MS News Notes: Brain Stimulation, Bright Light, ABA-101, Foralumab
Columnist Ed Tobias comments on the week's top MS news
Welcome to “MS News Notes,” where I comment on multiple sclerosis (MS) news stories that caught my eye last week. Here’s a look at what’s been happening:
Possible nonmedicinal treatment for fatigue, spasticity, pain
Wouldn’t it be nice to find a treatment that helps people with MS handle three of their most troubling symptoms — fatigue, spasticity, and pain? In the MS News Today story “Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Can Ease Some MS Symptoms: Review,”
Could bright light ease fatigue?
Another intriguing technique being studied is using bright light to help ease MS fatigue. In this very small study, researchers used bright light therapy (BLT) with a machine that produces a consistently bright light.
Twenty-six people with MS were treated with a BLT machine for 30 minutes each morning for two weeks. Half of the machines were unaltered and half were modified so they would only emit dim red light, rather than the bright white light used in BLT.
Marisa Wexler reports in “Bright Light Therapy Shows Promise for Easing MS Fatigue in Small Trial” that subjects using the real machine had a clinically significant decrease in their fatigue severity scale. The other half did not. However, a study with a larger number of participants is needed to test whether the results are statistically meaningful.
New DMT for progressive MS enters research pipeline
Only a handful of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) are approved for treating primary or secondary MS, so news of the possibility of a new DMT designed for those MS stages is welcome.
The story “1st Abata Candidate Will Be T-cell Therapy ABA-101 for Progressive MS” reports on some early studies that aim to support an application to U.S. regulatory authorities for permission to start testing the therapy on humans. Abata Therapeutics hopes to start clinical trials of ABA-101 in 2024.
Early foralumab study shows promise
I generally don’t comment much on mouse studies, because they’re a long way from the finish line of bringing a medication to market. But foralumab is special for two reasons: It’s a nasal spray, and it’s intended for nonactive secondary progressive MS, which is what I have.
As I mentioned, possible treatments for progressive MS are big news to many of us. The story “Foralumab Nasal Spray for MS Well-tolerated in Mice for 3 Months” reports that Tiziana Life Sciences hopes to begin Phase 2 clinical testing sometime in 2023.
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