Multiple sclerosis, affecting around 100,000 people in Britain leading to vision loss, fatigue, numbness and paralysis does not have a possible cure.
Scientists at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio have been testing various drugs and recently found that a common athlete's foot cream sold over the counter at most chemists could cure multiple sclerosis.
The athlete's foot drug and a cream used to treat eczema were found to stimulate the regeneration of damaged brain cells. Miconazole, the active ingredient in the foot cream, Daktarin, instructs stem cells in the brain to repair nerve damage and reverse paralysis in mice.
Dr Paul Tesar, Professor of Innovative Therapeutics at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine said, "We know that there are stem cells throughout the adult nervous system that are capable of repairing the damage caused by multiple sclerosis, but until now, we had no way to direct them to act."
The team of researchers used a new approach where the drugs that could catalyze the body's own stem cells would replace the cells lost in multiple sclerosis. However the team said that though the initial findings show promise of the chance of a cure for the condition and the drugs have been shown to work on human stem cells much work remains before multiple sclerosis patients might benefit from the promising approach.