New hope for MS sufferers

  • Posted

Posted 17/07/2013

New trials are about to start involving about 500 patients with late stage secondary progressive MS. These are to see if three drugs currently used in treating motor neurone disease, asthma and heart disease, have a protective effect against further damage to the brain. Currently there is no treatment for those in the late stages of MS, although there are treatments for those in the early stages. Small scale trials have indicated that the drugs do have some promise as treatment to help delay ongoing damage to the brain in the later stages of MS. The fact that the drugs are already in production and used in other areas of medicine means that, if the trial gives positive results, there would be a good chance of offering it to sufferers in a few years time.Trefine Maynard, a clinical negligence specialist solicitor at Ashtons Legal, comments: “It is many years since hope was held out that effective treatment would be found for MS sufferers, but sadly the advances had failed to live up to that promise. It is frustrating for those involved in research and devastating for sufferers and their families. Some treatments are offered to those in early stage MS but it must be soul destroying to know that once a patient is in the later stages there is, at present, really no treatment at all. 

If existing drugs prove effective it may mean that before too long something can be offered that can delay progression of the disease and that must be very exciting news. Of course, with the new and evolving understanding of genetics, the hope must be that the nature of this disease process will become much better understood in the near future and that this will give rise to specifically targeted and effective treatments. For the moment it is encouraging to know that researchers are thinking laterally about using proven medicines in fields outside of those where they are currently used. The gift of hope is a hugely valuable one and any new possible advance is brilliant news”.


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