Synthetic Compound With MS Treatment Potential Discovered

Researchers from the University of Nottingham and National University of Ireland, Maynooth have discovered a synthetic chemical compound that show some potential in treating multiple sclerosis. The new synthetic compound seems to have a dual function in trying to treat MS. The research is published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the central nervous system. While the underlying cause as well as cure for the said disease still remain elusive, researchers have been gaining some headway in discovering some potential MS treatments that target the disease in different ways. The new approach discovered by Dr. Bruno Gran, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Clinical Neurology in the School of Clinical Sciences in the University of Nottingham, is just one of them.

Dr. Gran, working together with Professor Paul Moynagh from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, discovered a synthetic chemical compound that help block the inflammatory signals that is produced by the immune system typical in MS. Not only that, the said chemical compound also stimulates the body at the same time to produce interferon-beta, a type of inflammatory molecule that is also a commonly used drug injected in MS patients to treat MS.

In the study, the effects of the said chemical compound led to a significant reduction of the severity of MS. In addition, the researchers also discovered that the immune cells obtained from blood samples of people with MS are more sensitive to the effects of the chemical compound as compared to those taken from people without MS.

“Under laboratory conditions we have found a way of encouraging the body to produce its own Interferon-beta,” Dr. Gran said. “When other experimental substances have been tested in the laboratory to achieve this effect, they usually cause the immune system to produce a mixture of anti-inflammatory as well as pro-inflammatory molecules, typically reducing the overall efficacy. In the case of the compound tested in this study (a synthetic cannabinoid known as R(+)WIN55,212-2), the predominantly anti-inflammatory effects appear promising for further pre-clinical, and hopefully clinical, testing,” he further added.

Source: University of Nottingham (2011, June 21). Breakthrough in the search for new treatments for multiple sclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 28, 2011, from

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