Multiple Sclerosis Treatments Benefit From Discovery of New Inflammatory Molecule

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A newly discovered molecule could play a pivotal role in inflammatory diseases, including multiple sclerosis, according to researchers at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Queensland Australia.

The study was published in the journal Nature Medicineand describes a molecule known as MCC950 that can suppress the ‘NLRP3 inflammasome’, a key process in inflammatory diseases.

Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common inflammatory neurological conditions that affects young adults worldwide. MS can occur at any age, although generally diagnosis occurs between the ages of 20 and 40. In the case of multiple sclerosis the body’s inflammatory response, instead of acting in a protective manner, launches an attack on the myelin that wraps around nerve cells and allows them to conduct impulses. This results in unpredictable damage to the nervous system, known as lesions. Symptoms such as loss of movement, numbness, tingling, pain, loss of eyesight and cognitive impairment may result.

According to Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity, Luke O’Neill, one of the researchers who discovered the molecule: “Drugs like aspirin or steroids can work in several diseases, but can have side effects or be ineffective. What we have found is a potentially transformative medicine, which targets what appears to be the common disease-causing process in a myriad of inflammatory diseases.”

Dr. Rebecca Coll, first author added: “MCC950 is blocking what was suspected to be a key process in inflammation. There is huge interest in NLRP3 both among medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies and we feel our work makes a significant contribution to the efforts to find new medicines to limit it.”

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The study’s co-author Professor Matt Cooper, from the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) explained that, “MCC950 is able to be given orally and will be cheaper to produce than current protein-based treatments, which are given daily, weekly, or monthly by injection. Importantly, it will also have a shorter duration in the body, allowing clinicians to stop the anti-inflammatory action of the drug if the patient ever needed to switch their immune response back to 100% in order to clear an infection.”

The medication may provide a treatment for multiple sclerosis, although several additional human studies would be needed for this to become a reality. “We are really excited about MCC950. We believe this has real potential to benefit patients suffering from several highly debilitating diseases, where there is currently a dire need for new medicines,” added Professor O’Neill.

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  1. Rebecca French says:

    Ive been on tysabri last 6months for my r&r ms, but i would really want to try out this mcc950 if it gives me some of my life back and helps my legs be strong enough then it would be a dream come true! ☺


  2. Linda Mendietta says:

    I am on my fourth MS medication for the past 9 years. If MCC950 can help better than whatever else is being dx then I am willing to try it. Let me know where I can help with research.

  3. Karen says:

    Is this drug available now or is it still in the trial stage? If it is in the trial stage, is it open for others to join? Is it for all types of MS or just specific ones?

  4. Debbie Clark says:

    I would be willing to do this. My MS is progressing and my vision going along with weakness in my body. Who would I need to notify about trying this?

  5. sandy Hungerford says:

    Please, my brother had been in a nursing home for years from progressive MS he is now 48 and is on no meds for MS. Please contact me. Maybe he could be a good candidate for this, please. THANK YOU,
    BRYANTOWN, MD 20617

  6. Alisa Woods, PhD says:

    This website reports about studies, we are not running the studies. You need to contact study investigators and researchers to find out how to participate. Refer to the article for the names and affiliations of the researchers. Also, the article contains links that you can follow to find out where the researchers are located (see above).

  7. Angela platten says:

    My daughter is 28 she got m.s at 21 she is bed riden and has been for the last 6 years it is very hard for me to sit and watch her life just waisting away I would do anything to see her walk again

    • Glenn Sloan says:

      Have you tried Vienoplasty for your Ms? So young and I believe they have discussed Young people and infants. Look it up or give me a shout. I went into theatre on a rolator and walked out. Been great since!

  8. Sue Delatorre says:

    My daughter, now 30, was diagnosed at 26 and has not been able to afford treatment. Her disease seems to have progressed to the most aggressive form of MS. What a blessing if she could be considered as a candidate for this new hope. Please contact me to let me know if this is possible. Thank you

  9. Alisa Woods, PhD says:

    How can someone participate in a clinical trial?

    Companies developing treatments often have contact information available on their websites that interested participants use to find out how to be included in a trial. The medical centers conducting the trials may also have contact information. Trials conducted in the United States are registered with, and individuals responsible for enrolling trials will have their contact information listed there. CenterWatch is another site that helps connect people with clinical trials.

    For multiple sclerosis, MS News Today has a clinical trial notification program. Interested individuals can register to possibly participate in a future trial.

  10. Rosemarie says:

    I was diagnosed with MS on October 29, 2015. I was paralyzed on November 10, 2015. I was in Three different Hospitals and in a Nursery Rehabilitation Center for two months and two days. I make sure that I walk everyday even if I am a little fatigue. Exercise helps.

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