MS: Drugs trial hope for multiple sclerosis patients

Source BBC:  Welsh patients are taking part in a drugs trial aimed at slowing late-stage multiple sclerosis progression.

Experts are looking at how effective a drug is after a smaller study found it may slow down neuronal degeneration.

Euryl James, of Llangennith, Gower, said she got involved as a breakthrough could be life-changing.

A total of 1,000 patients in 20 UK centres are involved in the study, including 25 in Swansea’s Morriston Hospital and others in Cardiff.

MS is a neurological disorder affecting movement and causes other problems.

Morriston Hospital neurologist Dr Owen Pearson said: “The study aims to find out whether this treatment will slow the death of nerves and therefore slow the progression of the disease.”

The first study, which examined MRI data, showed neuronal degeneration – or the rate of “brain shrinkage” – reduced by 40% in those taking statins – a medicine used to lower cholesterol – compared with those on a placebo.  Read on.

EMA warns that Gilenya must not be taken during pregnancy.

Source MS Trust: The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended that Gilenya (fingolimod) must not be taken by pregnant women or women of childbearing age who are not using effective contraception.

A review of Gilenya and pregnancy was carried out by the EMA’s safety committee following reports which suggested that babies born to mothers taking Gilenya during pregnancy have a greater risk of birth defects compared with the general population.  Read on.

100 club winners for July

100 club winners for July:

1st – Linda Tierney

2nd – Sue Doran

3rd – Steve Lewis

Sharing a prize fund of: £77.50

You got to be in it to win it!!  Speak to Sue for an application form, only £5 a month!

Phase 1 Trial of T20K, Plant Protein-derived Therapy for MS, Doses 1st Group of Healthy Men

Source Multiple Sclerosis News Today: A first group of healthy volunteers in a Phase 1 trial assessing the safety and tolerability of T20K, Cyxone‘s plant protein-derived candidate for the treatment of multiple sclerosis(MS), has been dosed in a study taking place in The Netherlands, the company announced.

T20K is an investigational prophylactic (preventive) therapy, possibly intended for all MS forms. The eight male volunteers that make up a group are being given one or two infused doses of the potential treatment and their blood analyzed.  Read on.

Phase 3 Trial of Ibudilast Planned for SPMS Patients with Inactive Disease, MediciNova Says

Source Medical News Toady: A Phase 3 trial is planned to confirm the safety and efficacy of oral ibudilast (MN-166) in treating people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) without relapses or those whose disease is not active, MediciNova announced.

Data from this single Phase 3 study may be used to request marketing approval for ibudilast with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company said in a press release.

Ibudilast, a first-in-class small molecule, works to suppress three cytokines (small signalling proteins) that promote inflammation: IL-1ß, TNF-a, and IL-6. It may also increase the activity of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, and help block the signals of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) that is involved in inflammation. All these activities are thought to contribute to ibudilast’s ability to ease neuroinflammation.  Read on.

Scientists have discovered that a specific brain cell known as a ‘projection neuron’ has a central role to play in the brain changes seen in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Source Science Daily: The research shows that projection neurons are damaged by the body’s own immune cells and that this damage could underpin the brain shrinkage and cognitive changes associated with MS. These new findings provide a platform for specific new MS therapies that target damaged brain cells to be developed.

Scientists have discovered that a specific brain cell is known as a ‘projection neuron’ has a central role to play in the brain changes seen in multiple sclerosis (MS). The research, published today in Nature, shows that projection neurons are damaged by the body’s own immune cells and that this damage could underpin the brain shrinkage and cognitive changes associated with MS. These new findings provide a platform for specific new MS therapies that target damaged brain cells to be developed.  Read on. 

Scientists Identify Differences Between Relapsing/Remitting and Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

Source BioSpace: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an often-disabling disease of the central nervous system caused by damage to the myelin coating around the nerves. 

The disease is quite variable but falls into two broad types, relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), in which patients often go into clinical remission, and progression MS, which does not have remission periods, but is marked by continued deterioration. RRMS affects about 85% of MS patients, although about half of RRMS patients eventually develop progressive disease.

Researchers with City University of New York and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have identified specific biological differences between the two types of diseases, which has the potential to lead to new therapeutic approaches and diagnostic testing. They published their research in BRAIN, A Journal of Neurology.  Read on.

3-D Brain Models of PPMS and Parkinson’s Off to Space Station for Research in Microgravity

Source Multiple Sclerosis News Today: The National Stem Cell Foundation (NSCF) announced the start of a pioneering project to investigate the impact of microgravity on the neurodegeneration associated with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and Parkinson’s disease.

The project, a collaboration between the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute, the Summit for Stem Cell, and investigators with Aspen Neuroscience, will send 3-D brain organoids derived from patients with these disorders, for a first time, to the International Space Station (ISS) on SpaceX CRS-18.

This flight, set to launch on July 21 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, is a test run for a 30-day study of neurodegeneration in microgravity set to take place on the space station this fall.  Read on.

Independent Mouse Study Reinforces Remyelinating Potential of ISP Therapy

Source Multiple Sclerosis News Today: A new study demonstrates that intracellular sigma peptide (ISP) can promote remyelination in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS). 

Importantly, this study was independent of NervGen, a pharmaceutical company that is developing an ISP-like compound — NVG-291 — for the treatment of nerve injury and MS.

The study, “Modulating proteoglycan receptor PTPσ using intracellular sigma peptide improves remyelination and functional recovery in mice with demyelinated optic chiasm,” was published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience.

ISP is an inhibitor of the protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTPσ), which slows the healing process when there is inflammation in the central nervous system. By blocking this healing-preventing receptor, ISP can promote nervous system healing and remyelination — the repair of myelin, the nerve cell “sheath” that becomes damaged in MS. Read on.

The MS Society is hosting a talk on stem cell treatments for people MS in Cheltenham on the 28th of September

Source MS Society: Join us for an afternoon with Dr Claire Rice, Neurologist and MS Researcher in Bristol. Claire will give an overview about stem cell treatment for MS including its current role in disease management and research priorities.

There will also be the opportunity to meet others and visit information stands

The event is free but please register here or contact Karin Gray.

The talk will start at 2 pm with registration and refreshments from 1.30 pm.

Venue: Jury’s Inn, Gloucester Road, Cheltenham, GL51 0TS.

Find out more and book your place here.