit. Then I will go to be with him forever in eternity.