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Medical breakthrough for multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers

Published on 23/09/2011

American researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered that increasing steroid levels in the brains of multiple sclerosis sufferers can repress and perhaps even cure the condition.

Myelin surrounds every nerve fibre in the central nervous system and helps messages travel quickly from the brain to the rest of the body. With multiple sclerosis the myelin becomes damaged, disrupting the transfer of these messages.

Neurosteroids protect the nerve fibres in the brain. In the study, researchers tested 16 patients from Alberta who suffer from MS. They discovered that people with multiple sclerosis have lower levels of neurosteroids in their body.

By injecting neurosteroids daily, or taking a pill, the progress of the disease could be slowed or even stopped completely. Tube test results and tests on lab mice have affirmed this conclusion.

Dr Chris Power, research chief, said in the journal Brain: “We found the mice showed a 50% reduction in MS disease severity in the brain.

“This is frankly an exciting breakthrough and has huge potential. The role of neurosteroids in the brain has been known for some time but no one thought, until now, that they might play a role in MS.”

Around 100,000 people in Britain suffer from MS, and whilst there are drugs that slow the progression of the disease, currently there is no cure. The supplementary neurosteroids would be made of cholesterol, giving few or no side effects.

A clinical trial is now in the pipeline for the injections, and the drug could be available within seven years.

Private medical cover holders often have access to cutting edge drugs and treatments not available on the NHS. Compare health insurance policies online with ActiveQuote now to make sure you are covered in the future.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Medical
Medical breakthrough for multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferersAmerican researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered that increasing steroid levels in the brains of multiple sclerosis suffe    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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