(HealthAndLovePage) The first results show that this treatment can repair nerve damage.
Scientists confirm that the experimental drug that they’ve used in a trial which included few dozens of multiple sclerosis patients has the ability to repair nerve damage.
Many researchers were trying to find a way to repair the damaged myelin in the human brain, but this is the first some that they have managed to trigger a reaction in this part of the brain. This research was performed by a team of scientists led by Dr. Diego Cadavid, who works for the Biogen Idec biotechnology company in Massachusetts.
The US Food and Drug Administration require each new drug to pass three phases before it is approved. This trial was the 2nd of these three phases. According to dr. Cadavid, the data they’ve got from the 2nd trial clearly show that the drug is capable of providing the wanted results. This drug is now known as anti-LINGO-1.
There were a total of 82 patients that were part of this experiment and they were all suffering from acute optic neuritis. This eye problem leads to inflammation, loss of myelin found in the optic nerve and damage to the nerve fibers in general. According to official stats, about 50% of people who are suffering from optic neuritis have the tendency to develop multiple sclerosis too.
Patients who were part of this trial and who have taken the anti-LINGO-1 experimental antibody showed significant improvement in nerve function compared to those who have taken a placebo.
The complete results from this trial will be presented on April 22 at the yearly meeting of the AAN (American Academy of Neurology) in Washington D.C. This presentation will make the conclusions preliminary and they’ll become official once they are reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed reputable medical journal.
Nevertheless, scientists are very excited because of the results they got.
Strategy To Return The Functions That Multiple Sclerosis Has Eliminated
According to Bruce Bebo, VP for research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the possibility to repair the nervous system was just a theoretical debate only few years ago. Showing how to restore myelin in brain will surely contribute to an effective strategy to return the functions that MS has eliminated and ultimately reducing or completely stopping the progress of multiple sclerosis.
In addition, according to Dr. Paul Wright who is the chairman of neurology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, this trial is really exciting because it shows that this disease can not only be treated, but it can also be corrected.
Dr. Cadavid and his team used high diseases of steroids in patients before giving them placebo or anti-LINGO-1. Every month, patients got one dose of anti-LINGO-1 until they’ve received a total of 6 doses.
For the study, Cadavid and his colleagues gave patients high doses of steroids before randomly assigning them to anti-LINGO-1 or placebo. Those who were part of this study were evaluated every month for 6 months. They got a final evaluation after 8 months. What is interesting is that optic neuritis is a condition that usually appears in one of the eyes. The scientists tracked the improvement from the damaged optic nerve by comparing it to the optic nerve of the healthy eye.
In the end, it turned out that the people who used anti-LINGO-1 had notable improvement compared with people who were left on placebo – up to 41 percent greater at 8 months.
In addition, more than 50% of people who took this drug eventually returned their eye function to normal or near normal.
In order to make this treatment a regular treatment for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, scientists will have to organize and monitor more trials with more patients. The ultimate goal is to help multiple sclerosis patients and other patients, in which myelin is affected.