Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, disabling disease that affects one in every 10,000 people. Symptoms vary, but include vision problems, numbness in limbs, balance and coordination problems, and loss of muscular control.
A drug currently used to treat conditions including acne has been found to decrease the lesions in the brains of people with multiple sclerosis.Researchers treated 10 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis with the drug minocycline. Patients had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed before the study and then four weeks later.
Researchers say they found that the drug seems to significantly reduce the activity of lesions in the brain. They believe the drug, an antibiotic, works on the immune system of this group of individuals who are known to have immune system malfunctions that trigger the attacks in the nervous system.
However researchers say they are currently involved in another study looking at the benefits of minocycline when combined with Copaxone, also known as glatiramer acetate, a drug approved to treat MS.