Research

Fingolimod

 

This is a tablet drug being considered by NICE as a treatment for relapsing remitting MS.  For those who have not benefited from the usual interferon drugs.
Botox This can be used to control bladder problems.  It is available from Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals.  It is very successful in reducing urgency and frequency, but needs to be renewed every six months.  With the large dose you will need to self-catheterise.  Trials are going on using smaller doses which avoid the need for catheters.

 

Esperanza Neuropeptide This is an unlicensed treatment derived from the venom of the Thailand cobra.  The treatment involves sprays under the tongue several times a day and must be continued on a permanent basis.  It is said to work with nicotine receptors in the brain and helps to regulate the immune system.  There are claims that it helps with mobility, pain, speech, co-ordination and balance.  There are also claims that it doesn’t work.

Treatments cost around £5000 pa and will be available from Bristol and Birmingham.  Tel 01352 254420.

 

Stem Cell Trial at Bristol Professor Scolding has received a £1m donation for stem cell trials.  Stage 2 trial will be going ahead now in Bristol.

 

Sativex This is a drug based on cannabis. It has been filed for approval in the UK for use with spasticity in MS.  It could be widely available in 12-15 months.  At present Sativex is imported from Canada and only used by a few patients who pay around £4 per day.

www.mrsc.co.uk    
www.mstrust.org.uk

An Open General License has been issued by the Home Office to GW Pharma Ltd which allows pharmacists to dispense it on prescription.  If your GP is unwilling to prescribe it on the NHS, you may be able to get a prescription from a private Doctor.  GP’s should contact Bayer Healthcare on 01635 563116 or fax on 01635 563657 or email on medical.science@bayer.co.uk.

 

Aimspro This is based on goat’s serum and is now available in the UK on a special named patient basis.  This means the doctor writes a prescription for the unlicenced medication and the patient covers the cost (£364 a week for two injections)

For information , ask your doctor to write to Daval International requesting a pack from:  DavalInternational Ltd, 4a Gildredge Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4RL

www.msrc.co.uk
www.davalinternational.com

 

Tysabri This has now been approved by NICE and is now available on prescription.  It is restricted to use by those patients with a particularly aggressive form of MS and cannot be used with other drugs.  There can be serious side-effects and these have to be monitored carefully.

www.biogenidec.com
www.elan.com
www.msrc.co.uk
www.tysabri.com

 

Mixoxantrone & copaxone Clinical trials are now taking place for this new combination therapy. To see if you are eligible visit:

www.mxga-mstrial.co.uk
www.msrc.co.uk

 

Fampridine-SR A potential oral treatment aiming to increase mobility.  It blocks potassium and aids nerve conduction in damaged myelin.  In trials it has improved leg strength and walking.  Trials are still going on.

www.ms.about.com
www.nationalmssociety.org /research

 

Pregnancy Hormones A hormone which produces prolactin , preparing the body for breastfeeding, can repair damaged nerve cells. Ms goes into remission during pregnancy. Canadian scientists who compared pregnant and virgin mice found that prolactin is the key to the formation of myelin.   Dr Samuel Weiss, of CalgaryUniversity , whose research is published in the Journal of Neuroscience, said trials on both men and women could start in the next few years.
Parasitic Worms Scientists in Argentina have found that MS patients who have become infected with a form of parasitic water-borne worm, schistosoma mansoni, suffer fewer relapses and a lower level of disability. The Doctors at the Raul Carrea Institute for Neurological Research, say that MS is an autoimmune condition, where a person’s immune defences attack their own body. Having a parasite in the bloodstream may serve to distract the immune system from attacking the body. The search is on to isolate the MS-dampening molecules.
Low Dose Naltrexone(LDN) Naltrexone is an approved medication for heroin and opium addiction. In very small doses it appears to be remarkably effective in treating HIV/AIDS, certain types of cancer, and a host of autoimmune and neuro-degenerative disorders.

www.lowdosenaltrexone.org
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lowdosenaltrexone
www.ldnaware.org
www.ldnresearchtrust.org 

Alemtuzumab(Campath) This is a cancer treatment that is having good results in trials.  Some results indicate actual improvement in MS damage.  Suitable for relapsing / remitting.  Still in trials.

 

Chronic Cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency

(CCSVI)

Dr Paolo Zamboni discovered that every MS patient he studied had an abnormality in the veins leading from the brain to the heart.  The blood therefore left deposits of iron around the myelin sheath in the brain, which caused lesions.  The problem with the veins can be treated simply under local anaesthetic and it can prevent MS progression.  The MS Society is now funding a big research project on this.  Research is currently going on in Italy, America and Poland.  Contact the MS Resource Centre for up to date details on where the scans and the treatment can be done and for waiting list times.  Seewww.msrc.co.uk .

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