- Alemtuzumab is a drug prescribed for multiple sclerosis
patients who do not respond to other drugs.
- Multiple sclerosis drugs could reverse physical disability
caused by the disease, claims a new study.
- Patients who received alemtuzumab had improved on a disability
test by at least one point.
- The drug also improved the thinking skills of the patients with
is a disabling disease that
affects the brain and spinal cord. A drug called alemtuzumab could reverse some
of the physical disability caused by multiple sclerosis, claims a new research.
could cause some serious side
effects. Thus, it is not prescribed
for all the patients with multiple sclerosis. However, it is prescribed for people
who have not responded well to other multiple sclerosis drugs. Alemtuzumab is
used in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which is the most common form
of the disease. In relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, the symptoms
alternate between sudden worsening and remission.
‘A drug used in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis called alemtuzumab, reversed the levels of disability and also improved the thinking skills of the patients.’
multiple sclerosis is characterized by increased disease activity and worsening
symptoms. The disease does not progress, but the symptoms may improve or
disappear during remission. In the current study, alemtuzumab was used early in
the course of multiple sclerosis treatments.
Giovannon, of Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom, also lead author
of the study, said, "While many multiple sclerosis drugs slow the progress of
disability, there have been little data about the ability of current treatments
to help restore function previously lost to MS."
Alemtuzumab Could Reverse Physical Disability in
Multiple Sclerosis Patients
recruited people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis who did not
respond well to other drugs. The participants were divided into two groups.
Group one comprised of 426 people who were treated with alemtuzumab. Group two
comprised a total of 202 participants who were treated with the drug interferon
participants' level of disability were assessed at the beginning of the study
and again every three months for two years. At the end of the study period, the
results showed that nearly 28 percent of the participants who received
alemtuzumab had improved by at least one point in the disability test, with the
scores ranging from 0 to 10. While the participants' who received the drug
interferon beta-1a showed improvement by only 15 percent.
adjusted the results to ensure that the improvements were not driven by people
recovering from recent relapses. The findings also showed that people who
received alemtuzumab were 2.5 times more likely to improve the assessment of
thinking skills when compared to those who received interferon. The alemtuzumab
group was also more than twice as likely to improve the ability to move without
tremor or clumsy movements known as ataxia.
Giovannoni said that if the benefits of alemtuzumab were confirmed, the risks
associated with the drug should also be considered. The risks include serious
and rarely fatal autoimmune problems as well as infusion reactions.
Bielekova, of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in
Bethesda, said, "These results are encouraging, but exactly how
alemtuzumab may reverse the damage, whether it's through repairing myelin,
creating new nerve synapses, greatly reducing inflammation or some other
mechanism, is yet to be investigated."
studies are also needed to see how many people experience, or do not
experience, improvement in disability over longer periods of time," added
Dr. Bielekova, who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study is
published in the journal Neurology
, a medical journal of the
American Academy of Neurology.
system attacks the myelin (protective sheath that covers nerve fibers). The
symptoms include blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, tremors,
fatigue, problems with memory and concentration. The symptoms may worsen over
time. The damage can cause communication problems between the brain and the
body. Multiple sclerosis can cause the nerves to deteriorate and become
- Multiple sclerosis affects more than 2,500,000 people in the
- More than 400,000 people in the United States have multiple
- More than one million new cases are diagnosed in India.
- Multiple sclerosis affects more women than men. It begins
between the ages of 20 and 40.
- People with type 1 diabetes, thyroid disorder, and
inflammatory bowel disease are at increased risk of developing multiple
- MS drug may reverse some physical disability - https://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2016-10/aaon-mdm100716.php)
- Multiple Sclerosis - (https://medlineplus.gov/multiplesclerosis.html)
- Overview Multiple sclerosis - (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/home/ovc-20131882)
- What is multiple sclerosis? - (http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/MS-FAQ-s)