ArchiveDecember 2010

Placebo vs. interferon-beta in combination with mycophenolate

24 treatment-naïve RRMS patients participated in a 1 year prospective safety study. There were no differences were identified between the two treatment groups with respect to patient-reported adverse events or laboratory abnormalities. The combination treatment regimen of interferon beta-1a and mycophenolate was well tolerated. The investigators conclude: “Despite the small sample size...

Mycophenolate vs. Interferon-beta: an underpowered study

Mycophenolate is an anti-rejection agent widely used in transplantation. This was a randomised, 6-monthly, study to compare the effectiveness of mycophenolate to interferon beta in 35 untreated patients with RRMS. Not surprisingly there was no difference between mycophenolate and interferon beta therapy treatment groups. The mycophenolate group showed a trend toward a lower accumulation of...

If you can; get your walking shoes on!

Walking impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis: exercise training as a treatment option; “exercise training and physical activity might hold significant potential for the management of progressive mobility disability in MS.”
Motl et al. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2010 Nov 16;6:767-74.

At last the published results of the anti-IL12 & anti-IL23 trial

Until recently the cytokines* interleukins 12 and 23 were believed to be very important in driving inflammation in MS. A drug that neutralises these cytokines has failed to have the desired effect on the disease thus questioning the current dogma. As a result of this study most immunologists have changed their thinking about the disease. Although this trial was negative the people with MS who...

Statins for MS?

This review confirms our advice that there is insufficient evidence to support statins (cholesterol lowering drugs) as a treatment for MS.
Wang et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Dec 8;12:CD008386.

A good vitamin D update

THE AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS ARE SELF-EXPLANATORY: “The current level of evidence for the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation in the management of people with MS is based on a single randomised control trial with potential high risk of bias, which does not at present allow confident decision-making about the use of Vitamin D in MS. Therefore, until further high quality evidence is...

New evidence that natalizumab reduces axonal damage

Natalizumab treatment markedly reduces the release of neurofilament into the spinal fluid of people with MS. Neurofilaments are the main structural protein of neurons and axons. This is further evidence that natalizumab treatment reduces the accumulation of nerve injury in MS. Hopefully, this will stimulate pharmaceutical companies to include spinal fluid neurofilament analysis in all of their...

Pregnancy and foetal outcomes after interferon-β exposure in multiple sclerosis

A report on 88 pregnancies in Italian woman that were exposed to interferon-beta (average exposure 4 to 5 weeks) has demonstrated that exposure to interferon-beta was not associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion. However, it was associated with both a lower baby weight and length. No significant fetal complications, malformations, or developmental abnormalities were noted with a...

New drug target to promote remyelination

Click here for BBC news coverage
Drugs that target a specific type of retinoid acid receptor (RXR-γ) are a promising target to stimulate remyelination in the damaged central nervous system.
Click here for article by Huang and colleagues, Nature Neuroscience 2010;doi:10.1038/nn.2702

How much vitamin D is too much?

If you interested please read the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report on vitamin D and calcium intake. Click here for on-line access to the report The committee of scientists, convened by the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine, doubled the upper level of vitamin D that people that people between the ages of 9 and 50 can safely take in any given day from 2,000 to 4,000 IU...

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