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Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Multiple Sclerosis Mouse Study Reveals Possible Treatment Strategy
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified a set of compounds that may be used to treatmultiple sclerosis (MS). Unlike existing therapies that try to suppress the immune system, the compounds actually boost a population of progenitor cells that can repair MS-damaged nerve fibers.
Benztropine, one of the newly identified compounds used to treat Parkinson’s disease, was found to be highly effective in treating a standard model of multiple sclerosis in mice. This was the case when used alone and in combination with other MS therapies.
Luke L. Lairson, an assistant professor of chemistry at TSRI and a senior author of the study, notes: “We’re excited about these results, and are now considering how to design an initial clinical trial.” However, he cautions that benztropine is a drug with dose-related adverse side effects. Benztropine has not been proven effective at a safe dose in multiple sclerosis patients. He goes on further to say that benztropine should not be used off-label for MS.