MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Remyelination, Predicting SPMS, Switching DMTs, MS and a Virus

Ed Tobias avatar

by Ed Tobias |

Share this article:

Share article via email

Chemical that Stimulates Estrogen Receptors Seen to Promote Myelin Repair Through ‘Good’ Inflammation in Mouse MS Model

Caution: This is only a mouse study. However, anything that might repair the damaged myelin of people with MS catches my eye. In this case, researchers are building on earlier work indicating that this chemical can improve motor function, promote remyelination, and ease inflammation. This study suggests that the chemical can also encourage “good” inflammation that protects cells that are involved in remyelination.

A chemical compound called indazole chloride promotes repair of myelin, the protective layer of nerve fibers, through “beneficial” inflammation in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), a study reports.

The preclinical research, “Increase in chemokine CXCL1 by ERβ ligand treatment is a key mediator in promoting axon myelination,” was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Study Examines Factors That Increase Risk of Progressing from RRMS to SPMS

Many of us who begin our MS with the relapsing form of the disease eventually progress to secondary progressive. There hasn’t been a good method of predicting who will move from RRMS to SPMS, or when, but this study has discovered some “markers” that may provide a way to make that determination.

Age at disease onset, number of early relapses, and the extent of brain damage at baseline can help identify those who are at high risk of progression from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis into the secondary progressive phase of the disease, a new study shows.

The study with that finding, “The cortical damage, early relapses, and onset of the progressive phase in multiple sclerosis,” was published in the journal Neurology.


Impact of Early Aggressive vs. Standard Therapy on Disability in RRMS To Be Tested in Trial

Some neurologists take a “wait-and-see” approach regarding the latest disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) after a patient has been diagnosed with MS. Others want to jump quickly with the more aggressive DMTs. I have a friend who’s had MS for about 15 years and has done well with less aggressive treatment. On the other hand, I’m a proponent of an aggressive approach. Now, researchers are enrolling MS patients in a study that hopes to shed some light on which approach is better. (A link to information about study enrollment is included in this article).

Johns Hopkins University-initiated clinical trial is starting to enroll an estimated 900 relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients to assess the benefits of switching therapies to prevent or reduce disability.

The TREAT-MS study (NCT03500328) will evaluate whether RRMS patients with disease activity while on a traditional first-line disease-modifying therapy — including injectable and oral medications — should switch to another similar treatment or start on a more aggressive infusion therapy. These treatments, while considered more effective, can have more and more serious side effects.


Viral Infection Promotes Factor in T-cells Leading to Brain Tissue Destruction

There’s regular discussion in MS circles (including some in our MS Forums section) about how much of a role a virus may play in causing a disease such as MS. This study looks at a specific virus that may play a part in whether someone develops MS.

Infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus triggers expression of a factor called TOX in immune cells strengthening their migration into the brain and promoting damaging effects, including inflammation and tissue destruction.

These findings represent a new piece of the puzzle about the mechanism underlying autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS).


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.



Frieda Bateman avatar

Frieda Bateman

less talk and more action !! I was diagnosed with MS in 2010 and I have been given no "treatment" except watch and see. I feel absolutely deserted by the medical community. If a treatment on a mouse is encouraging, I am willing to also be a `mouse` !! GIVE US SOME HOPE!
Quit all this medical jabber and DO SOMETHING.

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Frieda,

Thanks for your comment. Your treatment should be a JOINT decision between you and your neurologist. There are a lot of treatment options available that aren't experimental. If you're not satisfied with your treatment I think you owe it to yourself to seek out a new doctor...preferably one who is an MS specialist.


Beth Stone avatar

Beth Stone

Hi Frieda, get ahold of your closest National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) or look them up on the internet. Someone there could talk with you and send you information. I personally feel that getting on a Therapy right away is what has protected me. I've had MS since 1993 and still live a full amubulatory life. I can't understand any Doctor having a "wait and see" attitude and you deserve more than that. Good Luck, Beth

Cheryl Carvalho-Case avatar

Cheryl Carvalho-Case

My daughter was diagnosed 6 1/2 years ago and I devoted months of researching anything and everything about MS. I'm by no means an expert nor do I have any medical background. Initial diagnosis 26 lesions, 1 atrophied area. Started a DMD and nearly died from adverse reaction. Started second DMD and 1 year later another reaction. Latest relapse and MRI, more than 100 brain lesions, over a dozen atrophied areas, over 2 dozen spinal lesions...she's 27 and still categorized as RRMS. We are DONE with dangerous DMDs and she is now scheduled for HSCT and although its not without risks the success rate for halting the disease is at or above 80%. It is being performed at Northwestern in Chicago if you have $159,000+. Other private US clinics start at 239,000. She is going to another country that has performed over 725 HSCT treatments (0 deaths). The UK, Brazil, Sweden, etc ARE paying for it since it is about 20% less than the cost of ONE year's Copaxone. While DMD's help some, they are not a cure. After HSCT many people have also had reversal of disabilities. Why will the US not pay for or publicize this despite participating in worldwide clinical trials?
This is OUR opinion on this. "Since my daughter's diagnosis, she represents $5 million in pharmaceuticals over her shortened lifetime and she is 1 of hundreds of thousands. Big pharma donates millions to politicians annually without regard to political party so making this available or affordable will not happen here in my lifetime anyway." There are HSCT Facebook groups and lots of information available. I began fundraising to help my daughter pay for the treatment. We are out of DMD options. I sincerely wish you luck in finding what works for you Frieda.

Mari l avatar

Mari l

Pharma and insurance own us. ??

Daphne Phillips avatar

Daphne Phillips

I have been off medication for approximately five years. I concentrate on diet ( as per Dr. Terry Wahls), Physiotherapy and massage therapy, as well as a potent vitamin daily intake. I maintain my ability to walk (with an aid) and have very few, short relapses. I'm ok.

Dorothy Levinson avatar

Dorothy Levinson

Frieda, the internet has numerous sites for finding information regarding MS treatments available today. Do your homework and then make an appointment wih your neurologist. This way you will know what you are talking about and what questions you want answered. Today you have to be your own advocate. If you find that you are not satisfid with your doctor, find another one. You can use the internet for that, too.


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.

Dancing Doodle

Did you know some of the news and columns on Multiple Sclerosis News Today are recorded and available for listening on SoundCloud? These audio news stories give our readers an alternative option for accessing information important for them.

Listen Here