UK to test existing drugs as treatment for MS in world-first trial

Doctors in the UK are to launch a world-first clinical trial to assess whether drugs already on the market can prevent multiple sclerosis (MS) from worsening over time and even reverse the disabilities it causes.

The groundbreaking Octopus trial, so named because of its various arms, will allow researchers to investigate the potential benefits of several drugs at once, in the hope of identifying effective new treatments three times faster than if the medicines were trialled separately.

Hundreds of patients sought for the trial will be randomly assigned to have either standard care for progressive MS or standard care plus one of three drugs that doctors hope will at least protect their neurons from the disease if not repair the damage done.  Read on.