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Friday, May 9, 2014

Preliminary clinical trial (with Estriol) shows great promise for new multiple sclerosis treatment

Los Angeles, California - A study conducted by Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl, a UCLA neurologist, shows that combining estriol, a female hormone, with Copaxone, a medication currently used to treat multiple sclerosis, reduced the relapse rate of MS by nearly 50 percent with only one year of treatment.
Voskuhl presented the results of the preliminary Phase II clinical trial today at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Philadelphia.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved 158 women with relapsing-remitting MS. At 16 sites across the U.S., one group of women was treated with Copaxone, a commonly prescribed, standard-of-care drug for MS, and an 8 milligram estriol pill each day; others received Copaxone and a daily placebo pill. After 12 months of treatment, the relapse rate for the Copaxone-plus-estriol group was 47 percent lower than that of the group that took Copaxone plus a placebo. 
The test also showed that women who were taking Copaxone plus estriol scored higher on cognitive tests after one year than did women who were taking Copaxone and the placebo. 
Voskuhl found that, after two years, patients taking Copaxone and the placebo began to show improvement, but those results took longer to appear and were not as strong as those of the group taking Copaxone plus estriol. 
MS is an autoimmune and neurodegenerative disease that affects 400,000 people in the U.S. Relapsing-remitting MS, the most common form, can result in such permanent disabilities as loss of vision, paralysis and cognitive problems.
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