MS Patient’s Pick of the Week’s News: Antioxidant Therapies, Ocrevus, and Other Notables
Here is my Pick of the Week’s News, from articles published on Multiple Sclerosis News Today.
Maybe antioxidant research could provide another avenue of MS therapy.
A review article published in the British Journal of Pharmacology assesses antioxidant approaches for treating neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The review, “Microglia antioxidant systems and redox signalling,” notes that certain compounds associated with oxidative stress appear to be promising therapeutic targets for treating neurodegenerative disorders, with researchers investigating the potential for enhancing antioxidant capacity by targeting what’s known as the Nrf2 pathway — a major regulator of antioxidant response.
Yet another Ocrevus study — but this time it’s for RMS patients who have not responded well to DMTs.
In addition to a new study sponsored by Genentech to test the experimental MS therapy Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) in RMS patients who have had a sub-optimal response to previous disease modifying therapies, the company is also currently recruiting patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis to understand the therapy’s mechanism of action and B-cell biology in the disease. This study (NCT02688985) will enroll up to 99 participants and is expected to end in September 2018.
Since Ocrevus is the first investigational medicine that significantly reduces disability progression in both RMS and PPMS patients, it has been recently given priority review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the decision is expected by the end of the year.
Gut microbiota is increasingly being seen an important environmental risk factor for multiple sclerosis, and strategies to correct an imbalance in intestinal flora, also known as microbial dysbiosis, are being encouraged as ways to potentially help in the treatment of MS.
Four research articles published in the last year support the idea that gut microbiota — the ecological community of microorganisms that live in the gut — may play a role in the development of MS.
While I am pleased that any possible factor in MS is being researched, hopefully with the ultimate goal of finding a cure, I do wonder about the scientific value of reviewing four different pieces of research.
Here we go again — no new research, just a “literature review.” Why bother?
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) might be an option to treat spasticity, one of the more common symptoms of multiple sclerosis, according to a literature review conducted by researchers from Universidad de Castilla la Mancha, Toledo, and Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos de Toledo, both in Spain. The study, “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for spasticity: A systematic review,” was published in the Spanish scientific journal Neurologia.
Although it is difficult to assess and compare results obtained in different studies because of the great variability in the types of stimulation used, along with differences in parameters and variables, TENS may still be a valid option to reduce spasticity and pain in multiple sclerosis thanks to its low cost, ease of use, and absence of adverse side effects, according to various reviews.
One word of warning about TENS: anyone who also has epilepsy must consult a doctor before using it. I did just that and was advised not to try it.
RedHill Biopharma announced that the final patient has completed the last step of its Phase 2 clinical study (CEASE-MS) of RHB-104 as a potential treatment for people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). RHB-104 is an antibiotic oral medication that blocks inflammation in addition to killing bacteria.
RHB-104 was originally developed as a treatment for Crohn’s disease, and is currently in Phase 3 study to analyze its effectiveness in treating this inflammatory bowel disease.
Good news that the trial is nearing its end and interesting that the drug was originally developed for Crohn’s disease.
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