Scientists say that Cholesterol-busting drugs Statins could be used to treat multiple sclerosis which affects more than 100,000 people in the UK.
A small study involving 140 people published in the Lancet in 2014 on patients with secondary progressive MS, found those taking high doses of simvastatin had a significant reduction in the rate of brain atrophy over two years and also had better disability scores at the end of study.
Now, taking cue from the a landmark Trial has been launched by Experts to see whether statins could be used in treatment of MS in addition to treating Hypercholestremia The trial spanning over six year shall be conducted at almost thirty centres across the UK, and will involve 1,180 people with secondary progressive MS starting later this year. The project will test simvastatin in people with the secondary progressive form of MS .
The present trial will aim to establish whether the drug can slow disability progression. The £6 million project has funding from the National Institute for Health Research, the charities MS Society UK and National MS Society (US), as well as from the NHS and British universities.
Dr Jeremy Chataway from University College London’s Institute of Neurology, who also led an earlier study into the drug, said: “This drug holds incredible promise for the thousands of people living with secondary progressive MS in the UK, and around the world, who currently have few options for treatments that have an effect on disability.
“This study will establish definitively whether simvastatin is able to slow the rate of disability progression over a three year period, and we are very hopeful it will.”
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of the MS Society, said the research would offer “a huge amount of hope”. She added: “This is a momentous step forward in our quest to find an effective treatment for progressive MS.”
The patients with secondary progressive MS hope that this shall be most exciting opportunity to change the management and prognosis of progressive MS.
MS Symptoms usually start when a person is in their 20s and 30s and it affects almost three times as many women as men. It can be painful and exhausting and can cause problems with walking, moving, thought, memory and emotions.People with secondary progressive form of MS have limited options as there are currently no standard treatment available that can slow or stop disability progression. The majority of people who are diagnosed with the condition have relapses and almost half of them develop secondary progressive MS within 15 to 20 years.