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Friday, April 15, 2016

Allergy Med May Reverse MS Vision Loss

Vision improvement with clemastine fumarate appears modest but results are promising, researcher says

WebMD News from HealthDay
By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, April 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An over-the-counterantihistamine used to fight allergies may have an important new role: reversing the vision loss sometimes caused by multiple sclerosis.
That's the finding from preliminary research that found that clemastinefumarate partially reversed optic neuropathy in people with MS.
Optic neuropathy is damage to the nerve that relays information from the eye to the brain.
The study is to be presented April 19 at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in Vancouver.
"While the improvement in vision appears modest, this study is promising because it is the first time a drug has been shown to possibly reverse the damage done by MS," said study author Dr. Ari Green, assistant clinical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at the University of California, San Francisco.
The study was small, involving only 50 people averaging 40 years of age. All had been diagnosed with MS for an average of five years and were also diagnosed with optic neuropathy.
For three months, patients received either the antihistamine or aplacebo. The groups were then switched for the last two months of the study.
While taking the antihistamine, patients showed a slight improvement in terms of the delays in time it took for visual information to travel from the eye to the brain, Green's team said.

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