also that it's not a new drug; it has decades of safety behind it," said Voskuhl, who holds the Jack H. Skirball Chair for Multiple Sclerosis in the UCLA Department of Neurology. For years estriol has been in widespread use in Europe and Asia as hormone replacement therapy for women with menopausal symptoms. The fact that the pill already exists, she said, should dramatically reduce the cost of treatment.
Most important of all, though, is that the drug potentially provides a one-two punch against MS, both reducing the ability of immune cells to attack the brain, as well as making the brain more resistant to damage if any immune cells do make it through.
"It's a two-pronged approach an anti-inflammatory prong to reduce the attacks, but also a neuroprotective prong to make the brain suffer less damage in case of an attack," said Voskuhl.
In all, seven institutions from around the nation will be involved in the two-year study. The investigators plan to recruit 150 women who have not previously been treated for MS. They will be given either estriol along with Copaxone, an MS drug currently in use, or a placebo along with Copaxone. "That way, no one will receive less than the standard of care," Voskuhl said. The team will measure relapse rates over the course of the trial.
Page: 1 2 Related biology news :1
Contact: Mark Wheeler
University of California - Los Angeles
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