Why are there no treatments for primary progressive and secondary non-relapsing progressive MS?
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Transcript: Finding treatments for primary progressive--as well as secondary non-relapsing progressive-- MS has been...
Finding treatments for primary progressive--as well as secondary non-relapsing progressive-- MS has been a challenge. The treatments for the most common form of the disease, relapsing-remitting MS, and for secondary-progressive MS WITH relapses, haven't turned out to be helpful. Treatments for relapsing-remitting MS reduce inflammation and immune attacks, but there is less evidence of ongoing inflammation and immune attacks in PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE and non-relapsing forms of secondary progressive MS. Those two forms of progressive MS are characterized by a steady worsening of neurologic functioning. The rate of progression may vary, but it's continuous and is tied to degeneration of the nerves. In PROGRESSIVE MS the nerve degeneration isn't related to waves of immune attacks from OUTSIDE the central nervous system. Instead immune trouble makers seem to take up residence INSIDE the CNS and cause damage. We're working on understanding how the troublemakers infiltrate the CNS and how to block this from happening. Recent research suggests that a fraction of people with primary progressive MS share some underlying biology with people who have relapsing-remitting MS. So, in theory that makes them candidates for the medications we DO HAVE TODAY. But so far there there's not an established way to determine who might benefit. Research and clinical trials to treat progressive forms of MS are ongoing. A phase 2 study of a high-dose statin did find that over two years the treatments reduced brain atrophy - or shrinkage -- by 43% --and that's promising news. But the jury is still out because we don't know if the effects will persist, whether the dose is safe if taken for longer periods of time, and who will be the best candidate for the treatment.More »
Last Modified: 2015-03-02 | Tags »
primary progressive multiple sclerosis, MS, PPMS neurological disease, treatment, symptoms, management