Two potential myelin repair treatments identified

Published date: 21 Apr 2015 at 8:15AM

A new early stage study has identified two existing drugs that could have the potential to be developed into myelin repair therapies for people with MS.

Researchers in Ohio screened the US National Institute of Health's drug 'library' for compounds that could have the potential to stimulate stem cells already in the brain to replace lost myelin. They then tested them in laboratory models of MS.

They identified two drugs, miconazole and clobetasol, which are currently used a topical creams for athlete’s foot and eczema/psoriasis respectively, as having the potential to repair myelin.

Clinical trials needed

The drugs would need to be developed into a form that could reach the brain (creams can’t do this), before being tested in a clinical trial to see if they do have the potential to repair lost myelin in people with MS.

Dr Sorrel Bickley, Research Communications Manager at the MS Society said: 

"More than 100,000 people in the UK live with MS, which is why there is a huge unmet need for new therapies that can repair the damage to myelin that occurs in the condition.

"While this is an early study, it’s exciting to think that there is now a growing list of potential myelin repair therapies that have been identified in laboratory and animal model studies. The next step will be to test these treatments in clinical trials to establish whether they can bring real benefits in slowing or stopping the progression of MS."

The research was published yesterday in the journal Nature.

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