Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preliminary clinical study results show improvement in MS symptoms

Date:
April 29, 2014
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Summary:
Combining the estrogen hormone estriol with Copaxone, a drug indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, may improve symptoms in patients with the disorder, according to preliminary results from a clinical study of 158 patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

Combining the estrogen hormone estriol with Copaxone, a drug indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), may improve symptoms in patients with the disorder, according to preliminary results from a clinical study of 158 patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The findings were presented today by Rhonda Voskuhl, M.D., from the University of California, Los Angeles, at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health; and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

"While these results are encouraging, the results of this Phase II study should be considered preliminary as a larger study would be needed to know whether benefits outweigh the risks for persons affected by MS. At present, we cannot recommend estrogen as part of standard therapy for MS. We encourage patients to talk with their doctors before making any changes to their treatment plans," said Walter Koroshetz, M.D., deputy director of NINDS.

MS is an autoimmune disorder in which immune cells break down myelin, a protective covering that wraps around nerve cells. Loss of myelin results in pain, movement and balance problems as well as changes in cognitive ability. RRMS is the most common form of the disorder. Patients with RRMS experience relapses, or flare-ups, of neurological symptoms, followed by recovery periods during which the symptoms improve.

Numerous laboratory studies have suggested that estrogen may have neuroprotective effects and may help decrease inflammation, which occurs in MS. In addition, it has been reported that MS patients experience improvement in symptoms during the phase of pregnancy when levels of estrogen increase. However, studies looking at the effects of estrogen therapy on women's health have shown mixed results. Estriol, the form of estrogen examined in this study, is only produced in the body during pregnancy.

In this two-year study, patients received Copaxone along with 8 milligrams per day of estriol or placebo pills. The primary goal of the trial was to determine if estriol helped decrease the number of relapses experienced by RRMS patients who were also taking Copaxone.

Researchers found that at 12 months, estrogen combination therapy was associated with a greater reduction in relapse rates compared to Copaxone and placebo. However, at 24 months, the difference between the treatment groups was not as great as it was at 12 months.

"The findings presented by Dr. Voskuhl suggest that there may be benefits to supplementing Copaxone therapy with estrogen. A longer study, with more patients, would be necessary to definitively validate these provocative, although early, findings," said Dr. Koroshetz.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "Preliminary clinical study results show improvement in MS symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429162107.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2014, April 29). Preliminary clinical study results show improvement in MS symptoms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429162107.htm
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "Preliminary clinical study results show improvement in MS symptoms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429162107.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 12, 2014) Hundreds of children in several states have been stricken by a serious respiratory illness that is spreading across the U.S. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 12, 2014) The World Health Organisation warns that local health workers in West Africa can't keep up with Ebola - and among those countries hardest hit by the outbreak, the economic damage is coming into focus, too. As David Pollard reports, Sierra Leone admits that growth in one of the poorest economies in the region is taking a beating. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Care Workers 'Chasing' Ebola Outbreak

Health Care Workers 'Chasing' Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 12, 2014) The worst known Ebola outbreak is proving extremely difficult to contain. Hospitals are full, and victims of the virus are suffering in the streets. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins