Medical News Today
Article Date: 03 May 2008 - 0:00 PDT

A new study published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry finds that Prozac, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, may be an agent in slowing down the disease process of the relapsing remitting form of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the central nervous system. In the relapsing remitting form, new symptoms occur in discrete attacks.

A team of researchers led by J P Mostert (Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands) conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, exploratory analysis of 40 patients with the relapsing remitting form of MS. For a period of 24 weeks, half of the sample was treated with 20 mg daily of fluoxetine (Prozac) while the other half received a placebo. To measure the activity of MS, detailed magnetic resonance images (MRI) of the participants' brains were completed every four weeks. The researchers focused on areas of neurological inflammation that would indicate active disease.

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