Medical

New drug promises to reverse the progression of Multiple Sclerosis

Seema Tiwari-Woodruff, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the UC Riverside School of Medicine (Photo: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside)
Seema Tiwari-Woodruff, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the UC Riverside School of Medicine (Photo: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside)
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Seema Tiwari-Woodruff, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the UC Riverside School of Medicine (Photo: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside)
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Seema Tiwari-Woodruff, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the UC Riverside School of Medicine (Photo: I. Pittalwala, UC Riverside)
Seema Tiwari-Woodruff (left) with lab staff members Leonardo Martinez-Torres (center) and Jonathan Hasselmann (Photo: Pittalwala, UC Riverside)
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Seema Tiwari-Woodruff (left) with lab staff members Leonardo Martinez-Torres (center) and Jonathan Hasselmann (Photo: Pittalwala, UC Riverside)

Researchers are zeroing in on what looks like an effective treatment for the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Teams from UC Riverside and New York's Rockefeller University have both used the same compound, indazole chloride, to successfully reverse the progression of MS in mice. The drug appears to be able to stimulate the regeneration of the myelin sheath – the nerve pathway coating that is progressively destroyed as MS attacks the nervous system.

MS affects around 400,000 people in the United States alone, and some 2.5 million around the world, according to Healthline. It's a debilitating disease in which the body's immune system begins to attack its own nervous system, gradually breaking down the protective cover called the myelin sheath, which coats the axons of nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.

As this demyelination progresses, patients begin to slowly experience the breakdown of their nervous system – sensation, vision and motor control begin to slowly degenerate, and permanent paralysis can be the end result. It's a horrible sentence.

One well known quirk of the disease is that female sufferers seem to have a reversal of their MS symptoms during the third trimester of pregnancy. This reversal has them feeling great for a couple of months, but then the symptoms reappear with a vengeance after childbirth.

This led researchers to investigate pregnancy hormones. They found that estriol, a form of estrogen, had a significant effect reducing the MS symptoms of lab mice.

But estrogen is a highly compromised treatment. It's been strongly linked to breast and uterine cancers, and has a feminizing effect which makes it particularly unattractive to male sufferers. Which led researchers from UC Riverside and Rockefeller University to start investigating compounds that might produce a similar effect on MS symptoms without the hormonal side effects.

Both teams have zeroed in on indazole chloride, a ligand that stimulates the ERβ estrogen receptors in the body without requiring raised levels of estrogen. And both teams have reported impressive results reversing the progression of MS symptoms in mice. The drug appears to be effective long after the onset of the disease, and seems to be able to stimulate the rebuilding of the myelin sheath, not only in MS cases, but in cases of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. In simple terms, if the nerves haven't already been totally destroyed, indazole chloride helps rebuild them.

"Our work on mice suggests that its effect is permanent," said Associate Professor Seema K. Tiwari-Woodruff of UC Riverside. "But perhaps more significant, Ind-Cl remyelinates, that is, it makes new sheaths around those axons that have not been lost for good. This means Ind-Cl not only inhibits inflammation but is capable of reducing axon degeneration and restoring neuronal function… Ind-Cl works in two ways: through the immune system in terms of reducing brain and spinal cord inflammation, and directly by remyelinating the axons. This makes it an extremely promising drug."

Seema Tiwari-Woodruff (left) with lab staff members Leonardo Martinez-Torres (center) and Jonathan Hasselmann (Photo: Pittalwala, UC Riverside)
Seema Tiwari-Woodruff (left) with lab staff members Leonardo Martinez-Torres (center) and Jonathan Hasselmann (Photo: Pittalwala, UC Riverside)

We've written before about promising potential MS cures, particularly Dr. Zamboni's CCSVI work, but that proved to be completely ineffective under rigorous scientific testing.

In contrast, the Riverside team expects to go to clinical trial soon. The teams believe the drug can be tweaked to be even more effective, and eventually administered orally.

So, it's promising news for MS sufferers and their families, but there's still an agonizing wait ahead.

Source: UC Riverside and Rockefeller University (PNAS)

6 comments
Gary Denton
Curious if this would help with ALS.
David Rochlin
I like to put the nigella sativa seeds, same as in rye bread and Indian cuisine, in my soup. Indazole is derived from them.
Shirley
If mice are given MS like symptoms then how come it can't be taken away? Until you find the cause you will never find the cure. Stop telling people lies who expect truth from so called experts. Your Autoimmune theory is just that ... A THEORY. Never proven in any source you use for peer reviewed articles. But, there are journal articles to disprove the theory. http://www.rcpe.ac.uk/.../journa.../3_pathogenesis_of_MS.pdf Your bogus EAE mice theory is just that ... BOGUS. "Mice with EAE do seem to fare better on MS drugs than humans do. In fact, mice on Tysabri did not develop PML, since mice can't get the JC virus and don't develop PML....kind of a problem with the current mouse model for MS." Don't you think? http://www.ema.europa.eu/.../Pres.../2011/07/WC500109644.pdf Besides using drugs as your solution ... why do you not look into an alternative? Like ... could the cause be CANDIDA, CCSVI, Cpn, LYME, Vaccine reactions, the persons diet or lifestyle? This is where Differential Diagnosis comes into the picture. http://www.neurology.wisc.edu/publications/2007/Neuro_2.pdf It sure seems these self proclaimed, so called Expert MS Neurologists are too lazy to even do these checks. Could it be because it doesn't take too much to become one of them. TO BECOME A MS EXPERT ALL YOU NEED IS $275.00 and you get Big Pharma backing and a certificate! Yes ... YOU can become an expert too! http://www.mscare.org/?page=about_mscs You obviously have misinformation regarding Prof. Zamboni's CCSVI Treatment and theories. Please educate yourselves before you spread more unproven lies. CCSVI.org I know these suggestions are not to these researchers liking because they are not money makers but, they certainly work so much better than these chemical poisons will ever do. You think we are all too stupid to do our own research. We have had no choice and now we know the real deal. STOP with the continuous talk with no action and creating false hope. STOP wasting billions and time. DO SOME REAL RESEARCH.
Shirley
I am sorry the first link copied incorrectly. Please try this ... http://www.rcpe.ac.uk/journal/issue/journal_32_4/3_pathogenesis_of_MS.pdf The second link copied incorrectly. Please try this ... http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Presentation/2011/07/WC500109644.pdf
Deborah Gostin
What is the negativity here about? If they hope to start trials soon, let's wait for the results before we decide how effective it will or will not be?Thanks for the great tip, David Rochlin.
EnricoTigani
David Rochlin you say it is important to know where the disease came from. it is for everyone else. So I think it is personally bound. I have the impression that you are not here who posted this reclamation, but the disease. for her survival. je zegt dat het belangrijk is te weten waar de ziekte vandaan komt. ze is voor iedereen anders. dus ik denk dat het persoonlijk gebonden is. ik heb de indruk dat het hier niet jij is die deze reatie plaatste maar de ziekte. voor haar overlevingsdrang.
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