MS News That Caught My Eye: Probiotics, Gut Bacteria, Ocrevus, and a Pain Pill

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by Ed Tobias |

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Probiotics Consumption May Improve Certain Disease Parameters in MS Patients, Study Suggests

Probiotics (bacteria that help move food through your gut) have been used for years to help treat stomach disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and some types of diarrhea. More recently, researchers have studied how they may help treat other health problems, including MS. Patricia Inacio writes about a recent, small but hopeful, probiotic/MS study.

Probiotics may improve the health of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) by reducing disability and improving inflammatory and metabolic parameters, an Iranian study shows.

The study, “Clinical and metabolic response to probiotic supplementation in patients with multiple sclerosis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial,” appeared in the journal Clinical Nutrition.


Specific Gut Bacteria May Drive Progression of Multiple Sclerosis, Study Finds

If you read the previous story you’ll want to read this one, because it’s also about gut bacteria. In this case, as reported by Magdalena Kegel, it’s a type that may worsen MS.

Specific gut bacteria may drive the progression of multiple sclerosis, according to a study showing that two bacterial species made the disease worse in a mouse model of MS.

Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco also pinpointed a species found in lower numbers in MS patients that had protective properties in mice with the condition. This demonstrated the power that gut microbes have over the immune system in MS.


Ocrevus Less Expensive, More Efficient than Interferon, Analysis Reveals

Here’s a study that reports positive news for Ocrevus and the MS patients who take it. But, because Ocrevus hasn’t been around long enough to have a traditional retrospective analysis of its cost-effectiveness, researchers created a data model that “ages” some of the study subjects. Magdalena Kegel goes into detail about how this was done. Also, as she points out, this study was conducted by the research company Analysis Group “in collaboration” with Genentech, the developer of Ocrevus. And, two of its six authors are listed as Genentech employees. So….

Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) is a less expensive treatment option for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) than subcutaneous interferon beta-1a (Rebif) in the long run, according to a cost-effectiveness analysis published in the Journal of Medical Economics.

In addition to lower total costs over a 20-year period, the analysis suggested that Ocrevus allows patients to live longer with a better quality of life. The costs also were lower for Ocrevus for each life-year lived and when taking quality of life into consideration.


GT Biopharma to Develop New PainBrake Tablet Formulation to Treat MS Neuropathic Pain

Some people, even some doctors, may tell you that there’s no pain associated with MS. Don’t you believe them. Burning, shooting pain, known as neuropathic pain, is one of them. So, another possible MS pain treatment is always welcome news. Alice Melão writes this story.

GT Biopharma has acquired licensing and development rights for PainBrake — Accu-Break Pharmaceuticals’ non-opioid pain medication to treat dysesthesia and pain caused by nerve damage in multiple sclerosis (MS).

“I am looking forward to initiating the development of PainBrake as we anticipate that many patients with difficult-to-treat neuropathic pain could benefit from this product,” Kathleen Clarence-Smith, CEO of Tampa-based GT Biopharma, said in a press release.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Narelle Chamberlain avatar

Narelle Chamberlain

Hi i'm lucky living in WA where medicare covers most MS drugs costs, I can't even understand how horrible that would be to worry about costs and insurance for these new drugs when all i'm dealing with is the unbearable side effects of my first infusion of ocrevus, couldn't breath couldn't talk couldn't see properly and the extreme pain from the heat, I would have crawled out to a ice cold cool room if I could! They upped the dose of the steroids + pain killers (the happy drugs) for the second half infusion. 1/12/2017

Donna Marie avatar

Donna Marie

Be alert, what are you doing wrong?


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