Multiple sclerosis patients receive help with safe form of estrogenRelapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients taking a safe form of estrogen – estriol – along with conventional medications avoided relapse according to a recent UCLA clinical trial. Researchers made observations at the bedside, tested them in labs and brought back the findings to the patients.
During the second half of pregnancy, RRMS patients have reduced relapses but there was no clear reason why. It is also known that the fetus’ placenta produces estriol. Protection of estriol has also been seen in other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
The researchers hypothesized that estriol works to suppress the immune system, so it does not reject the fetus, which has half of the father’s protein. Lead author, Rhonda Voskuhl, M.D., said, “The beauty of estriol is that it is not a shot and can be taken in pill form, and also that it’s not a new drug. It has decades of safety behind it. Also, current MS treatments are very complex to manufacture. These findings hopefully will pave the way for oral, safe treatments that are more widely accessible, since estriol is simple and naturally occurring.”