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Acne treatment may slow onset of MS

Minocycline, a common acne treatment, may slow down the onset of MS in people with Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS).

People with CIS have experienced one episode of neurological symptoms and often go on to be diagnosed with MS. Researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada have been looking for drugs that could help stop this conversion to full MS.

Based on promising initial studies, they tested a cheap antibiotic which is already used around the world by millions.

Short-term effects

The study involved 142 people with CIS. Those who received the drug had a one in three chance of developing MS after six months. This was compared to a two in three chance for those taking a placebo (dummy drug).

As the study was too small to show any benefit after two years, further research is needed.

Repurposed medicines

Dr David Schley, our Head of Research Communications, said: "Finding new uses for existing drugs can be a great way to deliver cheap and safe treatments quickly. It was disappointing this study could not show long-term effects and we are keen to now see a bigger study into the benefits of minocycline delaying MS.”