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Two drugs show promise in remyelination

4/28/2015

Two drugs that effectively treat multiple sclerosis at the source, in vivo, showed a striking reversal of disease severity. Treatments proved to be effective in both animal model and human cell experiments.

Neural degeneration prevention requires remyelination through new oligodendrocytes, which create the myelin sheath. These two drugs, miconazole and clobetasol, were found to treat the source of the problem by increasing the number of new oligodendrocytes and enhancing remyelination. Miconazole functions as a remyelinating drug with no effect on the immune system. Clobetasol is both an immunosuppressant and a remyelinating agent.

The two drugs are effective in promoting myelination in mice. Results of mouse model studies sometimes do not translate to humans and may be years away from being a marketable treatment. However, both drugs were shown to enhance the generation of human oligodendrocytes.

“While successful in vivo, we’re looking forward to continuing our research through further testing of miconazole and clobetasol, taking the next steps to finding treatments for MS,” said Robert Miller, Ph.D., co-author of the study and professor of anatomy and regenerative biology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The research findings were published in the journal Nature.



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