Antidepressant May Alleviate MS Symptoms

A recent study has discovered that a previously approved anti-depressant may also be effective in alleviating the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, most especially the progressive form of the said condition. The said medication was identified by screening a number of different generic therapeutics developed to treat other conditions. The researchers from University of Calgary in collaboration with Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum have published the results of their study in the journal Nature Communications.

As of the present, there are around 12 drugs now approved to treat the symptoms associated with relapsing-remitting MS. But so far, there are only a few known therapies developed for treating progressive MS. But now the researchers have identified clomipramine, a known antidepressant drug, to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of progressive MS. The researchers conducted the screening of 1,040 approved generic therapeutics, of which the side effects of each one have already been documented. Of those, they selected 249 drugs that can enter the nervous system safely.

The researchers also conducted testing using cell cultures to determine whether which compounds or substances are capable of protecting nerve cells from the damaging effects of iron. In people with MS, iron is released as a result of cell damage, which then damage the nerve cells in the process. Among the compounds tested, 35 potential candidates were identified. These were further screened and tested for additional properties associated with nerve cell functions and protection. The researchers eventually identified the drug clomipramine to be showing some promise as a possible therapy for progressive MS.

Source: Science Daily

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