According to scientists, they may be a step closer to a viable MS treatment after they discovered a drug which is capable of fixing the nerve coatings damaged by this illness.
In a clinical trial of the drug bexarotene, it was found that the drug repaired the myelin sheaths which MS is known to destroy.
This loss of myelin leads to a long list of neurological issues, like vision, muscle, and balance disorders, and ultimately, a disability.
Although it can’t be used as a treatment for the disease due to severe side effects, the scientists believe that these results showed them that restoring the myelin is possible and suggests that other drugs or certain drug combos can slow down the disease’s progression.
Are Scientists Closer to a Viable MS Treatment?
For professor Alasdair Coles, lead of the research done at the Cambridge University, it’s disappointing that this won’t be the drug they’ll use; however, it’s exciting news that repair is possible and it gives them immense hope for another trial.
MS happens when the immunity begins to attack the myelin coating by mistake.
The myelin wraps around the brain and spinal cord nerves. Without this substance rich in lipids, the signals travel slower and they’re disrupted or entirely fail to get through.
Bexarotene is a drug with severe side effects like thyroid illness to increased fat levels in the blood which can lead to pancreatic inflammation.
A Hope for Slowing Down the Progression of MS
Even though it won’t go into the phase 3 trials for MS, this finding is very hopeful.
The researchers expect the next trial to happen later this year-it will monitor the impact of the drug for diabetes metformin in combo with clemastine, an antihistamine which was discovered last year that it can renew the myelin in animal studies.
For Doctor Emma Gray from the MS Society, finding treatments to cease the progression of this illness is their number one priority and in order to do this, they have to find ways to keep the nerves safe from damage and fix the loss of myelin.
These new findings are a big milestone and they’re excited for the immense potential it showed for the next studies.