What are researchers working on for primary progressive MS?
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Transcript: Primary progressive MS affects about 10-15% of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. They do not...
Primary progressive MS affects about 10-15% of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. They do not have periods of time when they are symptom free, as people with remitting-relapsing MS do. Instead, they experience a steady progression of the disease and the damage it does to their nerves. The treatments that we now have for relapsing remitting MS so far haven't been shown to halt the steady advance of primary progressive MS, but additional clinical trials are underway to test this. We recently started feeling cautiously optimistic about a couple of possible treatments-for some folks with primary progressive MS. First, we have an indication that for a fraction of folks with primary PROGRESSIVE MS, certain powerful disease modifying drugs used against relapsing-remitting MS MIGHT HELP, at least a little. Although people with progressive MS don't have periods when they are symptom-free, some do have underlying biological similarities to people with relapsing-remitting MS. Now we have to figure out who will benefit and how to determine the risks and benefits. It's an important step. Also, a preliminary trial of a high-dose statin showed that over two years, people taking the cholesterol-lowering medication saw a 43% reduction in disease progression. That's significant. Now we just have to make sure it's safe, doesn't cause any long-term problems, and creates a sustainable benefit. Some people who have relapsing-remitting MS eventually progress to what's called SECONDARY progressive MS. A person who has secondary progressive MS, but is still experiences occasional flares, might continue taking the medication they've been on for relapsing-remitting MS until it appears not to be helping. Then mitoxantrone, a chemotherapeutic agent, might be used. It is the only medication approved by the FDA specifically for secondary progressive MS.More »
Last Modified: 2015-03-02 | Tags »
mitoxantrone, statin , PPMS, primary progressive, multiple sclerosis treatment, diagnosis, chronic, condition