Allergy Drug Improves Function in MS

Nielk

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Allergy Drug Improves Function in Patients with Chronic Injury from Multiple Sclerosis

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2017/10/4...on-patients-chronic-injury-multiple-sclerosis

In a remarkably rapid translation of laboratory research findings into a treatment with the potential to benefit patients, UC San Francisco scientists have successfully completed a Phase II clinical trial showing that an FDA-approved antihistamine restores nervous system function in patients with chronic multiple sclerosis (MS).

In light of previous laboratory studies of the antihistamine compound at UCSF, the researchers said, the drug most likely exerted its effect by repairing damage MS had inflicted on myelin, an insulating membrane that speeds transmission of electrical signals in the nervous system.

The drug tested in the trial, clemastine fumarate, was first identified as a candidate treatment for MS in 2013 by UCSF’s Jonah R. Chan, PhD, Debbie and Andy Rachleff Distinguished Professor of Neurology, vice chief of the Division of Neuroinflammation and Glial Biology, and senior author of the new study. First approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1977 for allergies, the drug has been available over the counter in generic form since 1993.

The researchers said that the Phase II results, published online on Oct. 10, 2017, in The Lancet, are the first in which a drug has been shown to reliably restore any brain function damaged by a neurological disease in human patients.

“To the best of our knowledge this is the first time a therapy has been able to reverse deficits caused by MS. It’s not a cure, but it’s a first step towards restoring brain function to the millions who are affected by this chronic, debilitating disease,” said the trial’s principal investigator, Ari Green, MD, also Debbie and Andy Rachleff Distinguished Professor of Neurology, chief of the Division of Neuroinflammation and Glial Biology, and medical director of the UCSF Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroinflammation Center.

Chan and Green are co-directors of the UCSF Small-Molecule Program for Remyelination, and both are members of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences.

The new results are particularly notable, Chan said, because patients in the trial had suffered from MS symptoms caused by injury to myelin for years. “People thought we were absolutely crazy to launch this trial, because they thought that only in newly diagnosed cases could a drug like this be effective – intuitively, if myelin damage is new, the chance of repair is strong. In the patients in our trial the disease had gone on for years, but we still saw strong evidence of repair.”
Full article -
https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2017/10/4...on-patients-chronic-injury-multiple-sclerosis
 

Alvin2

The good news is patients don't die the bad news..
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I wonder how they came across this drug as a candidate (which IMO is perhaps the most important part of this story for us).
I don't think this will work for us, since if we accept the pyruvate dehydrogenase theory (Fluge, Mella et al) it suggests we already have reduced acetylcholine and not the same myelin/autoimmune symptoms of MS.
All that said if this works out and is non toxic it could be a game changer for MS, something they desperately need.