A new set of compounds identified by scientists may prove to be a good treatment against multiple sclerosis.
Unlike existing MS therapies that suppress the immune system, the compounds boost a population of progenitor cells that can in turn repair MS-damaged nerve fibers.
One of the newly identified compounds, a Parkinson's disease drug called benztropine, was highly effective in treating a standard model of MS in mice, both alone and in combination with existing MS therapies.
Lairson cautioned that benztropine is a drug with dose-related adverse side effects, and has yet to be proven effective at a safe dose in human MS patients.
"People shouldn't start using it off-label for MS," he said.
The study is published online in the journal Nature.